Aaron Hill proved once again why he's one of the best sluggers on the Arizona Diamondbacks' roster last night as he smacked a walk-off homer to give his team the 5-3 win over the Colorado Rockies.
His 385-foot, three-run dinger came in the bottom of the ninth inning during the second-to-last game of the season when the Snakes were down a run to the Rox.
In many ways, Hill's clutch home run recalled all the epic swats and come-from-behind victories that Arizona unleashed during last year's unlikely pennant-clinching season.
Sadly, this year's D-backs are nowhere near as competitive and -- despite the few instances of greatness by Hill and few others -- will be cleaning out their lockers their later this week instead of gearing up for playoffs because of a woeful season of underwhelming performances.
Case in point: Arizona's lineup either swung at empty air or produced easy outs through the first six innings of Tuesday night's game against Colorado pitchers Jhoulys Chacin and Guillermo Moscoso. Few batters, if any, reached base as the D-backs were seemingly stuck in cruise control.
The Rockies, on the other hand, got onto the scoreboard in the second inning after singles by both Andrew Brown and D.J. LeMahieu and a Charlie Blackmon's grounder manufactured a run.
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Arizona didn't come alive until the seventh when Jason Kubel doubled to deep right and John McDonald blasted a two-run homer into the left-field seats at Chase Field to make the game 2-1. Colorado quickly responded in the eighth, however, when Jordan Pacheco's RBI double plated Josh Rutledge and Tyler Colvin to reclaim the lead.
This setup the game's fantastic finish in the final frame when Rafael Betancourt came out of the bullpen for the Rockies and gave up singles to McDonald and Gerardo Parra before Hill stepped to the plate and gave the 22,466 D-backs fans in attendance at Chase Field a memorable night.
The Diamondbacks will close out their troubled season this afternoon at Chase Field during the rubber game against Colorado. Ian Kennedy (15-11, 4.16) gets the honors as he attempts to squeeze in one more victory this year before packing it in. If he puts on at least a decent performance, Arizona (81-80) stands a better-than-average chance of finishing 2012 with a winning record. If not, its .500 city.
Kennedy's opponent will be lefty Jeff Francis (5-7, 5.75). First pitch is at 4:10 p.m. TV: Fox Sports Arizona. Radio: KTAR 620-AM. More info: www.dbacks.com.