|It's good! Er, bad, for the Diamondbacks at least.|
Talk about a reversal of fortune.
Josh Collmenter lost his first game of the season against the Colorado Rockies yesterday while Joe Saunders won for the first time this year in a double-header at Coors Field.
The Rockies pounded the Diamondbacks for a 12-4 margin in the first installment in Denver. The D'Backs returned the favor 5-2 in the later contest.
Collmenter gave up two solo shots in the bottom of the fourth inning, one to Seth Smith and the other to Carlos Gonzalez. Jonathan Herrera, the Rockies' 150 pound leadoff man, reached first on an Xavier Nady error the next inning, setting Collmenter's first loss in motion.
Dexter Fowler singled him over to second.
The young Diamondbacks' starter walked Carlos Gonzalez, then was pulled for Kam Mickolio, who walked Troy Tulowitzki to score a run, gave up a sacrifice fly to Todd Helton, and allowed Smith to double in Gonzalez.
All the runs were charged to Collmenter, albeit as unearned tallies.
Juan Gutierrez gave up two runs out of the bullpen in the bottom of the sixth. But it was Aaron Heilman who allowed the game to get out of hand in the seventh.
Heilman came out and gave up five hits, a triple and a homer included, for five runs, to put the game out of reach.
Joe Saunders was much steadier in his start, going eight innings, giving up two runs, six hits, one walk, and four strikeouts. The two runs he allowed were on solo shots, which might yet be a sign Saunders isn't ready to face major league hitters on a regular basis.
Saunders nevertheless deserves kudos for breaking into the win column yesterday, especially since he almost cracked his head in the third inning.
Saunders threw a near-wild pitch with Fowler on third. Catcher Miguel Montero flipped the ball to Saunders, who collided with Fowler at the plate, knocking him silly -- and getting him out.
He managed to throw five more quality innings for the team, giving the bullpen much needed rest after Collmenter's performance.
Kelly Johnson homered for Arizona in the top of the first and doubled in Ryan Roberts in the sixth. Stephen Drew, Miguel Montero, and Nady all drove in runs, a well-balanced effort from the team.