D-backs shut out Rockies behind Godley's gem

D-backs shut out Rockies behind Godley's gem

PHOENIX -- Zack Godley delivered his longest outing of the year on Thursday, and was backed by a five-run Arizona first inning as the D-backs shut out the Rockies, 7-0, at Chase Field.

Godley improved to 8-7 on the year and struck out seven Colorado batters over eight innings and didn't allow a walk. It was Godley's third straight start in which he allowed two runs or fewer, and it topped his previous season high of seven innings in a start. Godley got a standing ovation from the Chase Field fans when he walked off the mound in the eighth.

Godley's strong scoreless outing

Godley's ERA is now down to 3.00 on the year, the lowest it's been since Aug. 13.

"He can't get much better than what we saw today," Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. "He was pitch-efficient. If it was another place and time he probably could have thrown a complete game. So maybe here, there and everywhere he could have made better pitches to keep his pitch count down, but he was outstanding today. We won this game today because of Zack Godley."

With the win, the D-backs pushed their lead for first place in the National League Wild Card race to five games over the Rockies. Colorado's lead over the Brewers and Cardinals for second place in the NL Wild Card standings fell to 2 1/2 games after St. Louis picked up a win over the Reds earlier in the day.

"I know that there are a few teams that are right there; right on out heels," Lovullo said. "It's not just the Rockies that we're concerned about in the standings. But we placed all that aside at the right time of the day to go out and execute. We're not paralyzed by what's going on around us. I'm happy that these guys are eliminating the noise."

D-backs' five-run 1st inning

Rockies starter Chad Bettis lasted just one-third of an inning and allowed three walks as the D-backs racked up five runs in the first. A.J. Pollock went 2-for-4 with a three-run double in the first, and Chris Iannetta went 3-for-5 with two doubles.

"Those are tough days," Bettis said.

Manager Bud Black said the two losses at the end of the road trip were disappointing, but the Rockies won their first six to stay in playoff position. They'll play three at home against the Padres starting Friday, before a six-game trip to San Francisco and San Diego.

"You talk about starting pitching, and the last two nights it hasn't been there for us," Black said. "The previous games, it's been there -- or enough to keep us in games and let our offense take over."

J.D. Martinez's 39th home run

Pollock keeps pace: After sparking the D-backs with a three-run homer on Wednesday, Pollock picked up right where he left off on Thursday. The resurgent outfielder smashed a three-run double in the first to clear the bases and push the D-backs' lead to 5-0, chasing Bettis from the game in the process.

Pollock's bases-clearing double

"I was just trying to get a good pitch to hit and put it in the middle of the field and get the runner [home] from third," Pollock said. "Getting one more run would have been a big run for us and I was fortunate to get all of them."

Pollock's RBI single

Desmond double-double: Colorado had a chance to chip away at the D-backs' lead right away, when Gerardo Parra and Trevor Story roped back-to-back singles in the top of the second. But Godley rolled Ian Desmond into a 6-4-3 inning-ending double play to escape the jam. Godley got another double play out of Desmond in the fifth when Ketel Marte tagged his bag and then threw to first. 

D-backs turn two in the 2nd

Since returning on Aug. 29 from a right calf strain -- his second bout with that injury and third disabled list placement this season -- Desmond is hitting .186 (8-for-43).

"Like always, I'm just trying to let my guys behind me work," Godley said. "And like always, they played unbelievably."

The Rockies yielded five runs in the first inning for the first time April 20, 2015, vs. San Diego. The last time it occurred on the road was Sept. 23, 2011, at Houston. 

Story cringed and his right hamstring buckled as he left the batter's box on an eighth-inning fly ball. But the shortstop said he simply "cramped up just a little bit right when I swung the bat, but it released when I started running -- nothing big at all."

Story's stellar defensive play

Rockies: Righty Tyler Chatwood (7-12, 4.70), coming off five scoreless innings in a win over the Dodgers in his last start, will open a key three-game series against the Padres at Coors Field on Friday at 6:40 p.m MT. The night also will feature a reunion for the 2007 Rockies team that went to the World Series.

D-backs: Robbie Ray will get the start Friday night in San Francisco when the D-backs open a three-game series with the Giants at 7:15 p.m. MST. Ray is 4-0 with a 1.42 ERA over his last four starts.

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

Jarrid Denney is a reporter for MLB.com based in Phoenix. He covered the D-backs on Thursday.

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb and like his Facebook page.

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