Elehuris Montero made a statement and German Marquez resembled a vintage Marquez.
And, oh yes, Randal Grichuk, who’s finally starting to heat up, went 3-for-4 and hit his 11th homer of the season.
But it was all for naught. Because, after all, these are the 2022 Rockies.
The Rockies blew a three-run lead late in the game and lost 6-5 to the Diamondbacks on Friday night at Chase Field.
“This was a tough one, right?” manager Bud Black told reporters in Phoenix. “The (bullpen) guys at the end have been pretty consistent, especially the last couple of months. But it just goes to show you that every player is not invincible.”
In the eighth inning, D-backs rookie shortstop Geraldo Perdomo delivered the go-ahead, two-run single off set-up man Alex Colome. Jake McCarthy singled and Emmanuel Rivera doubled off Colome to set the table for Perdomo. Black said that the pitches to Perdomo and Rivera were elevated.
The Rockies fell to 4-12 since the All-Star break and are 17-35 away from Coors Field.
Colorado’s seemingly cushy lead evaporated in the seventh with lefty Alex Colome on the mound.
Gilbreath has become one of manager Bud Black’s most-trusted relievers, for good reasons. Since May 30, he had allowed a run just three times over his last 27 appearances. That was good for a 1.33 ERA, the lowest among lefty pitchers during that span.
But Gilbreath was simply bad Friday night. He issued two walks and gave up a two-run double to Josh Rojas as Arizona cut the lead to 5-4. When Gilbreath walked Alex Thomas, Black gave him the hook. Of the 22 pitches Gilbreath threw, 17 were out of the strike zone.
Right-hander Robert Stephenson came in to strike out Ketel Marte and get Christian Walker to ground out to first, preserving Colorado’s lead.
But only momentarily.
The Rockies want to see what they have in Montero, so they are playing the rookie corner infielder as often as possible. They’re liking what they’re seeing.
Montero doubled and scored a run off veteran left-hander Madison Bumgarner in the third inning on Jose Iglesias’ double. His two-run double off Bumgarner in the sixth scored Yonathan Daza and Connor Joe to give the Rockies a 5-2 lead.
“He’s getting a little better, for sure, more comfortable,” Black told reporters. “He will continue to get more comfortable with each and every at-bat.”
Getting a big hit off a pitcher of Bumgarner’s stature and experience is invaluable.
“It’s comforting for (Montero), it’s confidence,” Black said. “So when you come through, it can only help a young player. Hopefully, he can build on that, going forward. It’s so early in his career. It’s in its infancy, but so far, so good.”
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Marquez’s night began on shaky ground. He needed 34 pitches to get through a first inning that included a leadoff walk to Rojas, a balk that advanced Rojas to second and an RBI double by Ketel Marte.
Marquez also served up a leadoff homer to Daulton Varsho in the fourth, but all in all, it was a gritty, effective start. He pitched six innings, allowing two runs on four hits, with three walks and three strikeouts. Early in the game, he unleashed two fastballs that were clocked at 100 mph.
There’s no question that it’s been a disappointing season for Marquez, but he’s pitched well recently. He’s 2-2 with a 3.13 ERA over his last five starts, limiting opponents to a .220 average with three homers over those five games.
Rockies RHP Antonio Senzatela (3-6, 4.87 ERA) at Diamondbacks RHP Merrill Kelly (10-5, 2.87)
6:10 p.m. Saturday, Chase Field
Radio: 850 AM/94.1 FM
Senzatela is coming off a tough loss at San Diego despite giving up just three runs in six innings. Since recovering from right shoulder inflammation and coming off the injured list, the right-hander is 0-1 with a 4.58 ERA in three starts. The D-Backs have roughed up Senzatela, who’s 3-8 with a 6.31 ERA in 15 career starts against them. He’s 2-5 with a 6.69 ERA in eight starts at Chase Field.
Kelly has been terrific lately and he’s riding a 15-inning scoreless streak heading into Saturday’s game. The right-hander was named National League pitcher of the month in July after he went 4-0 with a 1.31 ERA in six starts. Over those six starts, he struck out 33, walked just eight and posted a 0.77 WHIP. Kelly is 2-0 with a 1.15 ERA in two starts vs. Colorado this season and 3-3 with a 4.83 ERA in eight career starts against the Rockies.
Trending: Entering Friday night’s game, the Rockies had doubled in 26 consecutive games, the longest such streak in
the National League this season. It’s the fifth-longest streak in franchise history and the longest since a streak of 27 in 2016-17.
At issue: The Rockies entered Friday’s game with 16 stolen bases — as a team. That’s the fewest in the National League.
Sunday: Rockies RHP Jose Urena (1-3, 4.60) at Diamondbacks RHP Zach Davies (2-4, 4.28), 2:10 p.m., ATTRM
Monday: Off day