video thumbnail

ARI@COL: Blum launches a solo shot to right

DENVER -- So much for any concerns about the Mile High letdown.

Fresh off a series win in San Francisco, the D-backs kept marching towards the postseason, as they defeated the Rockies, 10-7, on a sun-splashed Monday afternoon at Coors Field.

The win was Arizona's 12th in its last 13 games, and it lowered the D-backs' magic number -- the number of combined Arizona wins and San Francisco losses needed to clinch the division -- to 15. The D-backs maintained their seven-game lead with 21 left to play.

"It's nice that guys are recognizing the importance of these games now, what it means to our division race and stuff like that," D-backs veteran infielder Geoff Blum said. "So I think everyone has responded pretty good and is having a good time doing it."

Blum certainly responded after being put in the lineup.

The veteran, who has missed 127 games this year due to a pair of injuries, went 3-for-5 with a home run and three RBIs.

"He's worked hard to get back to where he is, and he's a veteran guy," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said of Blum. "He played a great third base today and had a big day at the plate. We're going to need him, no question."

After the two teams traded home runs in the first inning, it was the Rockies who jumped on top, 2-1, in the third, thanks to Mark Ellis' solo homer.

The D-backs, though, regained the lead in the top of the fourth when Blum singled home a pair of runs.

"You've got to give those guys a day off every once in a while," Blum said of the fact that he got a start. "I was lucky enough to get a couple good pitches to hit."

When the D-backs' removed him from the disabled list recently, Gibson joked that the team should pack Blum in pillows to avoid further injury.

"Why not?" Blum joked when told of Gibson's comment. "It wouldn't be a bad idea to get me through nine innings. I'm just happy to still be standing after this game. I like what those guys are doing on a daily basis. I want to be a part of it and I've been itching for about six or seven months now, so I'm more than ready to jump on these guys' coattails and help them out."

The D-backs continued to add on runs as they scored five times in the sixth inning, pushing the lead to 8-2. Blum connected for a solo shot in that frame and rookie Paul Goldschmidt ripped a three-run double.

The single runs that the D-backs scored in the seventh and ninth innings proved to be important, as the Rockies staged a furious late rally.

Colorado scored one run in the eighth, and then with two outs in the ninth, they took advantage of reliever Micah Owings' wildness to really make things interesting.

Owings retired the first two hitters before allowing a home run, a pair of walks and another homer -- this one a three-run shot by Troy Tulowitzki to straightaway center -- before being removed.

"We can't walk people here, and we walked five guys today," Gibson said. "Late in the game we just walked guys and threw the ball down the middle to Tulowitzki. It's not what you want to do, but we got through it."

The D-backs also were not overly sharp running the bases, but Gibson couldn't criticize his players too much, given that they were playing their second day game in a row and were in the high altitude.

"Probably didn't feel tip-top, but guys came out and played with a lot of desire," Gibson said. "So when we run into outs on the bases you don't want to say too much to them, because they're busting it. Maybe we're not thinking it out as much as we normally do."

Rookie starter Wade Miley (3-1) was impressive for the third straight outing, as he allowed just two runs on six hits in seven innings.

The D-backs wiggled out of a critical jam in the fifth inning. With runners on first and third and one out, Tulowitzki lined into an inning-ending double play.

"There were some things there offensively where things could have changed," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. "Unfortunately, we couldn't do it."

After allowing the single runs in the first and third innings and pitching his way into and out of trouble early, the left-hander seemed to settle in.

"It makes things easier when you score nine, 10 runs a game," he said. "It takes a lot of pressure off your shoulders. You can just throw strikes and let them put the ball in play."

Said Gibson in regards to Miley, "I'm not really sure. He seems to struggle early in his starts, and then he kind of gets rolling."

MLB.com Comments