Rockies avoid a 100-loss season

Players are playing out the string with next year well on their mind

Paul Goldschmidt swung through this pitch in the first inning for a strikeout, but he connected in the ninth off Rockies’ closer Rafael Betancourt to send Monday night’s game into extra innings. Colorado eventually won 7-5 in 13 innings. Enlarge photo

Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

Paul Goldschmidt swung through this pitch in the first inning for a strikeout, but he connected in the ninth off Rockies’ closer Rafael Betancourt to send Monday night’s game into extra innings. Colorado eventually won 7-5 in 13 innings.

PHOENIX – Chris Nelson and his Colorado teammates can take some small satisfaction that the Rockies will avoid losing 100 games this season.

Nelson drove home Tyler Colvin to start a four-run rally in the 13th inning, and the Rockies held off Arizona 7-5 on Monday night. The victory assured Colorado wouldn’t reach 100 losses.

“Nobody wants to lose 100 games in a season,” Nelson said. “Now that that’s over with, we just want to finish the season strong.”

Nelson, who finished 3-for-6 with a double and a run scored, said many Rockies players are beginning the regular spring competition for jobs several months early.

“Guys are out there fighting for positions now,” Nelson said. “We have a lot of guys coming back next year, and you want to be on the 25-man (roster).”

Colvin led off the 13th with a ground-rule double off Brad Bergesen (2-1), and Nelson followed with a looping single to center. Charlie Blackmon later added a bases-loaded, RBI single off Mike Zagurski, the Diamondbacks’ seventh pitcher. Nelson scored on a fielder’s choice, and Matt McBride came home on a wild pitch to complete the rally.

“You look at the bullpen – 5 1/3 (innings), seven hits, four runs but four walks,” said Arizona manager Kirk Gibson. “That is just a killer and very indicative of what we haven’t done. The walks really hurt us.”

Josh Outman (1-3) allowed two runs, walked two and struck out two in 2/3 of an inning for the win.

Josh Roenicke recorded the final two outs for his first career save in his 127th appearance despite issuing a bases-loaded, one-out walk to Konrad Schmidt and a sacrifice fly to Chris Johnson.

“We certainly shouldn’t have done what we did in the bottom of the 13th,” Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. “To give up three or four base on balls ... I can’t comprehend that; I can’t compute that.”

Blackman finished with four hits, including a double.

Paul Goldschmidt sent the game into extra innings when he homered off Rockies closer Rafael Betancourt with one out in the ninth to make it 3-all.

The Rockies scored twice in the eighth to take a 3-2 lead against Arizona starter Wade Miley.

Blackmon reached on an infield single and was sacrificed to second. Miley struck out Jordan Pacheco for the second out, but Josh Rutledge lined a double off the wall in right-center to tie the game at 2.

“Winning that game in that fashion definitely felt good,” Rutledge said.

Colvin doubled just inside the right-field line, scoring Rutledge for Colorado’s first lead.

Miley, making his franchise-record 29th start as a rookie, allowed the three runs and six hits over 7 2/3 innings. He struck out a career-high 10 and did not walk a batter for the second time in three starts.

“I didn’t make some pitches there in the end,” said Miley, who plans to be sitting in a deer stand come this weekend. “I have to forget about those things now and take the positives into the offseason.”

Rockies starter Drew Pomeranz nearly matched Miley during his five-inning stint.

Pomeranz allowed two runs and three hits - the two solo home runs and a third-inning single by John McDonald. He walked two and matched a career high with seven strikeouts.

Aaron Hill gave the Diamondbacks a 1-0 lead two batters into the game with his 25th home run. Gerardo Parra made it 2-0 when he led off the fifth inning with his first home run in more than three months.

Colorado Rockies’ DJ LeMahieu taps the plate in front of Arizona Diamondbacks’ catcher Konrad Schmidt in the decisive 13th inning of Monday night’s game in Phoenix. Colorado scored two in the top of the 13th to beat Arizona 7-5 on Monday night. Enlarge photo

Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

Colorado Rockies’ DJ LeMahieu taps the plate in front of Arizona Diamondbacks’ catcher Konrad Schmidt in the decisive 13th inning of Monday night’s game in Phoenix. Colorado scored two in the top of the 13th to beat Arizona 7-5 on Monday night.