Diamondbacks right-hander Zack Greinke gave up two runs in seven innings in a win over the Rockies on Friday.
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo breaks down his team’s win over the Rockies on Friday night.
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo on Braden Shipley’s outing and his offense’s struggles vs. Nationals right-hander Max Scherzer. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks right-hander Braden Shipley gave up three runs in four-plus innings against the Nationals on Thursday afternoon. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo talks about his team’s inability to come up with a hit in a key situation on Wednesday night, May 3, 2017. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks lefty Robbie Ray had everything working but still came away with a loss on Wednesday night in D.C., May 3, 2017. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said his pitching staff did well to hold the Nationals to three runs on Tuesday night.
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Taijuan Walker didn’t blame a small strike zone for his abbreviated, 4 2/3-inning outing on Tuesday night.
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azcentral sports’ Jay Dieffenbach and Dan Bickley discuss the Rockets’ explosion against the Spurs and a possible pitching implosion for the Diamondbacks.
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Diamondbacks outfielder A.J. Pollock speaks about the controversial call that went against him in the 10th inning of Arizona’s win over the Rockies on Sunday. Bob McManaman/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks’ Daniel Descalso talks about his two-run, walk-off homer to beat the Rockies in the 13th inning on Sunday. Bob McManaman/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo discusses the team’s strong pitching fueling Arizona’s walk-off win over the Rockies on Sunday. Bob McManaman/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks starter Patrick Corbin talks about his strong, scoreless outing against the Rockies in Sunday’s win. Bob McManaman/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks closer Fernando Rodney talks about his outing vs. the Rockies, and says he’ll have no trouble bouncing back from his latest setback. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks right-hander Zack Greinke talks about his start on Saturday night, in which he allowed three earned runs in six-plus innings vs. the Rockies. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Shelby Miller explains his decision to undergo Tommy John surgery, April 29, 2017. (Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports)
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Manager Torey Lovullo, left-hander Robbie Ray and catcher Chris Iannetta react to the loss.
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Chris Owings talks about the first multi-homer game of his career, and how he’s feeling at the plate after homering three times in the past four games.
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Diamondbacks right-hander Taijuan Walker says his fastball was working well for him on Thursday night.
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Arizona Diamondbacks right-hander Shelby Miller says he has a tear in his ulnar collateral ligament and that Tommy John surgery is an option, April 27, 2017. (Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports)
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Diamondbacks closer Fernando Rodney on Wednesday’s blown save against San Diego.
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo reacts to the Padres’ comeback win.
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Wednesday night’s game against the Padres drew the smallest crowd in Diamondbacks history.
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Manager Torey Lovullo, first baseman Paul Goldschmidt and left-hander Patrick Corbin react to Tuesday’s win. Sarah McLellan/azcentral sports
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Manager Torey Lovullo, right-hander Zack Greinke and shortstop Chris Owings react to Monday’s home win over the Padres. Sarah McLellan/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks right-hander Shelby Miller did not provide many details on his elbow injury on Monday, but he is planning to receive a second opinion on Tuesday in Los Angeles. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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D-Backs’ Shelby Miller talks about arm injury suffered during the 6-2 loss to the Dodgers, April 23, 2017. (Scott Bordow/azcentral sports)
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David Peralta talks about the Diamondbacks’ offense and his record-setting four doubles Saturday.
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Diamondbacks starter Robbie Ray talks after his team’s 11-5 victory over the Dodgers.
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Manager Torey Lovullo, right-hander Taijuan Walker, shortstop Chris Owings and first baseman Paul Goldschmidt react to the 13-5 win.
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First baseman Paul Goldschmidt says the Diamondbacks couldn’t string together enough hits against the Padres on Thursday night.
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo talks about his team’s 4-1 loss to the Padres and their 4-6 road trip through San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego.
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Zack Greinke on impressive outing vs. Rockies
Manager Torey Lovullo after win over Rockies
Manager Torey Lovullo after D-Backs lose series vs. Nationals
Braden Shipley after walking six in loss to Nationals
D-Backs’ Torey Lovullo after loss to Nationals
Diamondbacks’ Robbie Ray strikes out 10 in loss to Nationals
Torey Lovullo on D-Backs’ 6-3 win over Nationals
Taijuan Walker on his short start vs. Nationals
Shot Clock: Rockets sizzle, D-Backs fizzle?
A.J. Pollock on controversial play: “You guys saw the replay”
Descalso talks about walk-off home run over Rockies
Lovullo on pitching, more in D-Backs’ wild win
Corbin discusses his scoreless outing vs. Rockies
Fernando Rodney talks about his latest blown save
Zack Greinke after outing vs. Rockies
D-Backs’ Shelby Miller to have Tommy John surgery
Diamondbacks fall 3-1 to Rockies
Chris Owings on his two-homer night
D-Backs’ Taijuan Walker on his 11-strikeout performance vs. Padres
D-Backs’ Shelby Miller considering Tommy John surgery
Fernando Rodney reacts to his blown save against the Padres
Torey Lovullo reacts to Diamondbacks’ ‘heartbreaking’ loss
Diamondbacks attendance hits new low
Diamondbacks pull away from Padres for 9-3 win
Diamondbacks hold on for win over Padres
Shelby Miller on his injury, visit with team doctor
Arizona Diamondbacks’ Shelby Miller discusses arm injury
David Peralta on his record-setting night
Robbie Ray reacts to Saturday’s win over the Dodgers
Diamondbacks use 9-run eighth to overwhelm Dodgers
Paul Goldschmidt on D-Backs’ offense vs. Padres
Manager Torey Lovullo breaks down D-Backs’ loss, road trip
DENVER – The list of disappointments from the Diamondbacks’ 2016 season is long, and on it somewhere are the names Zack Greinke and Paul Goldschmidt. Neither would be at the top, neither at the bottom. But both players came away from last year with bad tastes in their mouths. Both thought this year would be better.
