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07/05/09 7:15 PM ET
Reynolds' homer ignites rally vs. Rockies
Final Vote candidate belts three-run shot to fuel D-backs
By Steve Gilbert / MLB.com
DENVER -- Mark Reynolds helped his All-Star Final Vote candidacy on Sunday afternoon at Coors Field. Just hours after finding out he was one of five players in the running for the final spot on the National League roster, Reynolds smacked a three-run homer that helped lead the D-backs past the Rockies, 4-3. The win was the second in a row for the D-backs, who won a series for the first time since taking two of three from the Royals June 16-18. Certainly Arizona starter Dan Haren, himself named to the NL team on Sunday, should go home and cast plenty of online votes for Reynolds, as he rescued Haren from suffering another undeserved loss. "If you just look at what he does with our lineup -- the amount of runs he scores, the amount of RBIs, the home runs, and he's hitting .270 or .275 -- he's been a huge part of the team this year," Haren said in plugging Reynolds' candidacy after the game. "I really hope he gets in." The D-backs trailed, 3-0, heading into the sixth as they could not seem to figure out the Rockies' Ubaldo Jimenez. The right-hander had a no-hitter through five and retired the first two Arizona hitters in the sixth. Alex Romero and Stephen Drew then worked back-to-back walks to bring Reynolds to the plate. "We hadn't done anything off Ubaldo, but it seems like we just kind of wore on him, put together good at-bats with the walks," Haren said. "It just seemed like it was meant to be with two guys walking and Reynolds coming up. You knew we had a chance at that point." Reynolds cashed in that chance when he hit a 1-2 fastball way over the wall in left to tie the game. "The momentum was with us from there," Haren said. One inning later, the lead was on their side as well when Felipe Lopez singled home Gerardo Parra to put the D-backs up, 4-3. Jimenez (6-8) had blown a fastball by Reynolds for strike two on the pitch before the homer, and the Arizona third baseman figured he was going to try to do it again, so he started his bat a little earlier, what they call "cheating" in baseball lingo. "I've had zero success against him in the past," Reynolds said. "I'm not going to lie, I was cheating and was able to barrel it." Two of the three runs against Haren were unearned thanks to an error by first baseman Chad Tracy and a couple of infield hits in the third inning. With two outs in the third, Jimenez hit a tapper to the left side of the mound that Haren dove for, but the ball hit off his glove for a single. Then Tracy booted a grounder by Seth Smith, and Ryan Spilborghs followed with a chopper to the right side of the mound that also hit off Haren's glove for a hit. "Trace made the error, I just couldn't pick him up," Haren said. "If I let Ubaldo's ball go, Reynolds might make the play and definitely if I let Spilborghs' ball go Felipe makes the play [at second], but instinctually I go after the ball. I wasn't able to make a pitch to get out of there." The Rockies added a run in the fourth on Troy Tulowitzki's 13th homer of the year. Chad Qualls pitched a perfect ninth for his 15th save.
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.