Ryan McMahon owned the night on Tuesday, but the Diamondbacks owned the final line.
The Rockies’ third baseman blasted three solo homers for a combined 1,247 feet in the series opener against Arizona and tied a franchise record with 14 total bases. But the Diamondbacks prevailed 10-8 anyways after plating three runs off rookie southpaw Ben Bowden in a decisive 13th.
Colorado dropped to 1-4 in the loss at Coors Field. Beyond wasting McMahon’s career night at the plate, the defeat also squandered a two-out, ninth-inning homer by Sam Hilliard to force extras as well as RBIs by Josh Fuentes and Garrett Hampson to further extend the game.
“I was pretty cold, not going to lie, like the rest of us in the stadium were,” McMahon said. “But I felt good about my approach and I felt good about the results I got tonight.”
With the California tiebreaker rule in effect for Colorado’s first extra-innings game of the year, an error by C.J. Cron on a grounder through his legs allowed the Diamondbacks to re-take a 6-5 lead in the 10th. But the Rockies came back again, with Fuentes’ pinch-hit RBI double tying the game. Hampson also helped Colorado respond, with a sacrifice fly to score Fuentes in the 12th to tie the game at 7-7.
But it wasn’t enough for Colorado in a game that lasted 4 hours, 26 minutes and was the longest extra-innings game the Rockies have played with the California rule in effect, after their longest game in 2020 (the first year of the rule) went 11 innings.
“It was really a crazy game, especially when you get into the man-on-second in extra innings rule,” Rockies manager Bud Black said.
McMahon got Colorado on the board first on a chilly night in LoDo where the game was delayed 51 minutes by rain. His homer to right-center in the second made it 1-0, and then two batters later, Dom Nunez’s rope down the right field line barely cleared the wall for a 2-0 lead.
Another McMahon homer in the fourth, this one to center field and again off Diamondbacks starter Luke Weaver, put Colorado up 3-0. But that advantage would not hold.
The Diamondbacks got on the board in the fifth with Weaver’s two-out, RBI-single. Then in the sixth, German Marquez made a mistake on an elevated sinker to Christian Walker, who blasted it for a two-run homer to tie the game at 3-3.
Marquez, who struggled with command with a career-high-tying six walks in his opening day start, had moments of inconsistency again on Tuesday. The right-hander’s final line included five hits, five strikeouts and two walks.
Stephen Vogt followed with another two-run shot in the seventh, this time off Yency Almonte, after the right-hander yielded a bloop single to Geraldo Perdomo for the rookie shortstop’s first MLB hit. That gave the Diamondbacks a 5-3 lead, which McMahon cut into with his third homer (to right again, off Alex Young) in the seventh.
Tyler Kinley worked around his own erraticism (walk, wild pitch, hit by pitch) in the eighth and Carlos Estevez kept Arizona off the board in the ninth before Hilliard’s clutch homer sent the game into extras.
Mychal Givens put up a zero in the 11th and Robert Stephenson allowed one run in the 12th, but Arizona finally broke through off Bowden in the 13th with three runs on three hits — all of which came with two outs.
McMahon’s performance marked the 18th three-homer game by a Rockies player, with the last coming by Trevor Story on Sept. 5, 2018, in a win over the Giants at Coors Field. McMahon’s dingers all came on three different pitches — first a fastball, then a changeup and a slider. He also added an RBI double in the 13th.
The fact that the Rockies couldn’t ride McMahon’s bat to a win is historic, as the last time the team lost when a player had four extra base-hits and three homers was nearly 20 years ago. The Indians fell in extra innings on June 19, 2001, despite a 5-for-7 effort from Ellis Burks, who homered three times.
However, Fuentes’ late-game play was a promising sign for the Rockies health-wise. The corner infielder didn’t start in Sunday’s series finale against Los Angeles or on Tuesday because of soreness in his left wrist.
“(Fuentes) tested it earlier in the day in the cage and felt good,” Black said. “When it got to the point in the game when we needed Josh, he was ready to go… He seems to have healed from that soreness. We’ll see (Wednesday) again how it is but hopefully that’s behind him.”
Diamondbacks LHP Madison Bumgarner (0-0, 13.50 ERA in 2020) at Rockies RHP Antonio Senzatela (0-1, 18.90)
6:40 p.m. Wednesday, Coors Field
TV: AT&T SportsNet
Radio: KOA 850 AM/94.1 FM
Both starters are coming off ugly debuts, with Bumgarner getting roughed up for six runs in four innings in Arizona’s season opener and Senzatela allowing seven runs in three-plus innings to the Dodgers last week. Senzatela didn’t fare well in two starts against Arizona in 2020, posting a 7.84 ERA, and hasn’t fared much better over the course of his career against the Diamondbacks with a 6.19 ERA in 13 games (nine starts). Bumgarner, meanwhile, has a respectable 3.20 ERA in 36 career starts against Colorado, with a 4.56 ERA in 17 starts in LoDo.
Trending: Trevor Story has dominated Arizona pitching in the 76 career games against the divisional foe heading into Tuesday. He has 20 homers and his .641 slugging percentage is the second-highest all-time against the Diamondbacks (minimum 250 plate appearances). He only trails Barry Bonds (.693).
At issue: It’s early, but the Rockies are once again having trouble getting on base after that issue plagued them throughout all of 2020. Entering Tuesday, Colorado’s sixth-worst in the majors with a .276 team OBP.
Thursday: Diamondbacks RHP Merrill Kelly (0-1, 6.75) at Rockies RHP Jon Gray (0-0. 1.80), 1:10 p.m., ATTRM
Friday: Rockies LHP Austin Gomber (0-1, 3.00) or RHP Chi Chi Gonzalez (1-0, 5.40), at Giants RHP Johnny Queto (0-0, 4.76), 2:35 p.m., ATTRM
Saturday: Gonzalez or Gomber at Giants TBD, 2:05 p.m., ATTRM