Rockies manager Bud Black said it best before the game: April showers bring May flowers.
After a tough April, the Rockies bloomed Saturday, scoring a season-high 14 runs as they defeated the Diamondbacks 14-6.
It was an important victory for the Rockies, who have now won just two on the road. The Rockies finished last month at 7-19, the second-worst April record in franchise history.
“Let’s look at the averages at the end of May from where they are now, and I think you’ll see our averages increase,” Black said.
The Rockies had 18 hits, as every player in the lineup had at least one, highlighted by a Dom Nuñez grand slam. Raimel Tapia went 4 for 5 at the plate, his first four-hit game since June 14, 2017, and just the second of his career.
“We had guys with big nights,” Black said. “There were some good things there. This can get things going, this can get a sense of momentum and confidence.”
Austin Gomber was on the mound, and although he didn’t have his best stuff, he rebounded nicely from his last outing, when he gave up nine runs in less than two innings.
Black said before the game that Gomber’s start tonight would be a critical challenge. Black speculated that Gomber may have been tipping his pitches in his last start, or that the Giants knew his signs. Gomber said he changed the way he comes to set, so that players on base can’t see his glove. He practiced it all week so that it would feel natural during the same.
Black wanted Gomber to locate his fastball better Saturday, and to use a better mix of his secondary pitches. Gomber did just that. His fastball command was on point, and although his slider and curve missed the strike zone sometimes, they landed mainly in the right spot. He made it through with only giving up four runs Saturday, as the Rockies’ offense provided more than enough support to get the win.
“He competes,” Black said. “He’s got great perspective on everything. Sometimes we have to slow him down because there’s a tremendous want to in this kid. Sometimes we have to have him exhale and take a step back.”
For the second night in a row, the Rockies got on board in the top of the first. This time, it was a RBI double from Ryan McMahon that brought home Trevor Story.
The Rockies gave up two runs in the third, but came back in the fourth to take the lead again. McMahon hit a single, as Tapia and Trevor Story scored. McMahon had three RBIs, and has 19 for the season.
Story hit a two-run home run in the sixth, and Garrett Hampson had a RBI double in the seventh. Nuñez hit his grand slam in the eighth inning.
“Everyone was getting hits, you’re in a good mood and rolling into the next one,” McMahon said. “I think you saw some good team baseball tonight.”
Senzatela to the 10-day IL
Starting pitcher Antonio Senzatela was placed on the 10-day injured list prior to the game with a right groin strain. Lucas Gilbreath was called up from the alternative training site. Gilbreath, a Colorado native, made his debut in the ninth inning.
Senzatela was injured while warming up for his start Thursday, but felt well enough to pitch. He was sore the next day. Black said Senzatela is only expected to miss one start.
Black was not ready to name who will replace Senzatela in the rotation, but reliever Jhoulys Chacin, who threw 60 pitches out of the bullpen earlier this week, could fill the spot. José Mujica could also be called up from the alternative training site.
This content was originally published here.