After dominating their first two series of the year, the Arizona Diamondbacks were humbled slightly in a chilly weekend series that saw the Colorado Rockies take two of three games in Denver.
It was the D-Backs' vaunted bullpen that coughed up Friday and Saturday's one-run losses, 7-6 and 8-7, respectively. And on Sunday, manager Kirk Gibson used five relief pitchers in the eighth inning alone to stave off the Rockies and hang on to a 5-2 win.
On Friday, the D-Backs jumped out to 6-2 lead, which eventually was erased by Todd Helton's two-run single. Helton struck again in the eighth, ripping a run-scoring, tie-breaking double off reliever Brian Shaw, who had been nearly perfect on the young season.
On Saturday, Helton struck again, this time against D-Backs closer J.J. Putz, who boasts four saves already but also sports a rather bloated 5.79 earned-run average. Helton took Putz deep with a two-run walk-off homer, giving the Rockies the 8-7 victory.
The bullpen actually locked it down on Sunday afternoon. Shaw, especially, recovered from his loss Friday to halt a eighth-inning rally by getting Ramon Hernandez to ground out with the bases loaded. Shaw pitched a flawless ninth inning to earn his second save of the season.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Through it all, centerfielder Chris Young continued on his torrid season-opening pace, racking up four more RBI to up his season total to 11. He also has four home runs, two stolen bases, and a .363 batting average.
Tonight, the Diamondbacks will open a 10-game homestand with a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Erik Bedard (0-2) will pitch for the Pirates, and Joe Saunders (0-0) will go for the D-Backs. In his only other start of the season, Saunders pitched seven scoreless innings against the San Diego Padres, striking out four batters. He took a no-decision in the start.
First pitch is 6:40 p.m. at Chase Field. TV: Fox Sports Arizona. Radio: KTAR 620 AM. More info: www.dbacks.com.