Apr 01, 2024

Rough Sunday in the desert for Rockies

Posted Apr 01, 2024 5:01 PM

PHOENIX (AP) — Christian Walker hit a two-run homer, Brandon Pfaadt pitched five solid innings and the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Colorado Rockies 5-1 on Sunday.

The D-backs won three of four games in the season-opening series for both teams. Arizona dominated the majority of the weekend, outscoring Colorado 32-14.

“I really couldn't be more pleased with all the little things we did,” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. “They far outweighed the improvements we need to make.”

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. hit an RBI single and Walker ripped his two-run homer to left in the first, lifting the Diamondbacks to a 3-0 lead. Gurriel continued a torrid start to the season; he has three homers, two doubles and 10 RBIs over four games.

The D-backs made it 5-1 with two runs in the fifth after a costly miscue by Colorado's Nolan Jones led to two unearned runs. Jones dropped Ketel Marte's routine fly ball to left with two down, allowing Tucker Barnhart to score.

“You just don't see that a lot,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “It's rare that happens to an outfielder when he's camped under the ball."

Marte came home one batter later on Gurriel's double.

Gurriel had a good moment in the field, too, with a quick, accurate throw to second base that cut down Jake Cave, who was trying to stretch a single into a double in the seventh inning.

Pfaadt (1-0) was a postseason star during last year's run to the World Series and continued that success Sunday. He had an inconsistent rookie year in 2023, but was solid once the calendar turned to October with a 3.27 ERA in 22 innings, giving the team a third starting pitcher it needed.

The D-backs helped Pfaadt with the three-run first. Arizona's offense scored at least two runs in the first inning in all four games of the series.

“That was key to the whole series, getting ahead early,” Pfaadt said. “Then we do our jobs as pitchers.”

The right-hander gave up one run and five hits against the Rockies, striking out six.

Colorado's Ryan Feltner (0-1) was solid after the shaky first, surrendering three earned runs and five hits in five innings. He struck out four and walked two.

“Stuff was solid, my stuff is in a good spot,” Feltner said. “Staying aggressive is the main thing. There were times I let up on some pitches when I shouldn't have.”

It was a difficult defensive day for the Rockies, who had three errors. Jacob Stallings had two hits and the team's lone RBI.


Diamondbacks: CF Alek Thomas left in the fourth and was replaced by Jake McCarthy. The team said he had left hamstring tightness. Lovullo said it was too early to tell if Thomas would miss extended time and that he'd likely have tests done on Monday.


The Diamondbacks host the Yankees for a three-game series starting Monday. Arizona sends RHP Ryne Nelson to the mound for the first game while New York counters with RHP Luis Gil.

The Rockies visit the Chicago Cubs for a three-game series starting Monday. Colorado will start RHP Dakota Hudson against Chicago LHP Shota Imanaga.