Clark clubs D-backs past Rockies
First baseman hits two homers, plates three in series finale
PHOENIX -- Tony Clark knew that this day was coming, knew he would be wearing Jackie Robinson's No. 42 rather than his regular 34.
But when he walked into the clubhouse Sunday morning and saw the jersey hanging from his locker, he choked up.
"Because if there was no 42, there'd be no 34," Clark said before batting practice.
And if it wasn't for Clark and his two home runs Sunday, there likely would not have been a 6-4 win for the D-backs over the Rockies on a picture perfect day at Chase Field.
With Conor Jackson getting most of the starts at first base these days, Clark does most of his work off the bench. But after driving in a pair of runs Saturday night, and with Byung-Hyun Kim on the mound for Colorado, Clark got back-to-back starts.
"I like the matchup," manager Bob Melvin said before the game of Clark facing Kim.
He liked it even better in the first inning when Clark's two-run homer capped a four-run frame and gave the D-backs a 4-2 lead.
"A fastball," Clark said of the pitch. "It ran over and I was fortunate that the crosswind didn't breathe on it too much."
The 16-mph wind had no chance against Clark's blast, which landed on the concourse to the left of the batter's eye in center.
D-backs starter Doug Davis once again struggled with his command as he allowed 13 baserunners in five innings. But like his other starts, Davis (1-1) bobbed and weaved somehow making it through five innings with just four runs having crossed the plate.
"Sometimes you're going to have days like this, where you don't throw your best and you give up the runs and you find yourself fighting yourself out there," Davis said. "I wasn't real happy with the outcome, but obviously we won the game so the result was good."
With the score tied at 4, Clark led off the fourth with his second homer of the game. This one came off Kim as well, and was another fastball that started inside and ran out over the middle of the plate.
Clark's second homer gave the D-backs a lead, and Scott Hairston added to it in the fifth with an RBI single to push the score to 6-4. The D-backs bullpen then took over as Dustin Nippert, Tony Pena, Brandon Lyon and Jose Valverde each tossed a scoreless inning.
Valverde earned his sixth save in seven chances, but made things interesting again in the ninth by walking back-to-back hitters with two outs.
"It's good to make a contribution," Clark said of his homers. "It's one of those days where you tip your hat to Doug Davis, who battled through and kept us in the ballgame and the guys out of the bullpen did an outstanding job. One of the biggest hits of the day was Scott Hairston getting that two-out knock."
Though Davis was able to make some mechanical adjustments to pitch scoreless fourth and fifth innings, he knows in the future that he needs to make those changes earlier. Four walks, one of which was intentional, pushed up his pitch count early and he wound up throwing 112 in five innings.
"Just trying a little too hard, falling behind 1-0, 2-0 and things that just frustrate you when you're out there," Davis said. "I did some minor changes in the fourth and fifth inning that helped me. Again, I have to do it after eight pitches, not 80. It's something I'll work on in between starts just like I did last week. It was a struggled, but I'm willing to fight through it and my fielders behind me are still playing strong and making the plays they have to make."
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.