Arenado dazzles as Rox sweep D-backs

Arenado dazzles as Rox sweep D-backs

PHOENIX -- The Rockies probably wish they could stay at Chase Field a little longer after completing a three-game sweep with a 6-3 win over the D-backs on Sunday afternoon. It was Colorado's fifth victory in six games against the D-backs this year.

"This has been a tough place for us," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "We've had some tough losses here, so it's nice to get off well here. Hopefully, we're exorcising one of our demons."

The D-backs grabbed a 1-0 lead on a Brandon Drury homer in the first, and starter Shelby Miller cruised through the first three innings before the Rockies' bats came alive with a three-run fourth that chased Miller from the game.

Colorado added a solo homer by Gerardo Parra in the fifth and Nolan Arenado hit a two-run homer, his Majors-leading 11th of the year, in the seventh. The offense made a winner of Chad Bettis, who allowed three runs over six innings to improve to 3-1.

Parra's solo home run

"I felt good for the most part," Miller said. "Mechanically, I felt fine. I just in the fourth inning rose my pitch count up a little bit, gave up some hits and got into a jam and couldn't get out of it."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Arenado hits No. 11: After the D-backs had crept to within one run in the previous half-inning, the Rockies' third baseman grabbed the Major League lead in homers all to himself with a two-run shot into the D-backs' bullpen off Randall Delgado.

Arenado's two-run home run

"You can say, 'How big was Nolan?' all day," Weiss said. "He hit the home run to give us some breathing room, and he made a few unbelievable defensive plays." More >

Cast your Esurance All-Star ballot for Arenado and other #ASGWorthy players

Short start again: It's been a rough start to the season for Miller, who was unable to get out of the fourth inning. In three of his six starts this year he has lasted less than four innings. It appeared his mechanics were out of whack again Sunday when he lost command of the strike zone in the fourth.

"He had good stuff," D-backs manager Chip Hale said. "He was getting guys out and just lost the zone there and seemed to press a little bit." More >

Hale on Miller's struggles

Rox wait out Miller: The Rockies strung together four singles and two walks to score three runs in the fourth and knock out Miller. RBI singles were delivered by Arenado and Ben Paulsen, and Charlie Blackmon drew a bases-loaded walk that followed a free pass to pitcher Bettis.

Blackmon's RBI walk

Home-field disadvantage: The D-backs fell to 5-12 at home this season. On the road, the D-backs are 7-3, thanks to an outstanding opening trip that included stops in Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco.

"We're just not relaxing and doing the things that we can do well," Hale said. "We have those guys out there with nobody out and can't get them in. That's just not who we are, and that's happened way too much on this homestand."

McGee gets the save

QUOTABLE
"We're playing better on the road than we are at home. It's kind of weird. This division is up for grabs. Nobody is really running away with it. And we're back to playing good baseball. It's a good feeling right now.'' -- Arenado, on the sweep after losing five in a row at home

"He was pounding the strike zone all day. He did an outstanding job. He's done that pretty much every time out.'' -- Weiss, on Bettis, who threw 67 of 92 pitches for strikes in six-plus innings

Bettis' quality start

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
• For the second game in a row, Rockies All-Star right fielder Carlos Gonzalez was successful in beating the D-backs' defensive shifting. He placed two singles into left field, and both times came around to score. On Saturday, he did the same thing in his first at-bat on his way to a three-hit game. He reached base seven times in 10 plate appearances in the two games he played this series.

• Drury's home run, which landed in the first row beyond the left-field wall and was confirmed by umpires after a brief review, was his fifth of the season and fourth in the past five games.

WHAT'S NEXT
Rockies: Right-hander Jon Gray, still in search of his first Major League win after 11 career starts, faces the Padres on Monday at 8:10 p.m. MT in San Diego. He will be opposed by veteran right-hander James Shields in the opener of a three-game series.

D-backs: After their first off-day since April 11 on Monday, the D-backs open a three-game series with left-hander Patrick Corbin facing the Marlins in Miami at 4:10 MST on Tuesday. That begins a three-city, nine-game trip that also includes stops in Atlanta and Denver.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.

Tony DeMarco is a contributor to MLB.com based in Phoenix and covered the Rockies on Sunday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.