Madison Bumgarner keeps Rockies in check in 9-2 Diamondbacks win
PHOENIX — The Rockies entered a Saturday matinee against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field with designs on getting out of the NL West cellar and moving one step closer to a rare road sweep.
Diamondbacks left-hander Madison Bumgarner had other ideas.
Arizona’s ace pitched six effective innings, Josh Rojas had three RBIs, and the Diamondbacks beat Colorado 9-2, ending a two-game win streak for the Rockies that saw them take back-to-back one-run games in Phoenix.
Outfielder Kris Bryant went deep for the third time in two games with a solo shot in the first inning, but the Rockies managed just one run the rest of the game as Bumgarner (5-8) found his rhythm.
He allowed two runs on six hits and struck out five over seven innings to pass Catfish Hunter (84th) and Dan Haren (83rd) on baseball’s all-time strikeout list with 2,014.
“We just didn’t do enough offensively against their pitchers,” Rockies manager Bud Black told reporters after the game. “… We just couldn’t square enough balls up consistently throughout the game.”
The Rockies were playing without first baseman C.J. Cron and shortstop Jose Iglesias — both of whom were injured in Friday night’s 6-5 victory. Neither is expected to go on the injured list.
A win would’ve moved Colorado one step closer to its first four-game road series sweep since Aug. 16-19, 2018, at Atlanta.
Colorado hasn’t swept a road series longer than two games since Aug. 24-26, 2020, at Arizona. Instead, the Rockies will go for their fourth series win away from Coors Field this season (out of 13 total) on Sunday.
Jordan Luplow had a run-scoring single in Arizona’s three-run first inning against Kyle Freeland (4-7) and hit a solo homer in the fifth. Rojas had a two-run double in the seventh inning and a run-scoring double in the eighth to finish with three of Arizona’s 12 hits. Geraldo Perdomo added a two-run single.
Bumgarner has struggled early in starts in his third season in the desert, allowing 27 runs the first two innings of his first 17 starts. The left-hander looked like he might be in for another rough beginning when Bryant, the second batter he faced, launched his 394-foot bomb over the D-backs’ bullpen in left.
But Bumgarner settled in, giving up Charlie Blackmon’s run-scoring single in the third inning before striking out four of the final five batters he faced.
Freeland had even shakier start to his day in a performance that was almost the exact opposite of his losing start in Los Angeles last Monday.
In that game, Freeland had a perfect game going through four innings before the Dodgers got to him with a four-run fifth highlighted by Trayce Thompson’s three-run homer.
On Saturday, the left-hander gave up a sacrifice fly to Christian Walker four batters into the game. Luplow’s run-scoring single and Cooper Hummel’s RBI groundout gave the D-backs a 3-1 lead after one inning.
Freeland retired 15 of the next 16 batters until Luplow hit a two-out solo homer in the sixth inning. He was lifted after a pair of one-out singles in the seventh inning and Rojas put Arizona up 6-2 with his two-run double.
Freeland allowed six runs on seven hits.