Welcome to the second half of the season, folks.
And to bring that second half in, the Colorado Rockies enjoyed a monster night by Nolan Arenado and Ramiel Tapia, coming back to win 11-10 over the rival Arizona Diamondbacks.
Arenado knocked two homers out of the park, helping Colorado start with the lead and then tying the game up in the fifth, 5-5. But it was Tapia’s grand slam in the seventh which helped the Rockies score six runs in the inning and take the 11-8 advantage.
Everything started out peachy for the Rox on the road; Arenado smashed a two-run bomb to give Colorado an early 2-0 lead.
Unfortunately for the purple and black, that lead was short-lived.
In the bottom of the first, Ketel Marte singled to score two and then Jake Lamb also singled, scoring another to steal the 3-2 lead. It was Lamb and Marte again in the third, each singling to score another run a piece to push the D-Backs’ lead to 5-2.
“Command’s not great,” Bud Black said during the game on starter German Marquez’s pitching. “Stuff is really good…I think the five hits they got are all ground balls.” He was right, all five were on grounders, so it wasn’t like Marquez was pitching terribly.
In the fourth inning, Marquez helped himself out from the plate, singling to score Ian Desmond from second base to bring the game to 5-3, Arizona.
Then, in the fifth, it was Arenado time again; he hit a second two-run homer to tie the game up 5-5.
But, in the bottom of the fifth, Marte came through once again. Even after Marquez recorded his sixth strikeout in the inning, Marte knocked one into center field and past Charlie Blackmon, tripling and sending A.J. Pollack across the plate. That pushed the Diamondbacks back ahead 6-5 and it was a career-high four RBI night for Marte.
Marquez was done after five innings, giving up six earned runs and walking three while striking out six batters. Chris Rusin came in during the sixth inning, giving up a run. Chris Owings of Arizona singled, then moved to second base on a wild pitch from Rusin, and scored when he stole third base and catcher Tony Wolters threw the ball into left field. That pushed the D-Backs back ahead by two, at 7-5.
It also booted Rusin from the game and brought on Scott Oberg, who allowed another run and allowed the Diamondbacks to stretch their lead to 8-5 through six. Simply, it was an ugly game by the Rockies from a defensive standpoint which led to the loss.
In the seventh, Colorado scored manufactured another run; Blackmon walked, Arenado singled to move Blackmon to third and Carlos Gonzalez singled to score Charlie. Then the game came even closer, at 8-7, when Gerardo Parra walked to load the bases and Tony Wolters walked to score a run.
And then, fireworks. Tapia smashed his first home run of the season to right-center field, a grand salami which capped a six-run seventh inning for the road Rockies.
Bryan Shaw came in and worked a great seventh, and then was called on again in the eighth inning. Arizona was able to put a run on the board in the eighth and ninth innings, making it extremely close, but the Rockies held on to win 11-10.
It was Nolan Arenado’s 24th and 25th home runs on the season, to lead the NL in a tie with Jesus Aguilar of the Milwaukee Brewers. It was also Arenado’s 14th two-run home run game of the year.