DENVER (AP) — Carlos Gonzalez homered and drove in two runs, Jorge De La Rosa pitched effectively into the sixth and the Colorado Rockies beat Arizona 4-1 on Wednesday to take two of three from the Diamondbacks.
Dexter Fowler had two hits in his first start in the cleanup spot and Nolan Arenado added an RBI double as the Rockies caught Arizona in the standings. The Diamondbacks entered the day tied with San Francisco for first in the NL West.
De La Rosa (6-3) kept up his mastery against Arizona at Coors Field, improving to 8-0 with a 1.38 ERA. He struck out five and allowed six hits in 5 1-3 innings.
Relievers Edgmer Escalona and Matt Belisle bottled up Arizona to get the ball to Rex Brothers, who closed the ninth with Rafael Betancourt sidelined by a groin injury. It was Brothers’ first save of the season.
Trevor Cahill (3-5) didn’t have his best stuff early, but found his groove and made it through six innings, allowing four runs. Cahill has allowed four earned runs or fewer in 28 straight starts, which is the longest active streak in the majors.
Gonzalez hit Cahill hard all afternoon, giving the Rockies an early lead when he sent a fastball over the right-field wall in the first. The player nicknamed CarGo drove in another run with a triple two innings later.
Manager Walt Weiss went with a rather unorthodox lineup, moving the speedy Fowler from his usual leadoff spot to cleanup. Weiss figured he would give Fowler a chance with Troy Tulowitzki receiving a rest day.
Fowler finished 2 for 4 with a double and scored a run.
There was some drama in the sixth when Fowler sent a high fly to right that appeared to hit off the wall in fair territory. But first base umpire Doug Eddings ruled it foul, which brought Weiss out to discuss the call.
The umpires briefly huddled on the field and headed in to look at the play, even though the hit in question didn’t appear to be a home run (only home runs can be reviewed). Television replays confirmed that Eddings made the correct call as a distinctive white mark was left on the green wall where the ball hit.
Trailing 4-0 in the fourth, the Diamondbacks scored a run when Wil Nieves’ double to left-center brought in Cody Ross, who led off the inning with a single. De La Rosa got Josh Wilson to fly out to prevent any further damage.
De La Rosa also worked his way out of a jam in the third after allowing a double by Cahill and walking Didi Gregorius. Paul Goldschmidt hit a soft roller to third to end the threat.
The hard-throwing De La Rosa’s start on Wednesday had some personal significance. It was nearly 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.
He said it was a long journey back, but De La Rosa appears on the right track. He lowered his ERA this season from 3.58 to 3.40.
Even though Tulowitzki is hitting .406 at home this season, Weiss elected to keep his shortstop out of the starting lineup. It’s all part of the plan to keep Tulowitzki healthy for a full season. They’re agreeing on dates he will rest — and sticking to it, no matter if he went, say, 2 for 4 with a homer like he did Tuesday night.
“We both knew coming into the season we had to do it this way,” Weiss said. “I don’t want to get into a situation where we say, `Well, he had two hits last night, I’m going to change my mind.’ That’s a trap.
“Of course, I want Tulo out there for 162 games. Who wouldn’t? But we knew we were going to have to be smarter than that coming in. Who plays 162 games, anymore?”
Notes: Arizona OF Adam Eaton’s rehabilitation stint in the minors was shut down after he felt soreness in his injured elbow. Eaton felt discomfort in the left elbow during an appearance with Triple-A Reno on Monday and was returning to Phoenix to be examined by team doctor Michael Lee. … Arizona and Colorado both have Thursday off. … Weiss didn’t have any update before the game on Betancourt, who left in the 10th inning Tuesday with a tight right groin. Betancourt had an MRI on Wednesday. … It was Gonzalez’s 11th homer of the season.
– By Pat Graham, AP Sports Writer
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