D-backs celebrate despite loss
Team learns before game that it has won NL West title
DENVER -- The D-backs can be forgiven if their focus slipped in the middle game of their season-ending three-game series with the Rockies. A half hour before the game started they learned they had clinched the National League West and home field advantage by virtue of a Padres loss to the Brewers.
So an 11-1 loss at Coors Field had none of the bitter aftertaste Arizona would have experienced even a day earlier.
Edgar Gonzalez's three-inning, five-run start? Wash it off in the shower. Jailen Peguero's inning and a third of five-run relief? Forgotten before the team bus was warmed up. Dustin Nippert giving up a grand slam to the first hitter he faced, Rockies Rookie of the Year candidate Troy Tulowitzki? Why worry?
The blowout gave the D-backs the chance to get their bench in the game, replacing all but two starters, Chris Young and Emilio Bonifacio, during the course of the game and using a quintet of relievers to pitch the final five innings. Bonifacio a last-minute substitution in the starting lineup, singled and scored the D-backs only run in his first at-bat.
Young and Conor Jackson provided the offensive highlights with a pair of hits apiece, and Bill Murphy, Tony Pena and Juan Cruz ended on a high note, shutting down the Rockies in the final three innings.
Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.