The Diamondbacks are less than five weeks into their season, but so far both are right. The two played key roles in a victory on Friday night over the Colorado Rockies, Goldschmidt slamming a pair of homers, Greinke pitching effectively for seven innings, and the Diamondbacks survived a harrowing ninth inning to escape Coors Field with a 6-3 win.
After the Rockies loaded the bases against reliever Archie Bradley in the ninth, closer Fernando Rodney entered and retired each of the two batters he faced, a fireman performance that helps ease concerns about his rocky start to the year.
BOX SCORE: Diamondbacks 6, Rockies 3
A year ago, both Greinke and Goldschmidt started their seasons in uncharacteristic fashion. In the middle of May, Greinke carried an ERA north of 5.00 while Goldschmidt had a batting average in the .220s.
But this year, the two are big reasons why the Diamondbacks own an 18-13 record and are playing like the team many thought they would be last season. Greinke is again pitching like an ace, diminished velocity be damned, and Goldschmidt’s production has returned to its MVP-caliber levels.
On Friday, they did what they normally do at Coors Field. Goldschmidt hit a solo homer to center in the first, then lined a three-run homer just inside the left-field foul pole in the third, both shots coming off Rockies right-hander German Marquez. Counting his home run in the ninth inning on Thursday afternoon in Washington, it gave Goldschmidt homers in three consecutive at-bats.
“He’s such a humble man, he’s not going to predict anything or talk about things like that,” manager Torey Lovullo said, when told Goldschmidt said he didn’t expect a power surge might be coming. “But he’s got a great approach and he’s got that in him, and I think he can beat you in so many ways, and today is just a case of him hitting two home runs and helping us win the game.”
Goldschmidt also singled and walked, finishing with five RBIs. His numbers so far this season – .330 average, .470 on-base, .594 slugging – more closely resemble the production he logged from 2013-2015, when he rated among baseball’s best hitters.
In 45 games at Coors, Goldschmidt owns a .313/.409/.542 line with eight homers in 179 at-bats, typically strong numbers for a good hitter in a good hitter’s park. But Greinke, too, continued his success at Coors Field, a place where he doesn’t exactly enjoy going to work.
“No,” he said, “I hate pitching here. It’s really tough.”
And yet in eight career starts, his teams are 6-2 and Greinke has yet to take a loss, owning a more-than-respectable 4.03 ERA.
“There’s just a lot of good things for hitting here and a lot of bad things for pitching,” he said.
Greinke’s strong performance was his latest in a season that has featured only one subpar start. Through seven starts, he has a 3.09 ERA. He has posted quality starts in five of them, including the past four in a row.
Greinke has never been able to put a finger on just what went wrong during his rough stretches last season, believing his results never fully aligned with the way he pitched. But he attributes his success this year to two things: how he’s locating his fastball and his improved slider, a pitch he’s been throwing harder than last year.
“My fastball command has been pretty good,” he said. “My slider has been as good as it’s been in a long time. Maybe the defense has gotten better and it’s making things smoother? I don’t know. I feel like I have been making better pitches. The results are better. Everything has been better.”
The slider was especially good against the Rockies. He threw the pitch 31 times and induced 10 swings-and-misses.
“Zack painted the slider down and away to the right-handed hitters, painted the fastball away to right-handed hitters,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “He had good command of those two pitches, brought the change-up into play in the sixth and seventh innings. Typical-type Greinke game where he located the ball, changed speeds. He does those things on a regular basis.”
Greinke departed after seven with a 6-2 lead, and Bradley worked a scoreless eighth before the Rockies collected a pair of singles and a walk to load the bases to start the ninth. Bradley recovered to strike out Dustin Garneau, at which point Lovullo went to Rodney, who retired Chris Valaika (ground out) and Charlie Blackmon (fly out) to pick up the save.
It’s his second consecutive successful save conversion on this trip after he blew back-to-back chances on the previous homestand, including one against the Rockies last weekend.
“Credit Fernando for coming in there and executing and getting the job done with a bunch of traffic,” Lovullo said. “I know he typically likes to start innings, but it was a great team moment there in the ninth inning.”
Reach Piecoro at (602) 444-8680 or nick.[email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @nickpiecoro.
Diamondbacks at Rockies
When: 5:10 p.m.
Where: Coors Field, Denver.
Pitchers: Diamondbacks LHP Patrick Corbin (2-3, 2.29) vs. Rockies LHP Tyler Anderson (1-3, 7.71).
TV/Radio: FSAZ/KMVP-FM (98.7), KHOV-FM (105.1).
Corbin sports the lowest ERA among Diamondbacks starters. … He threw 6 1/3 scoreless innings against the Rockies on Sunday at Chase Field, allowing just two hits and two walks while striking out six. … Corbin did not fare well at Coors Field last season, giving up eight runs in 6 1/3 innings in two appearances. … Anderson faced the Diamondbacks last weekend, giving up six runs in five innings. … He’s faced mostly right-handed hitters this season but has struggled against the few lefties he’s seen, allowing a .300 average (9 for 30) with three home runs.
Sunday: At Colorado, 12:10 p.m., Diamondbacks RHP Taijuan Walker (3-1, 4.19) vs. Rockies RHP Tyler Chatwood (2-4, 5.40).
Tuesday: At Chase Field, 6:40 p.m., Diamondbacks TBA vs. Tigers RHP Justin Verlander (2-2, 4.21).
Wednesday: At Chase Field, 6:40 p.m., Diamondbacks LHP Robbie Ray (2-2, 3.47) vs. Tigers LHP Matt Boyd (2-2, 3.78).