D-Backs rob Rox in season opener, 9-8
April 6, 2009
PHOENIX ” Tony Clark and Arizona newcomer Felipe Lopez each homered from both sides of the plate, and the Diamondbacks beat the Colorado Rockies 9-8 in a home run derby of an opener Monday.
Eight home runs were hit in the game, including the decisive shot by Chad Tracy leading off the seventh inning against reliever Jason Grilli (0-1).
Lopez and Clark became the first switch-hitting teammates to homer from both sides of the plate in a game since Jorge Posada and Bernie Williams did it for the New York Yankees on April 23, 2000. It had never been done on opening day.
Lopez, signed as a free agent in the offseason, is the first Arizona player to homer twice in his first game with the team. He is the first to do it in the majors since Richie Sexson for Seattle on April 4, 2005.
Troy Tulowitzki, Chris Iannetta and Seth Smith hit solo homers for the Rockies.
Arizona ace Brandon Webb was rocked for six runs and six hits in four innings. Rockies starter Aaron Cook fared even worse, allowing six runs and seven hits in 2 1-3 innings.
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Tony Pena (1-0) worked 1 1-3 scoreless innings for the win and closer Chad Qualls got three outs for a save.
Tracy was 3-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored for Arizona.
Colorado’s Brad Hawpe was 3-for-4 with two doubles and three RBIs.
Hawpe lived up to his reputation as one of the toughest hitters against Webb, going 2-for-2 with a three-run double against the Arizona ace. That improved his career average against the 2006 NL Cy Young Award winner to .367 with 16 RBIs in 49 at-bats. Nine of his 18 hits have gone for extra bases.
Colorado scored four times in the third to go up 4-2, but Arizona came back with four in the third off Cook to take a 4-2 lead. Tracy singled in a run, Eric Byrnes drove in another with a sacrifice fly, then Clark hit a two-run shot to right to put the Diamondbacks ahead 6-4.
Webb, a 22-game winner last season, couldn’t hold the lead. Tulowitzki and Iannetta hit consecutive solo homers on three pitches to tie it at 6.
Lopez, who led off the game with a home run, added another, off reliever Glendon Rusch, to put Arizona back on top 7-6 in the fourth. Colorado tied it in the eighth on Hawpe’s double and an RBI single by Ian Stewart.
Clark’s 442-foot home run to straightaway center off Rusch in the fifth regained the lead for the Diamondbacks, 8-7. Colorado tied it against with Smith’s homer leading off the seventh.
Notes: Colorado was 3-15 against Arizona last season. … Webb is 1-0 with three no-decisions in opening-day starts. … The Diamondbacks play 18 of their first 21 games at home. … Colorado’s roster includes 17 players 29 or younger, eight of them no older than 25.
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