On hill and with bat, Kennedy takes care of Rox

On hill and with bat, Kennedy takes care of Rox

On hill and with bat, Kennedy takes care of Rox
PHOENIX -- Ian Kennedy hurt the Rockies with his arm and with his bat Monday night.

The right-hander tossed eight stellar innings and drove home three runs as the D-backs beat the Rockies, 6-3, at Chase Field.

The win was the fourth straight for the D-backs, who trail the first-place Giants by six games in the National League West.

Kennedy (8-8) won his second consecutive start and has begun to look like the pitcher who won 21 games last year, rather than the inconsistent hurler from 2012.

"I just wanted to go out there and do what I did last time, try to pound the zone," Kennedy said.

Kennedy allowed two runs on five hits over eight innings against the Rockies five days after holding the Reds to one run in eight innings.

"It's not going to happen every time, but it's just good to see him throw back-to-back games with consistency," Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said. "Again he mixed his pitches up, had much better location tonight."

While Kennedy's pitching was impressive, it was his work with the bat that got the most attention from his teammates, as he helped bail the offense out of what could have been a disastrous fourth inning.

Rockies starter Jonathan Sanchez lost command to start the frame, walking the first two batters. Miguel Montero then lined a drive over Tyler Colvin's head in right. Paul Goldschmidt, who was on second at the time, thought Colvin might catch the ball so he headed back to second to tag up.

Meanwhile, Justin Upton, who was on first, realized the ball would get over Colvin's head and took off running. The result was Upton was nearly to third as Goldschmidt rounded the bag and was held up by third-base coach Matt Williams.

Montero, seeing Upton heading to third, tried to go to second. While Goldschmidt was able to stay at third and Upton retreated to second, Montero was tagged out trying to get back to first.

"With nobody out, obviously, you want to make sure if he catches it you can tag up," Goldschmidt said. "And I just think I was 3-5 feet off the bag when I could have been 7-10 feet off, and then I maybe could have been able to score."

Chris Young then popped out, and with two outs it looked like Sanchez was going to wiggle out of a big jam and give the Rockies some momentum.

But after Colorado decided to intentionally walk Ryan Roberts to load the bases and get to Kennedy, the pitcher made the Rox pay by smoking a liner over Dexter Fowler's head in center to clear the bases and give the D-backs a 5-0 lead.

"We had an opportunity there to take advantage of a baserunning mishap on their part," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. "They ran themselves off the bases. Jonathan made some great pitches to get Chris Young out. He had a momentary lapse and made a bad pitch to Ian Kennedy. Next thing you know they have four runs on the board, and really it's the difference in the game."

It was just the second hit for Kennedy on the year.

"That's happened a couple of times where they've walked the guy in front of me to load the bases and I haven't hit the ball very good at all this year," Kennedy said. "I just saw the ball and tried to make solid contact. It felt good to actually do something in that situation."

When he reached third, Kennedy turned toward the D-backs dugout and put his arms out imitating the "Beast Mode" gesture that the Brewers made popular during their playoff run last year.

"There are a bunch of guys that get doubles in big situations, they do something like [Young] does his little gun thing," Kennedy said. "It was something that I wanted to do. I didn't know what to do with my hands."

Said Gibson, "I've never seen him hit a ball that hard or far in [batting practice]."

Willie Bloomquist followed with a double to score Kennedy and give the D-backs a 5-0 lead.

"He's a good hitter," Goldschmidt said of Kennedy. "It's funny that he hasn't had that many hits this year, but he always has good at-bats. I was just thankful that someone drove me in after I made a mistake. That's what's good about this game when the guys pick you up and teammates pick you up."

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.