PHOENIX (AP) — Kyle Freeland extended his unbeaten streak to 10 starts, and Colorado beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 2-0 on Sunday for a three-game sweep than kept the Rockies 1 1/2 games behind St. Louis for the NL’s second wild card with one week remaining in the regular season.
Arizona lost for the seventh time in eight games and was eliminated from contention in the NL West and wild-card race. The Diamondbacks led the division entering the final month but are 5-16 in September.
Freeland (16-7) allowed seven hits in seven innings, struck out six and walked one, lowering his ERA to 2.84. He is 7-0 since an Aug. 10 loss at St. Louis.
Zach Godley (14-11) lost his fourth straight, allowing six hits and three walks in five innings.
Freeland got out of a first-and-third jam in the seventh, retiring Eduardo Escobar on an inning-ending popout. After Adam Ottavino walked a pair of batters with one out in the eighth, Seughwan Oh struck out A.J. Pollock and retired Ketel Marte on a flyout.
Wade Davis got three straight outs for his NL-leading 41st save in 47 chances.
Charlie Blackmon led off the game with a single to shallow center that extended his hitting streak to a career-high 15 games.
Rockies: Manager Bud Black didn’t announce his starting lineup until 45 minutes before first pitch, waiting to see how All-Star shortstop Trevor Story looked in an on-field workout. Story hit, took ground balls and made strong throws to first base, but Garrett Hampson started at shortstop. Story, who left last Monday’s game with a right elbow injury, missed his fifth straight game.
Diamondbacks: RF Steven Souza Jr. left after the fourth inning with lower back spasms. ��������������������������
Rockies: After going 44-37 on the road, Colorado opens its final homestand with LHP Tyler Anderson (6-9) scheduled to face Philadelphia and Zach Eflin (11-7) on Monday.
Diamondbacks: LHP Robbie Ray (6-2) is scheduled to start Monday’s series opener against the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers, who go with star LHP Clayton Kershaw (8-5., 2.45). Ray has allowed three runs or fewer in each of his last nine starts.
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Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo wipes his brow during a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies, Sunday, Sept 23, 2018, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Darryl Webb)
PHOENIX – The Arizona Diamondbacks spent 125 days in first place in the National League West this season.
The tides have turned. Shortly after the D-backs were eliminated from postseason contention with wins by the Los Angeles Dodgers and the St. Louis Cardinals, they were swept by fellow NL West team Colorado Rockies.
The D-backs lost 2-0.
Zack Godley started for the D-backs and had a good outing despite not getting the win. Although he allowed six hits and walked two in five innings, Godley was able to dial up five strikeouts and harmless flyouts when needed that kept the team in the game.
Godley’s only costly mistakes were an RBI-double in the third inning by Nolan Arenado and an RBI-single by Gerardo Parra in the fifth. DJ LeMahieu scored both runs.
“I got ahead with strike one, and they were really patient. Just kinda the exact opposite of the approach they took to me in my last outing against them and just kinda the way they’ve been for the majority of this season,” said Godley. “It’s kind of a change of pace, but I was able to get ahead and get guys out.”
The D-backs were in the game. They just couldn’t provide Godley with any run support.
Offensively, the D-backs are still MIA. Excluding the game against the Chicago Cubs on September 19 where manager Torey Lovullo started his backups, you would have to go back 11 games to find the last time they scored 5+ runs.
Prior to Sunday’s game, Lovullo addressed a number of factors that he felt has contributed to the offensive inconsistency this season.
“Those are things that we’re going to look at, we’re going to figure out, and try to understand why it backed up on us,” he stated.
“What went wrong? Probably ten different things, and they all have an equal impact,” confessed Lovullo. “Maybe the humidor and the numbers that I talked to you guys about at the midway point in the season had something to do with it. Maybe the injuries. I don’t know. There’s a few things I will go over.”
The offense was still seemed lost in this game and was unable to figure out Kyle Freeland and the Rockies pitching staff in this one. Freeland went seven innings, allowing seven hits and no runs with six strikeouts and one walk.
The D-backs will look to play spoiler and defender of this house as they do battle with division leader Los Angeles Dodgers in their next series and attempt to prevent them from celebrating clinching yet another NL West division title at Chase Field.
– David Peralta is hitting .400 against the Rockies this season with five doubles, four home runs, and 13 RBI.
– Godley allowed two runs or less in a start for the 17th time this season. This was his first start in September with two runs or less allowed.
– The bullpen didn’t give up any runs in four innings of work.
– The D-backs snapped their 56 consecutive game streak with an extra-base hit.
– Charlie Blackmon extended his hitting streak to a career-high 15 games in the first at bat of the game.
– Godley didn’t have an inning pitched without a base runner. He started four of his five innings pitched by allowing the first batter of the inning to reach base. While he did do a great job at limiting the damage, the Rockies were a threat to score throughout his time on the mound.
– Paul Goldschmidt went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.
