DENVER -- Shortly after receiving the news that top-of-the-rotation starter Jorge De La Rosa was lost for the season, the Rockies performed in the second game of their doubleheader against the D-backs like a team under a heavy weight.
Colorado couldn't capture the same magic on offense it unleashed in the opener of the twin bill, dropping the nightcap, 5-2, in front of 25,096 at Coors Field.
The Rockies scattered just six hits, with their only scoring coming on a pair of homers by Jason Giambi and Ty Wigginton. The Rockies had 14 hits, including three home runs, in their 12-4 victory in the first game.
"I thought that early on in the second game we took some good at-bats against [D-backs starter] Joe Saunders," said Rockies manager Jim Tracy, who watched most of the game from the clubhouse after being ejected by home-plate umpire Mark Wegner in the third inning.
"We took [at-bats] in a manner early on where we were more inclined to use the whole field, hit the ball the other way. In the middle innings, after I left, it looked to me like we got into a little too much of a pull mode."
In earning his first win since Sept. 21 of last season -- also against the Rockies -- Saunders (1-5) gave up just six hits, including the two home runs, in eight innings, his longest outing of the season.
"[My] sinker was working on some pretty good hitters and I got them to hit some ground balls, and the defense was great behind me," Saunders said.
The Rockies' best chance to take the lead came in the third, with the game tied at 1. With Troy Tulowitizki batting and Dexter Fowler at third, Saunders threw a wild pitch that bounced off the backstop. Arizona catcher Miguel Montero retrieved the ball and threw it to Saunders, who applied the tag, and Wegner called Fowler out.
Tracy sprinted out of the dugout to protest the call, and it didn't take long for Wegner to give the manager his first ejection of the season.
Rockies right-hander Jhoulys Chacin (5-3) was mostly solid, but he ran into trouble in the sixth. After a leadoff walk to Ryan Roberts, second baseman Kelly Johnson -- who gave the D-backs an early lead with a home run in the first -- doubled off the wall in left to score Roberts. Stephen Drew and Montero followed with a pair of run-scoring doubles, giving Saunders and D-backs closer J.J. Putz all the run support they would need.
"They had good counts," Chacin said. "They got a fastball, and they just hit it good. Sometimes a team is going to hit you -- you just have to go get it next time." In addition to the leadoff walk to start the sixth, Chacin also gave Johnson a free pass to start the fourth, and he later scored on a ground ball by Xavier Nady.
"These are little things, but they're also very, very important things when you're pitching in a close ballgame," Tracy said.
On a day that was marred by the news that a complete tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow would require De La Rosa to undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the rest of the season, even the game's silver lining, the continued resurgence of Giambi, was accompanied by a sour note.
Giambi's blast to right field, his fifth in his last 12 at-bats, tied the game in the second inning, but he was removed from the game in the eighth after he began experiencing pain in his right elbow, which was hit by a Saunders pitch in the fourth.
"As I took that last swing, I took a good swing, but as I was running down to first it started cramping up," Giambi said. "So after last year, with me tearing my right biceps, they said get out of there."
Tracy said he did not believe Giambi's injury was serious.
Nick Kosmider is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.