The Colorado Rockies needed a rally in the ninth inning against the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday afternoon, and some patience at the plate combined with a timely hit from catcher Elias Díaz proved to be the right formula.
Down 5-4 entering the final frame, Brendan Rodgers, José Iglesias, and Ryan McMahon each drew walks against White Sox reliever Kendall Graveman to open the inning, then Díaz punched a single through the right side on the first pitch he saw to plate Rodgers and Iglesias to give the Colorado Rockies the 6-5 win.
The ninth-inning walks were part of nine issued by the White Sox on the day, tied for the second-highest amount given up by White Sox pitchers and the most the Rockies have earned this season. They set the stage for Diaz to register his fourth career walk-off hit and the second walk-off win for the Rockies this season.
“He was aggressive, right? He swung early in the count, but I think the intent was to go the other way and not get too big like we’ve talked about,” Colorado manager Bud Black said of the hit from Díaz. “I think the approach was correct and it paid off for us.”
Díaz has now hit safely in eight of his last nine contests, slashing .467/.556/.800 during that span.
The win was just the second in six games for the Rockies since the All-Star Game break and moved them to 45-54 on the season ahead of a four-game series with the Los Angeles Dodgers at Coors Field beginning on Thursday night.
Colorado registered 11 hits against White Sox pitchers, with Garrett Hampson being the only Rockies starter to not get a hit, striking out in three of his four plate appearances. Iglesias, back in the lineup after fouling a pitch off his foot in Milwaukee, went 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI.
Charlie Blackmon got the scoring started for the Rockies with a solo homer in the first inning, one of three runs and four hits tallied early by Colorado against White Sox starter Lucas Giolito. However, the Rockies could not knock Giolito out of the game early and he went on to blank the Rockies over the next four innings of work.
Antonio Senzatela threw 6.1 innings and ended up leaving the game when he was struck by a comebacker in his left leg. Senzatela admitted he was in pain after the game but he is not expected to miss any time.
Senzatela allowed three runs on eight hits and walked just one batter, marking the 28th consecutive start where the 27-year-old right-hander has not walked more than two batters. That continues a franchise-record stretch for Senzatela.