Apr 29, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Colorado Rockies shortstop T. Tulowitzki (2) looks on during the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
The Colorado Rockies returned to the National League this weekend, beginning a four game series with the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday night in Phoenix.
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The Colorado Rockies never showed up on offense, getting just five hits on the night — including an RBI single from starting pitcher Chris Rusin for their only run of the game — and two Nolan Arenado errors led to three unearned runs, as the Arizona Diamondbacks ran away with the first game of the four-game series on Thursday, winning 8-1 in Phoenix.
The two clubs traded zeros for nearly five innings, as Rusin and Jeremy Hellickson broke into a pitcher’s duel early. The Rockies struck first when Rusin singled home Nick Hundley in the top of the fifth — Rusin’s second RBI single in his last three starts — and the Rockies were staked to a 1-0 lead.
In the bottom of the sixth, Rusin would give it back on a solo home run from A.J. Pollock, though. And then, with two outs and nobody on, Rusin walked Wellington Castillo, bringing up Aaron Hill. Hill hit a routine ground ball to Arenado at third, which hit the heel of his glove and left everybody safe with two outs.
The next hitter, David Peralta, slugged a two-RBI triple, and two unearned runs later the Rockies were down 3-1.
Rusin went 6 innings allowing just six hits and two walks, while giving up the three runs (only one was earned) and striking out six Diamondbacks. All things told, he had a great start for the Rockies, lowering his ERA to 4.27, but bad defense at a bad time betrayed him and he left the game in line for a loss, which ended up being his third of the season.
The Dbacks put four more runs across in the seventh off reliever Scott Oberg, after he was only able to get one out while allowing three hits and two walks, and the game at that point was out of reach.
For good measure, the Dbacks scored another run in the eighth inning when Arenado’s second error of the game opened the door for an unearned score off reliever Rafael Betancourt.
While Rusin threw well — and got the Rockies’ only RBI on a day where they’d be held to five hits — Arenado’s uncharacteristic two errors and the bats going completely silent (save Troy Tulowitzki extending his now 15-game hitting streak in the eighth inning) made this a night to forget.
The Rockies and Dbacks face each other again Friday night in Phoenix.