DENVER -- Nothing seems to be able to stop the D-backs these days.
Whether hitting or pitching does the job, the D-backs keep winning, racking up their ninth straight win Saturday, defeating the Rockies, 6-2, at Coors Field. The win pushed Arizona's separation over Colorado to 5 1/2 games for the top National League Wild Card spot, while the Rockies' lead for the second NL Wild Card remained at 1 1/2 games following a Brewers loss.
"That's our ninth team win a row," said winning pitcher Patrick Corbin, who has won five straight decisions. "As a starter, I'm just trying to keep that great offense down. We have a great offense as well. [J.D. Martinez] came up huge with the [three-run home run] in the first. We kept the lead after that. The bullpen did a great job. I fell behind a little bit more tonight than I have the last couple starts, but you don't want to make a mistake against these guys, and that's something I thought about coming in."
Pitching drove Saturday's victory, as the D-backs' staff combined to hold the Rockies to just four hits. Corbin set the tone with 5 1/3 innings of two-hit ball, giving up two runs (one earned).
"It wasn't the length he's been giving us," manager Torey Lovullo said of Corbin's start. "Patrick pitched into the sixth inning and turned it over to the bullpen. He kept a very offensive lineup in check, a very right-handed-hitting offensive lineup in check that does very well against left-handed pitching."
Fernando Rodney continued his lights-out relief work, pitching a scoreless ninth in a non-save situation.
Rockies starter Jon Gray went five innings, throwing 100 pitches. He gave up three runs on five hits, taking his fourth loss of the year.
"Jon threw the ball great," Rockies manager Bud Black said. "I really like the fact that he held his stuff through 100 pitches. Those last couple pitches, there were some 96, 97 [mph] velocity fastballs. Couple good sliders, struck out the last two guys he faced."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED The big 3-0: All of Gray's runs allowed came in the first inning thanks to Martinez's 30th home run of the year. Gray hung a 2-2 slider -- after Martinez had fouled off a couple -- and Martinez cranked it to straightaway center. The long ball was his 14th with the D-backs and it was all the offense Corbin needed, though a pair of wild pitches -- one in the sixth, one in the ninth -- scored two more Arizona runs, with a Martinez RBI single in the ninth sandwiched in between.
"I feel like every time J.D. steps in the box, something good is going to happen," said D-backs catcher Chris Herrmann. "He's such a threat at the plate. I know the opposing team is probably intimidated by him. Just knowing that he has a chance to hit a home run each and every at-bat has to be tough on those guys. They have to make quality pitches, and if they don't, he's going to make it hurt."
Oh, K? Oh no!: The Rockies didn't have many chances to come back, but a good one came in the seventh. Catcher Jonathan Lucroy and pinch-hitter Mike Tauchman laced back-to-back singles with two outs, bringing Charlie Blackmon -- the Rockies' most consistent hitter all year -- to the plate. Blackmon worked the count to 2-1 against reliever Andrew Chafin, but fouled off a slider and then swung through another, leaving the runners stranded. The Rockies' RISP woes continued, as they finished 0-for-7 Saturday and left six men on base, with both runs coming via run-producing outs.
"There's the combination of not pitching great and not hitting," Black said. "That's gonna result in games like this, where you're sort of hanging around, because you're pitching well enough to hang in there and we're not hitting the ball enough to break through."
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The D-backs have led at the end of 52 consecutive innings, going back to the third inning of the Aug. 25 game against the Giants, according to STATS, LLC.That puts them third in the live-ball era (since 1920), following the '83 Orioles (55 innings) and the '63 Cardinals (53 innings).
"This is a great time for these players. They have not been through this before, and I think it's great for them. They know where they are. They might be pressing, but I sense that they care. That's what I like." -- Black, on whether the Rockies' offense is trying to do too much
"Our guys do a good job handing off the moment to the next when they're supposed to. We link things together here. There's a selflessness to this team that I admire. They're hungry to do the job and execute the way they're supposed to. We know that we're in the thick of the Wild Card race, and we're proud of that, we're racing that day by day. But it's not confusing us. We know what our mission is every day, and that's go out and play good baseball. The Colorado Rockies are a quality team, and we wanted to come here and play the best we possibly could. It's worked out for us for two straight days." -- Lovullo, on the D-backs hitting their stride at the right time
The D-backs challenged a play in the first inning, when Ketel Marte hit a grounder to third with a man on first. Nolan Arenado fielded a hopper down the line barehanded and threw to first in a bang-bang play, and Marte was ruled out. A replay review overturned the call, after Marte's foot was determined to have touched first base prior to the ball contacting the interior of first baseman Mark Reynolds' glove. The Rockies retired the next two batters, but the overturned call came back to haunt them when Martinez homered.
WHAT'S NEXT D-backs:Zack Godley toes the rubber for the D-backs in Sunday's 12:10 p.m. MST series finale with the Rockies. Godley has been a road warrior over his last four starts, posting a 2-2 record with a 2.31 ERA, striking out 27 and walking 10 in 23 1/3 innings. He has faced the Rockies three times in his career, including one start, and the games have all been at Coors Field, where Godley is 1-0 with a 5.59 ERA.
Rockies:German Marquez starts Sunday's finale for the Rockies at 1:10 p.m. MDT, taking the place of Antonio Senzatela. Marquez makes his fifth start vs. the D-backs this season. He's 0-1 with a 3.42 ERA with 20 strikeouts and nine walks. Senzatela had been penciled in after two turns through the rotation, but the rookie is back in the bullpen.