DENVER (AP) – Reliever Matt Reynolds tried to outthink his former teammate, guess what pitch Wilin Rosario would be looking for and throw the opposite.
Only, Rosario knew Reynolds was trying to get inside his head, so the Colorado Rockies catcher simply shut off his mind and let his bat do the work.
Rosario drove in Carlos Gonzalez with a one-out single in the 10th inning to lift Colorado past the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-4 on Tuesday night after the Rockies squandered a late four-run lead.
“When you know somebody, that’s when you get too comfortable and they can get you,” Rosario explained. “I just didn’t think.”
And Reynolds (0-2) thought too much, before settling on a slider.
“That’s kind of the Catch-22,” said Reynolds, who was with the Rockies for three seasons before being traded to Arizona last November.
“If you throw him a first-pitch fastball, he can hammer it. He’s a good fastball hitter, so you take your chances with an offspeed pitch, trying to get ahead of him. Probably, again, caught too much plate with it.”
Reynolds gave Gonzalez a juicy pitch, too, which he hit for a double. He intentionally walked Troy Tulowitzki to get to Rosario, who came through with a liner to right on the first pitch.
Rosario lifted his hands in the air after touching first base and was soon mobbed by teammates. Pardon his enthusiasm – it was the first game-ending hit of his career.
Felt good, too – sore hand and all.
Earlier in the game, Rosario was hit on the right hand by a pitch that got away from Ian Kennedy. Sure, it hurt. But not enough to come out of the game.
“I still can play,” he said, smiling.
The Rockies brought closer Rafael Betancourt to start the 10th, but he was in some discomfort after throwing a second straight pitch into the dirt. After a few warm-up tosses, Betancourt left with a tight right groin. He will undergo an MRI on Wednesday.
“It’s not painful,” Betancourt said. “It was getting tight. That’s all.”
Enter Wilton Lopez (1-1), who threw a perfect inning to earn the win.
Jhoulys Chacin took a 4-0 lead and a one-hitter into the seventh, only to walk away with a no-decision after things unraveled as the Diamondbacks rallied to tie the game.
Unable to manage much early against the hard-throwing righty, Arizona loaded the bases with one out on two walks and an error. Jason Kubel hit a two-run double and Martin Prado followed with a two-run single that tied it at 4.
That was all for Chacin.
Manager Walt Weiss summoned reliever Josh Outman to quell the rally. He gave up a single and walked another to load the bases before striking out Gerardo Parra looking on a borderline pitch for the second out.
Parra threw his hands up in exasperation over the call from home plate umpire Adrian Johnson. Manager Kirk Gibson ran out of the dugout to guide his leadoff hitter away from the plate. Outman then struck out Didi Gregorius on a called third strike to end the threat. Gregorius also voiced his displeasure.
Chacin was in a groove the last time he faced the Diamondbacks on April 19, throwing 6 1-3 scoreless innings before leaving because of tightness in his back. The injury landed him on the 15-day disabled list.
He’s struggled since his return on May 5, going 0-3 with a 7.79 ERA heading into Tuesday.
In this game, though, Chacin looked more like the ace of the staff. He gave up a double to Kennedy in the third and didn’t allow another until the disastrous seventh. He gave up four runs – three earned – in 6 1-3 innings.
“Jhoulys was cruising had a tremendous outing going,” Weiss said. “He lost a little command there in the seventh and it got away from him.”
Kennedy came into the game with a 3.41 ERA at Coors Field, the second-best mark among active starters (with a minimum of 30 innings). And although he struggled early, Kennedy settled down enough to limit the damage. He lasted six innings and gave up four runs – three earned – in the no-decision.
“He did OK,” Gibson said. “He kept us in the game. We came back and tied it. The bullpen just couldn’t hold it tonight.”
Tulowitzki hit his ninth homer of the season in the third, sending an 89-mph fastball from Kennedy into the left-field bleachers. Before the All-Star shortstop’s shot, Arizona pitchers hadn’t allowed a homer in seven games.
Colorado jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second on back-to-back RBI singles from Nolan Arenado and D.J. LeMahieu. Both players began the season at Triple-A Colorado Springs before being called up.
Rockies lefty Jorge De La Rosa will start Wednesday almost two years to the day when he tore a ligament in his elbow pitching against the Diamondbacks at Coors Field. He later underwent Tommy John surgery.
“It was a long rehab,” said De La Rosa, who is 5-3 with a 3.58 ERA this season. “I’m glad I’m ready to go. I think I’m helping the team a little bit.”
Notes: Arizona 2B Aaron Hill (broken left hand) is slated to visit the doctor again next week. … Rockies LHP Jeff Francis (groin) threw 25 pitches off the mound Tuesday. … Tulowitzki hit a solo homer and had a double to raise his average to .406 at Coors Field this season.
By PAT GRAHAM, AP Sports Writer
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