PHOENIX — Colorado’s bid to gain ground in the NL West appeared to be in jeopardy when German Marquez gave up a leadoff double and a two-run homer in the opening inning Friday night.
The right-hander shook off those two first-pitch hits, shutting down the Arizona Diamondbacks the rest of the way in a game the Rockies needed to win.
Marquez struck out 11 in seven innings and Ian Desmond had three RBIs, lifting Colorado to a 6-2 win over the Diamondbacks on Friday night.
“After the home run, I saw a little different mound presence from Marquez,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “He said, ‘Ok, that’s it, nothing else is going to happen.’ That was pretty cool.”
The Rockies bounced back nicely after a three-game sweep by the Los Angeles Dodgers dropped them 2 1/2 games back in the NL West and 1 1/2 games behind St. Louis for the second NL wild card.
The Cardinals won again, but the Dodgers lost 5-3 to San Diego, leaving the Rockies 1 1/2 back in the division.
Marquez (13-10) put them in position, shaking off David Peralta’s homer in the first inning with six scoreless frames. He allowed six hits and tied Pedro Astacio (1999) for second on Colorado’s single-season strikeout list with 210. Marquez is the third Colorado pitcher — with Astacio and Ubaldo Jimenez — with 200 strikeouts in a season.
The right-hander’s outing gave the Rockies time to adjust to Zack Greinke.
Greinke (14-11) carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning and struck out six, but the Rockies scored four runs in the eighth after he left with one out. Desmond hit a two-run single off Brad Ziegler in Colorado’s team-record 42nd road win.
“We are a good team,” Marquez said through a translator. “We always believe in our offense and know that at any given moment, we’re going to break out of this. It was a great feeling to come out of the game and see them put up those runs.”
Arizona had its chances, but failed in a couple of key situations while going 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position. The Diamondbacks have lost five of six to drop six games behind the Cardinals in the wild-card race.
“I didn’t feel like they were awful pitches, just good hitting,” Ziegler said.
Greinke allowed four runs in 6 1/3 innings in a loss to Houston his last start. The right-hander was sharp early on against the Rockies, not allowing a ball out of the infield for the first two innings or a hit until Desmond’s run-scoring single with one out in the fifth.
D.J. LeMahieu tied it at 2 with a run-scoring double off Greinke in the sixth.
Greinke allowed three runs and four hits in 7 1/3 innings.
“You get out to a 2-0 lead you feel like things are going to go in a real good direction, especially the way Zack has thrown the ball,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. “He was executing a great game plan and I thought he had some of the best stuff he had all year. They chipped away on at him and obviously the eighth inning got away from us.”
Colorado’s four-run eighth came after a video review went in its favor.
With two runners on and one out, LeMahieu hit a ball back to Ziegler, who fired it to second. Shortstop Nick Ahmed tried to turn a double play, but made a weak throw to first as Charlie Blackmon slid hard into second base.
Blackmon kicked his leg out and raised his arms, prompting the Diamondbacks to call for an umpire review for runner interference. After a long review, the play was upheld and the Rockies went on to score four runs in the inning.
“It’s pretty clear to me by the letter of the law that it is an illegal slide,” Ziegler said. “It is unfortunate that they didn’t see it that way. When you watch the replay, it’s obvious that he made contact with his hands.”
Rockies: SS Trevor Story participated in baseball activities prior to Friday’s game, but Black said he still could be out two or three more games with a sore right elbow.
Diamondbacks LHP Patrick Corbin is 4-2 with a 2.70 ERA his last nine starts heading into Saturday. Rockies RHP Antonio Senzatela is coming off his first road win since April 27 after allowing a run in five-plus innings against San Francisco.