Unearned Runs Give Rockies Victory Over D-backs
PHOENIX (AP) — Jeff Francis earned his first victory in more than a month and the Colorado Rockies used two unearned runs to beat Ian Kennedy and the Arizona Diamondbacks 2-1 on Wednesday night to conclude disappointing seasons for both teams.
Francis (6-7) allowed a run on five hits in five innings in his first victory since July 27. He had gone 0-3 in six outings since then.
Third baseman Chris Johnson’s throwing error in the fourth led to both of Colorado’s runs. D.J. LeMahieu singled in a run for the Rockies.
A.J. Pollock hit his second big-league home run for Arizona.
Kennedy (15-12) gave up no earned runs, striking out eight and walking none. He was 4-0 in his previous six starts.
Matt Belisle got the final out in the ninth for his third save in 10 tries.
The Rockies took two of three to win a series at Chase Field for the first time since Sept. 20, 2009.
Despite the win, Colorado finished with a franchise-worst 98 losses in an injury-plagued season. Arizona, the defending NL West champion, finished 81-81, a fitting conclusion since the Diamondbacks were never more than four games above or five games below .500 all season.
Pollock’s second home run of the season, leading off the third, barely cleared the wall over the outstretched glove of Charlie Blackmon to put Arizona up 1-0.
The Rockies took the lead with two unearned runs in the fifth. Blackmon was hit by a 1-2 pitch from Kennedy then Jordan Pacheco singled. Wilin Rosario hit a sharp grounder to third baseman Chris Johnson, who fielded the ball but threw wildly past second, allowing Blackmon to score and Pacheco to take third. Kennedy fanned the next two batters before D.J. LeMahieu brought in Pacheco with a single to put Colorado up 2-1.
In the eighth, Colorado’s Aaron Brown contended he was hit in the wrist by a pitch from reliever David Hernandez. Home plate umpire Mark Ripperger insisted the pitch hit the bat. Rockies manager Jim Tracy came out and argued for several minutes before finally retreating to the dugout. Brown struck out swinging, slammed his bat to the ground and was tossed from the game by Ripperger. It was the first time Brown had been thrown out of a major league game.
Colorado had runners on second and third with one out against J.J. Putz in the ninth, but the Arizona closer struck out Josh Rutledge and Blackmon to end the threat.
Jonathan Herrera and Pacheco each singled three times for Colorado. Justin Upton had three for the Diamondbacks to lift his average to .280 after a very slow start to the season.
Gerardo Parra was hit by a pitch from Rex Brothers leading off the Arizona ninth. He was sacrificed to second by John McDonald’s bunt and took third when pinch hitter Chris Young grounded out. Pollock walked to bring up Aaron Hill, whose three-run homer with two outs in the ninth gave Arizona a 5-3 victory on Tuesday night.
Matt Belisle relieved Brothers and got Hill to line out to left to end the game.
Notes: The Arizona chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America presented its Diamondbacks season awards: MVP to Aaron Hill, outstanding pitcher and rookie Wade Miley and “good guy” award to Chris Young. … Francis’ 17 victories in 2007 rank as second-most in franchise history behind Ubaldo Jimenez’s 19 in 2010. … Kennedy has won 36 games over the past two seasons. … Colorado used seven pitchers in the finale.
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