DENVER -- The D-backs and Rockies are two teams heading in opposite directions. Both fighting for National League Wild Card spots, the D-backs won their 10th straight game on Sunday -- sweeping the Rockies with a 5-1 victory at Coors Field -- and elevated their lead for the top berth to 6 1/2 games.
"You don't just win 10 games by accident," Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. "You do a lot of things right. You're building innings, getting timely hitting, your pitchers are doing their jobs. It's a great atmosphere here right now. These guys deserve this moment."
The D-backs' 10-game streak is the second longest in club history behind a 12-game run from June 18-30, 2003.
The Rockies, meanwhile, own just a half-game lead for the second Wild Card spot after the Brewers won earlier Sunday. That lead is the smallest the Rockies have had for a playoff berth since April 15, when they led the NL West by the same margin.
"Tough series for sure, tough series," Rockies manager Bud Black said. "They outhit, they outpitched us, they out-defended us. It was a tough series, so we gotta bounce back."
Though D-backs starter Zack Godley walked six batters in six innings, the Rockies only managed one run against him. Godley gave up only three singles as the Rockies' offense continued to scuffle -- the hosts finished 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position and finished 2-for-30 in that category in the series.
"I feel like I threw the ball well," Godley said. "I didn't get some close calls that [could] go either way. They didn't give them to me, and I just had to work around that and keep trying to get guys out."
Rockies starter German Marquez went toe-to-toe with Godley for five innings, but faltered in the sixth. The D-backs hit two home runs off Marquez that inning, spoiling an otherwise stellar start.
"He threw the ball with good velocity and command, with the exception of the home run to [Brandon Drury]," Black said. "But good curveball. A few changeups, a few sliders. He did his thing, but I'm sure he'd want to have that homer back."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED DJ, turn it to 11: Rockies second baseman DJ LeMahieu extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a leadoff single in the fifth. LeMahieu grounded one to where the shortstop normally plays, but the D-backs' extreme shift -- which has been going on all series vs. LeMahieu -- left an ocean of open field. The single set the table for Charlie Blackmon, batting third for the second time this season, to drive in LeMahieu two batters later to even the score at 1-1. The Rockies ran into some bad luck later that inning, when Blackmon was called out of the basepaths while evading a tag on a ground ball.
LeMahieu ended up hitting 3-for-12 (.250) for the series, with a double, a triple, and three runs scored, and he faced the shift whenever the D-backs had right-handers on the mound.
Marte party: Immediately after Blackmon knotted it up, D-backs outfielder Ketel Marte untangled the score. Marte led off the top of the sixth with his fifth home run of the year, putting the D-backs on top for good. The long ball seemed to rattle Marquez, as he gave up a first-pitch single to the next batter and a two-run homer to Drury later that inning.
"Those are just things that are gonna happen," Marquez said through an interpreter. "I just need to focus on my next start, be ready to come out and on the game of baseball. Those things happen."
"We're aware of the standings. I'd be a liar if I said we're not paying attention to it. It's September, we're in a race, so we need to. The fact is that we are playing good baseball, and we're not going to take anything for granted. It's not the time for us to take our foot off the gas pedal. We want to continue to do what we're doing and play good baseball. When we left Phoenix, we knew we were coming up here against a very, very tough Colorado team that was fighting for the same turf we were. That separation's nice, but it's not going to mean we let up." -- Lovullo
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Arizona's streak of 52 consecutive innings with a lead came to an end in the first inning Sunday when Marquez struck out the side to open the game. The 52-inning streak began on Aug. 27 and was the third longest in the live ball era (since 1920), trailing only the 1983 Orioles (55 innings) and the '63 Cardinals (53 innings), according to STATS, LLC. The Cardinals won 93 games in '63, finishing second to the eventual World Series champion Dodgers. The Orioles won 98 in '83 and went on to win the World Series.
The D-backs kept a streak going of 79 innings without trailing, having been tied or ahead since the third inning of the Aug. 25 game against the Giants. The record is 102 consecutive innings without trailing, held by the 2002 A's.
With one on and nobody out Gerardo Parra hit a grounder down the third-base line in the bottom of the eighth inning. Third baseman Jake Lamb bare-handed it and threw to first, where Parra was called safe in a bang-bang play. The D-backs challenged the call, and after reviewing all relevant angles, the replay official could not definitively determine that first baseman Kristopher Negron had firm and secure possession and complete control of the ball prior to Parra's foot touching the base.
WHAT'S NEXT D-backs: Arizona heads to Los Angeles on Monday to face the Dodgers, whom they swept in Arizona last week. Left-hander Robbie Ray toes the rubber in a 5:10 p.m. MST tilt. Ray is 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA in four starts against the Dodgers this year, and he has a lifetime 2.19 ERA at Dodgers Stadium.
Rockies: Colorado will be back at it on Monday afternoon, beginning a three-game set with the Giants at Coors Field at 1:10 p.m. MDT. Chad Bettis (0-1, 4.88 ERA) makes his fifth start coming back from his cancer recovery. Bettis struggled his last two outings, averaging an earned run per inning, but he will look to get back on track.