PHOENIX — Antonio Senzatela picked a great night for perhaps his best outing of the season.
The Colorado right-hander allowed three hits in seven strong innings and the Rockies kept pace in their playoff push with a 5-1 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday night.
With eight games to play, the Rockies trail the first-place Los Angeles Dodgers by 1 1/2 games in the NL West and are 1 1/2 behind St. Louis for the final NL wild-card spot.
“We don’t have many games left,” Colorado catcher Chris Iannetta said. “We need some help from teams ahead of us to lose some games and we have to win a bunch. It’s going to be difficult but we’ll just try to win one each day and be happy.”
Arizona, meanwhile, has lost 11 out of 14 and is on the brink of mathematical elimination from playoff contention with a week to go.
Iannetta drove in two with a bases-loaded single in Colorado’s four-run third inning against Patrick Corbin (11-7). Iannetta got a third RBI when Brad Boxberger walked him with the bases loaded in the ninth.
Senzatela (6-6) retired the first 14 batters before A.J. Pollock hit a 1-1 pitch just over the left-field wall, Pollock’s 19th homer of the season, with two outs in the fifth.
Senzatela thought it was his best performance of the season, considering the circumstance.
“I had a lot of confidence in my fastball, the action of my fastball down in the zone,” he said through a translator. “I just felt I could throw it at any point and I was going to have good results.”
The only other batters to reach base against the Colorado right-hander were Alex Avila, whose leadoff single in the sixth was erased by a double play, and Eduardo Escobar, who singled to lead off the seventh.
Senzatela, who has won his last two outings after going 0-3 in his previous four, threw just 75 pitches, allowing a run and striking out four with no walks.
“Tonight was big for him, man,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “He’s still growing as a pitcher but a great job tonight. Repeated his delivery outstanding. … He’s an aggressive pitcher who attacks.”
A hit batter and two walks by Corbin loaded the bases for Colorado with two outs in the third. Iannetta lashed a two-run single, David Dahl followed with an RBI single down the right-field line, Garrett Hampson drove in another with a single to center and the Rockies led 4-0.
In his shortest outing of the season, Corbin went three innings, allowing four runs and five hits with four walks, a hit batter and five strikeouts. He threw 44 pitches in the third inning alone.
“There’s no secrets with Corbin said,” Black sad. “This guy’s an All-Star pitcher with maybe, arguably one of the best sliders in the game and I thought overall we did a pretty good job of laying off on the low slider.”
It may have been Corbin’s final home game as a Diamondback. He becomes a free agent after this season.
“I wasn’t the type of outing I was expecting out of Patrick,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. “He got nicked up with a 44-pitch third inning and by that time, I guess as you look at the final score of the game, the damage has been done. … I am disappointed in a lot of things over the past several weeks and you can go ahead and say the entire year. ”
Colorado’s Charlie Blackmon singled twice to extend his hitting streak to 14 games, tying a career high.
Rockies: Manager Bud Black said SS Trevor Story “had a good day in the batting cage” and that “We’re real close to turning him loose.” Story injured his elbow throwing the baseball Monday night against the Dodgers in Los Angeles and has not played since. It was initially thought to be a more severe injury but an MRI showed no structural damage.
Colorado sends LHP Kyle Freeland (15-7, 2.95 ERA) to the mound and Arizona counters with RHP Zack Godley (14-10, 4.79) Sunday in the final meeting of the teams this season.