DENVER (AP) -- Taking advantage of mistakes is a big part of
having success at Coors Field.
The Colorado Rockies weren't able to do it early in the season,
but they sure are now.
Shawn Estes pitched six solid innings and Colorado took
advantage of Arizona's shoddy defense in a five-run sixth inning to
beat the Diamondbacks 8-4 on Saturday night.
"We've been able to capitalize on those mistakes when in the
past we were the recipients of the capitalization," Rockies
manager Clint Hurdle said. "We were recipients of some good
fortune tonight. You're not able to control on the other team's
defense, but you need to capitalize on their mistakes."
They sure did against the Diamondbacks.
Arizona starter Brandon Webb (4-12) cruised along nicely in the
first five innings, giving up just three hits and a run. But it all
fell apart for him and the Diamondbacks in the sixth.
Preston Wilson led off with a double to center and scored on a
close play at the plate on Jeromy Burnitz's single to right.
Charles Johnson then reached on Shea Hillenbrand's error after the
first baseman dropped the ball trying to throw to second.
Colorado's Luis Gonzalez squared around to bunt on the next
pitch, but Webb hit him in the back to load the bases. Pinch-hitter
Mark Sweeney followed with a soft grounder to second, and Scott
Hairston pulled up to let the ball go under his glove for another
error and two more runs.
Aaron Miles made it 5-2 with a sacrifice fly to chase Webb, then
Todd Helton hit a two-out RBI single off Randy Choate on a ball
that fell in front of Quinton McCracken after the right fielder
broke back before charging.
Just like that, what was once a 2-1 lead turned into a 6-2
deficit for the Diamondbacks.
"Tonight, we beat ourselves," Diamondbacks manager Al Pedrique
said. "Webb did his job. He got the groundballs and we didn't make
plays. In the long run, it hurt us."
The Rockies wouldn't have had much of a chance without another
solid outing by one of their starters.
Estes (11-4) struggled in his last start, giving up seven runs
in five innings in a loss to Los Angeles on Monday. Though his
stuff wasn't much better this time, he was able to work through
Estes gave up a run in the fourth inning on Luis Gonzalez's
run-scoring single, and Chad Tracy put Arizona up 2-1 with a
sacrifice fly in the fifth after Hairston led off with a triple.
Estes ran into trouble in the sixth after Tim Olson's leadoff
double and a pair of two-out walks, but he got Chad Tracy to ground
out to first to end the threat.
Estes was pulled for a pinch-hitter in the bottom half, leaving
after giving up two runs and five hits for his fifth win in six
decisions. Colorado has won seven of nine, in part because its
starters are 6-1 with 21 earned runs in their past 63 1-3 innings.
"I think the rotation feeds off of each other," Estes said.
"When you are throwing the ball well, it becomes contagious."
Colorado has won five straight over Arizona and seven of nine
overall, including a 4-1 victory against Randy Johnson Friday
As for Johnson, he was still in a Diamondbacks uniform after
several rumored deals never materialized. Arizona did unload center
fielder Steve Finley, sending the four-time Gold Glove winner to
Los Angeles for three players just before the afternoon deadline.
The Diamondbacks could've used him considering they had three
errors and managed just eight hits to lose for the 15th time in 17
games since the All-Star break. Arizona finished July 5-23, the
worst month in team history.
"We got a quality start from Webb and our defense let us
down," Pedrique said. "When we did put something together on
offense we fell short of getting the big hit."
Arizona's troubles started early.
Colorado scored first, getting a run in the first inning on
Preston Wilson's RBI single after Miles reached on Hairston's
Webb settled in after that, allowing two hits over the next four
innings. The right-hander deserved a better fate, but just couldn't
overcome the mistakes in the sixth inning.
Webb was pulled after allowing six hits and six runs -- just one
earned -- in 5 2-3 innings. He also walked four to lose for the
seventh time in eight decisions.
"You never get used to mistakes," Webb said. "You have to
pitch through them. We can't control anything but the way we
It was a good thing the Rockies had a cushion.
With Colorado leading 8-2, Hairston led off the ninth with his
eighth homer off Adam Bernero. Shawn Chacon came in with the bases
loaded and walked Luis Gonzalez to make it 8-4, but got Hillenbrand
to fly out to center for his 25th save in 32 opportunities.
Arizona RF Juan Bautista was limited to pinch-hit duties
after aggravating a hamstring strain Friday night against the
Rockies. ... Arizona's previous worst month was this May, when the
Diamondbacks were 9-20. ... Estes is 6-0 against the NL West this