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Tony Wolters contributes with bat to Colorado Rockies' 11-6 victory

By Jack Etkin, The Sports Xchange
Tony Wolters contributes with bat to Colorado Rockies' 11-6 victory
Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Jorge De La Rosa (29). Photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI | License Photo

DENVER -- The Colorado Rockies consider any offense they get from backup catcher Tony Wolters to be a bonus.

His priority is handling pitchers, an area where he has excelled in his rookie season. But in Colorado's 11-6 victory Saturday over the Arizona Diamondbacks, Wolters came through in a big way with his bat.

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Wolters entered the game with a .194 average, 11 RBIs and a .547 OPS before going 3-for-3 with a double and his first career home run.

Wolters had a career-high four RBIs and tied his career high with three hits as the Rockies broke a three-game losing streak and won for only the third time in nine contests.

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"I've been trying to just clean up my swing and try to get my barrel to the zone longer," Wolters said. "When I have contact, that's when I can impact the game a little bit, help the team out (with) hit-and-runs, bunting."

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The Diamondbacks lost for only the second time in nine games and fourth time in their past 14 contests.

With their bullpen heavily taxed, the Rockies needed an effective start from Jorge De La Rosa and got it. He gave up one run in six innings but matched a season high with five walks that elevated his pitch count to a season-high 107.

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De La Rosa (5-4) struck out six and escaped trouble in the fourth and fifth innings, ending them double plays on his way to getting 10 outs on ground balls.

Since returning to the rotation June 14 after making three appearances in long relief, De La Rosa is 3-0 with a 2.12 ERA.

"We know how good he's been here for years," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "To see him back to form has been a huge lift for us. He was falling into predictable patterns before. He's got a great changeup. But hitters were starting to sit on it, and the other stuff wasn't showing up. Now he's gotten back to his (complete) pitch mix."

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The Rockies had surrendered four-, three- and one-run leads while losing their past three games. They used five relievers in the first game, followed by three and six to pitch a total of 12 innings in those losses.

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Closer Carlos Estevez was unavailable after pitching three of the past four days. So Rockies manager Walt Weiss gave the closing duties to Gonzalez Germen, who got the final four outs for his third career save after pitching in three of the four previous games.

"It was just a matter of when I was going to bring him in," Weiss said. "I didn't want him to have to get five or six outs."

Wolters connnected on a 3-1 fastball for a two-run homer in the sixth off Arizona starter Shelby Miller (2-7), a drive into the Rockies' bullpen in right center that traveled an estimated 421 feet.

"I've always hit a home run where I'm sprinting, and I see it go out maybe like halfway to second base," Wolters said. "I've never hit the first base coach's hand when I'm hitting a home run. It almost pushed me off first. I almost didn't touch first."

The Rockies also got homers from Charlie Blackmon on Miller's second pitch of the game to knot the score at 1 and a three-run shot from DJ LeMahieu in the eighth that gave Germen an ample cushion.

Four straight one-out hits netted three runs in the fourth and gave the Rockies a 4-1 lead. Trevor Story lined a double into the gap in right center and scored when Daniel Descalso singled. Brandon Barnes' single put runners on the corners and both scored when Wolters flared an opposite-field, hit-and-run double to left with two outs. Barnes, who had three hits and scored three runs, scored from first on the play after the initial out call was overturned.

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"I think with this offense and being in a tough ballpark to pitch, you have to eliminate mistakes," Miller said. "I made pitches at times. I thought the second and third innings, we had some quick innings there which were great, and the fourth got away from us."

Justin Miller, who took over for De La Rosa, yielded a two-run homer to Michael Bourn. Chad Qualls gave up a run-scoring single to pinch-hitter Jake Lamb with one out in the eighth. Jean Segura followed with a run-scoring groundout that trimmed the lead to 7-5 and brought Germen out of the bullpen.

Germen gave up run-scoring double to Bourn that made it a one-run game. But after intentionally walking Goldschmidt, Germen got Yasmany Tomas to ground into a force play.

NOTES: Rockies LHP Yohan Flande had his contract selected from Triple-A Albuquerque, where he is 3-3 with a 4.26 ERA in 18 games, including one start. ... Rockies RHP Miguel Castro was optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque. He is 0-0 with a 6.14 ERA in 19 games in three stints this season with the Rockies and in his latest one allowed five runs and eight hits in 2 2/3 innings with one blown save in six games. ... Diamondbacks RHP Silvino Bracho was recalled from Triple-A Reno, where he is 0-1 with 15 saves and a 3.12 ERA in 25 games, and began his fourth stint this season with Arizona. ... Diamondbacks RHP Zack Godley was optioned to Triple-A Reno. He is 1-0 with a 4.35 ERA in five games (one start) for Arizona. ... Diamondbacks 1B Paul Goldschmidt has reached base in 47 consecutive games against the Rockies, one shy of the record 48-game on-base streak against them set by Mike Piazza. ... Rockies CF Charlie Blackmon hit his 17th career leadoff home run and fifth this season.

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