STAT OF THE GAME
.238 – After dropping to 5-16, .238 is the D-backs winning percentage in the month of September
HE SAID IT
“We’ve had a lot of confidence from the first day of Spring Training that we could play well enough to make the playoffs and then make a run in them, but especially these last few weeks we didn’t play well enough. You’re going to think back on it and, you know, it just stinks. You want to play well enough, and we didn’t play well enough.” – Paul Goldschmidt after the loss.
– The D-backs are 1-5 in this current homestand.
– Sunday’s game was Fan Appreciation Day at Chase Field with a number of promotions and contests that included one lucky fan winning a 2018 Ford Echosport.
– The D-backs have reached the 2 million mark for fan attendance in all 21 seasons of the team’s existence.
– First pitch was at 1:10 p.m. with an indoor temp of 75 degrees and an outdoor temperature of 96 degrees. 29,191 were in attendance.
The D-backs will look to defend Chase Field in their final home series of the year against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday. Lefty Robbie Ray will face off against Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw. First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 p.m. with pregame coverage beginning 40 minutes earlier on 98.7 FM, Arizona’s Sports Station.
Ray is 6-2 this season with a 3.92 ERA. He has allowed three runs or less in each of his last nine starts. Since August 1st, he is ranked fifth in the NL in opponent batting at .176. He has three consecutive quality starts at home.
Andriese is expected to move back to the bullpen during the upcoming week with Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo naming Matt Koch the team’s starting pitcher for Tuesday’s game against the Dodgers, Steve Gilbert of MLB.com reports.
Andriese received the first opportunity to enter the rotation in place of Clay Buchholz (elbow), who sustained a season-ending injury Sept. 13. The right-hander’s first start with the Diamondbacks was disastrous, as he lasted just two innings while giving up five runs on five hits to take the loss Sept. 18 against the Cubs. Koch, meanwhile, shined in long relief behind Andriese with four scoreless innings , so he’ll get a look in the fifth starter’s role during the final week of the season.
Hendricks (12-11) struck out eight and walked one. A.J. Pollock hit a leadoff homer against Hendricks in the ninth and Paul Goldschmidt added a two-out single before Justin Wilson relieved and closed things out.
Javier Baez homered in Chicago’s three-run sixth inning that broke open what had been a pitcher’s duel between Hendricks and Patrick Corbin (11-6).
Kris Bryant also homered, and the Cubs maintained their 2 1/2-game lead in the NL Central after second-place Milwaukee beat Cincinnati earlier Monday.
The Diamondbacks led the NL West when the month began but opened the day four games behind first-place Colorado. Arizona has lost 8 of 10 to fall five games out of the second wild card.
The Cubs were struggling on offense, coming off a weekend series in which they scored only five runs in three games. They thrilled a largely pro-Chicago crowd at Chase Field in the sixth, when Albert Almora Jr. and Bryant led off with back-to-back singles. Bryant worked an eight-pitch at-bat against Corbin before his base hit that moved Almora to third base.
Anthony Rizzo hit into a fielder’s choice to drive in Almora, and Baez followed with a line drive into the seats in left-center field to make it 3-0.
The sea of blue-and-white-clad Cubs fans roared as Baez rounded the bases.
Bryant went opposite field for his 12th home run, a two-run shot in the eighth off reliever Randall Delgado.
Cubs catcher Willson Contreras ran hard after making contact in his at-bats Monday, including on a deep fly to center in the fourth that was caught. Cubs manager Joe Maddon criticized Contreras for admiring a long fly ball that ended in a double during a 2-1 loss to Cincinnati on Sunday. Maddon said Monday he thought the criticism had gotten out of hand.
Players from the NBA’s Phoenix Suns were introduced before the game, as the Diamondbacks recognized their downtown neighbors whose season opens next month. Trevor Ariza, Ryan Anderson, Mikal Bridges, Elie Okobo, De’Anthony Melton and Shaquille Harrison were in attendance, with Ariza throwing out the ceremonial first pitch.
Cubs: OF Kyle Schwarber and IF Tommy La Stella did not make the trip to Phoenix due to back injuries. … RHP Brandon Morrow (forerarm) could return from the disabled list in the next few days. He’s been out since mid-July. … SS Addison Russell was checked by a trainer after stretching across the second base bag in an attempt to complete a double play in the fifth inning. He stayed in the game.
Cubs: LHP Mike Montgomery (4-5) is set to face Arizona on Tuesday night, his career-high 17th start of the season.
Diamondbacks: Arizona announced before Monday’s game that right-hander Matt Andriese is slated to start Tuesday’s game against the Cubs. Andriese (3-5) started four games for Tampa Bay before being traded to the Diamondbacks.
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Andriese will enter the rotation in place of Clay Buchholz, who was ruled out for the remainder of the season after suffering an elbow injury. The right-hander has made four starts this season, but he’s been working in relief since joining the Diamondbacks at the end of July, so he likely won’t throw more than a few innings in Tuesday’s spot start. It’s unclear if Andriese will stick in the rotation after Tuesday or if he’ll return to the bullpen, though that could depend on how he fares. He owns a 4.76 ERA, 1.32 WHIP and 59:18 K:BB across 59.2 big-league innings this season.