Hoffman’s solid outing leads Rockies past Diamondbacks 5-4
DENVER (AP) — Jeff Hoffman worked his way out of an early jam, with an assist from manager Bud Black in the form of a stern mound visit.
Hoffman weathered a tough second to pitch five solid innings and laid down a bunt single that drove in a key run as the Colorado Rockies beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-4 on Wednesday night.
″(Black) just kind of told me that this is that moment during the game where I’ve been getting bit by the big inning,” said Hoffman, who limited the damage after giving up four consecutive hits to start the second. “It’s nothing more than getting the guy that’s in front of me and then getting the next guy. It wasn’t any magical words or anything like that. It was just, leave it right here. Take a step, take a deep breath and go get them.”
The straightforward approach helped Hoffman snap a five-game losing streak dating back to July 21, 2017.
“I thought Jeff battled really well,” said teammate Scott Oberg, who pitched a scoreless ninth for his first save since 2016. “Things could have taken a different turn in the second inning and he kind of put a stop to it.”
Brendan Rodgers had a two-run single and Trevor Story added three hits for the Rockies, who won their season-high fourth in a row at home and clinched a series win in the four-game set.
Carson Kelly homered and singled to drive in two runs for the Diamondbacks. Adam Jones also went deep and rookie Kevin Cron doubled twice and scored a run.
Hoffman (1-1) allowed three runs and seven hits, helping the Rockies get back to the .500 mark at 27-27. He struck out six and walked two.
Oberg, filling in for injured closer Wade Davis, got three outs for his third career save.
“We’ve played overall, the last month, good baseball,” Black said. “I think we still haven’t found our stride in the rotation. I think that’s coming and that will help us continue this upward push, but we’ve got to stay on it.”
Robbie Ray (4-2) gave up five runs — four earned — in 4 2/3 innings. He walked four and struck out six as his four-game winning streak ended.
Arizona pulled within a run in the fifth on Jones’ two-out solo shot off Hoffman into the left field bleachers.
Colorado added a run in the bottom half on reliever Stefan Crichton’s errant pickoff throw to first, which allowed Nolan Arenado to score from third. But the Diamondbacks again got within a run on Kelly’s homer in the sixth off reliever Seunghwan Oh.
Trailing 2-1 going into the bottom of the fourth, the Rockies drew three consecutive walks from Ray to start the inning and all three scored.
“Obviously, that fourth inning got out of control,” Ray said. “Man, I don’t know what happened. The third inning was pretty dominant; I felt really good. I felt like everything was clicking, and then all of a sudden, it was gone. Baseball’s a funny sport. I don’t know if I’ve ever had that happen where you walk three guys in a row with absolutely non-competitive pitches.”
Rodgers singled to drive in a pair of runs and Hoffman had a two-out bunt single, scoring Ian Desmond from third as the Rockies moved in front 4-2.
Diamondbacks: OF David Peralta is expected to resume light baseball activities as soon as he intensifies his rehab work toward a return from right AC joint inflammation that landed him on the 10-day injured list a week ago.
Rockies: Davis is expected to throw a bullpen in the next day or two, his first since going on the 10-day injured list a week ago with a left oblique strain. ... LHP Chris Rusin, who began the season on the 10-day injured list with a mid-back strain, continued his rehab assignment at Triple-A Albuquerque, where he threw one scoreless inning with two strikeouts. It was his eighth rehab appearance.
Diamondbacks: RHP Taylor Clarke (1-1, 2.93 ERA) is set to make his third career start in Thursday’s series finale. Clarke earned his first big league win in his last outing, allowing three runs and six hits in 6 1/3 innings against San Francisco.
Rockies: LHP Kyle Freeland (2-6, 6.71 ERA) is seeking his first win since April 18 against Philadelphia. He has gone 1-3 with an 8.65 ERA in five starts at home this season.