Jack Dempsey/Associated Press
Jack Dempsey/Associated Press
DENVER – Jamie Moyer handcuffed the Arizona Diamondbacks at the plate and in the field.
The 49-year-old lefty pitched neatly into the seventh and drove in two runs with an infield single in Colorado’s 6-1 win Wednesday night.
In the fourth inning, he dribbled a 2-2 fastball in between lefty Patrick Corbin and first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, who fielded the ball and futilely lunged at the old-timer lumbering down the line.
That scored Jordan Pacheco from third, and he was quickly followed by Dexter Fowler, scoring all the way from second base on the 85-foot single and giving the Rockies a 5-0 lead.
“The guy has his back turned, he’s not expecting that,” Fowler said. “I always run hard, especially with two outs.”
The two RBIs tied Moyer’s career high set against Pittsburgh in June 2004 when he was with the Seattle Mariners.
After working the count to 2-2, Moyer squirted the ball off the end of his bat.
“I thought it was going to roll foul,” Moyer said. “And I feel like I hesitated just a little bit, and then ... as I was running down the line, I saw the pitcher stop, and the first baseman, I think he picked it up, and he was going to throw it to the pitcher, and then he realized the pitcher wasn’t (covering the bag).
“So, then it became, I guess, a slow crawl to first base.”
The D-backs said they were caught in no-man’s land.
“At first, I thought I could get to it,” Corbin said. “He called me off, thought he could get to it.”
Still, it was close and from some angles on TV, it looked like Goldschmidt might have made the tag.
“I didn’t feel him tag me,” Moyer said with a shrug.
“I thought I got a piece of him,” Goldschmidt said. “It wasn’t one of those plays where I crushed his leg or anything like that. But that’s how it goes sometimes.”
Moyer said he never considered just jogging out the dribbler.
“I feel like when you’re on the field, if you can’t give your best effort, then you shouldn’t be out there,” he said. “That’s how I was taught the game of baseball and I’m not one of the overly-talented guys in the league, so I always feel I have to try to be on top of things all the time.”
Moyer couldn’t recall ever witnessing a two-run infield single in his nearly quarter-century in the majors.
In fact, he still hasn’t.
“I didn’t see it,” Moyer said of Fowler’s hustling home on the play. “Actually, I didn’t realize it until I came back to the bag, and I stood on the bag, and I looked up, and I just assumed he would be on the base. And my gosh, that’s (third base coach) Rich Dauer. Then, I looked at the scoreboard, and I realized what had happened. It was great hustle.”
Fowler said Moyer’s the one who should be commended.
“I was more shocked that Moyer beat it out,” Fowler said. “The guy was hustling. He was hustling, himself. ... He’s a bulldog. The guy never quits.”
Moyer (2-3) also drew a walk in the sixth, but he was even more impressive on the rubber. He allowed one earned run and six hits in 6 1/3 innings, walked two and struck out five in winning for the first time since April 17, when he broke Jack Quinn’s mark to become the oldest pitcher in major league baseball to win a game.
He outpitched Corbin (2-2), who gave up six runs on nine hits in six innings, in improving to 5-1 lifetime against the Diamondbacks.
Corbin is the second 22-year-old pitcher Moyer has faced this season. The 26-year, 243-day difference in their age marked the fourth-largest differential for starting pitchers in major league history, according to the Rockies’ pregame notes, which cited the Elias Sports Bureau.
“I haven’t really seen him too much,” Corbin said. “Big age difference, obviously, that people were saying. He’s still going out there, and look what he did today, still keeping our hitters off balance. That’s why he’s been around so long.”
The D-backs finally got to Moyer in the seventh when John McDonald led off with a double and scored one out later on pinch-hitter Cody Ransom’s double. That brought in Josh Roenicke, who threw 1 2-3 innings of scoreless relief before Esmil Rogers pitched a perfect ninth.
Fowler, who was recently dropped to eighth in the batting order, went 3 for 3 with a single, double and triple but didn’t get a shot at becoming the seventh Rockies hitter to hit for the cycle. He was on deck when Pacheco made the last out in the bottom of the eighth.