DENVER — Braden Shipley made his first start at hitter-friendly Coors Field a memorable one.
The rookie right-hander pitched 5 2/3 innings and got two big strikeouts in the sixth to preserve a lead and help the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Colorado Rockies 9-4 on Saturday night.
Chris Owings had a career high-tying four hits and Jake Lamb homered for the Diamondbacks, who built a six-run lead early for Shipley. Owings singled each of his at-bats, with his hit in the second giving Arizona a 1-0 lead it never relinquished.
Shipley (3-3) wasn’t intimidated by pitching at altitude, scattering eight hits and walking just one. He relied on his experience from the Pacific Coast League to get through the Rockies’ order.
“I’ve pitched in a lot of tough ballparks, especially in Triple-A this year with Reno,” he said. “I just never really let it get to my head. I just always have trusted my stuff. And I think that was the key tonight, trusting my stuff and let the defense work.”
He trusted it in the sixth when the Rockies cut a 6-0 lead to 7-3 and got the first two men on. He struck out NL home run leader Nolan Arenado and David Dahl before Tom Murphy hit a run-scoring single.
“In that situation I just kind of took a deep breath and told myself, ‘Just limit. Get a double play ball right here and we’ll move,'” Shipley said. “It was just about pitch by pitch in that situation and keeping the team where it was.”
Edwin Escobar relieved Shipley and struck out Gerardo Parra in an eight-pitch at-bat to end the inning with runners on second and third.
“I was working with my strength, trying to throw a fastball inside,” Escobar said. “I said, ‘I threw too many fastballs already, let’s try with a breaking ball.’ And I got him with a breaking ball.”
The Diamondbacks’ bullpen tossed 3 1/3 scoreless innings after imploding against Colorado on Friday. Arizona relievers allowed eight runs, seven in the eighth inning in Friday’s loss.
“Very proud of the guys for coming back, especially after a tough one last night,” manager Chip Hale said.
Parra homered and doubled against his former team and Daniel Descalso also went deep for the Rockies.
The Diamondbacks broke it open in the third off Tyler Chatwood (10-9) as Welington Castillo had a three-run double and Lamb followed with his 27th homer to make it 6-0.
“His command got away from him when they got the five,” Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. “He started spraying it around a bit, getting into bad counts. That’s what hurt him.”
Parra led off the Rockies’ third with his sixth homer and doubled ahead of Descalso’s fifth of the year in the fifth inning to pull the Rockies to 6-3.
Arizona tacked on a run in the sixth and two more in the seventh on Paul Goldschmidt’s RBI double and Yasmany Tomas’ run-scoring single. Goldschmidt extend his streak of reaching base against the Rockies to 50 straight games, the longest streak ever against Colorado.
Diamondbacks: LHP Andrew Chafin (shoulder) is scheduled for a rehab assignment Sunday and RHP Rubby De La Rosa (elbow) is expected to toss an inning Monday. If all goes well manager Chip Hale said both player could join the team soon. … C Chris Herrmann (hamstring) played five innings in a rehab assignment Friday and was scheduled to play left field Saturday and catcher on Sunday.
Rockies: OF Charlie Blackmon was a late scratch with back tightness. … RHP Jeff Hoffman had his start pushed back an extra day. Manager Walt Weiss said the rookie is dealing with a blister.
DJ LeMahieu had three hits for Colorado and has now reached base in 20 straight games. He is now hitting an NL-leading .345.
SEPTEMBER START UP
The Diamondbacks recalled infielder Kyle Jensen from Triple-A Reno. Jensen, 28, made his major league debut as a pinch-hitter in the eighth and flew out to right field.
Diamondbacks RHP Archie Bradley (5-8, 4.95 ERA) will face Rockies rookie Jon Gray (9-6, 4.41).