Evans lifts D-backs to 4-2 win over Rockies
DENVER (AP) The Arizona Diamondbacks finally gave Paul Goldschmidt a night off, and recent call-up Nick Evans filled in quite nicely for the first baseman.
Evans and Chris Owings hit back-to-back homers, rookie Chase Anderson won his fourth straight start and the Diamondbacks beat the slumping Colorado Rockies 4-2 on Tuesday.
The solo shot by Evans in the fourth was his first homer since Sept. 3, 2011, when he was with the New York Mets. He wasn't sure if a moment like this would ever arrive again, especially after missing most of 2012 with a broken hand and not having a job last season until the Diamondbacks called a few days before the season - with only a spot open at Double-A Mobile.
The veteran still jumped at the chance.
''You start to question,'' said Evans, who was recalled from Triple-A Reno last week. ''It's not easy to get here. ... This is definitely satisfying.''
Evans was in the lineup because manager Kirk Gibson decided it was a good time to rest Goldschmidt. It was the slugger's first day off of the season after 59 straight games, one shy of the club record of 60 set by Travis Lee in 1998.
Maybe another break for Goldschmidt on Wednesday?
''Yeah, I wouldn't count on that,'' Evans said. ''If I was a betting man, I'd count on him being in there.''
Anderson (4-0) was hardly intimidated by hitter friendly Coors Field or one of the top lineups in the league. He didn't overpower the Rockies so much as keep them guessing, throwing six effective innings in his longest outing since he was recalled from Reno on May 6. He becomes the fifth rookie since 1998 to win his opening four starts.
The right-hander allowed four hits and one run - a homer by D.J. LeMahieu - to help the Diamondbacks stop a three-game skid.
''I tried to stick with my game plan, pitch off that,'' Anderson said. ''If you try to pitch to the park, sometimes you're not very successful.''
Jorge De La Rosa (6-4) settled down after a shaky start, giving up three runs in seven innings. The hard-throwing lefty didn't have a strikeout for the first time this season, and his six-game winning streak came to an end.
Evans' homer came on a fastball, and then four pitches later Owings hit a cutter into the stands.
''I didn't have my best stuff,'' De La Rosa said. ''I just kept trying to work my way through and go as far as I can. I think I did a good job.''
The Rockies opened a 10-game homestand with their fifth straight loss. The best-hitting team in baseball just finished a dismal road swing in which it went 2-7 and averaged less than three runs a game.
If this bad stretch wasn't bad enough, the Rockies could be losing one of their top players. Outfielder Carlos Gonzalez was removed in the sixth after irritating his left index finger. He just might be headed for the disabled list in order to give a finger that's nagged him most of the season a chance to heal.
''We're at a point where we've got to make a decision on this and see what's best for him and what's best for our club,'' manager Walt Weiss said.
Colorado struggled against Anderson, who mixed a fastball that barely crept into the 90s with a sharp curve and a splendid changeup. Anderson also benefited from an overturned call at the plate in the second that kept the game scoreless.
Wilin Rosario was ruled safe by umpire Jerry Layne after sliding past the tag of catcher Miguel Montero. As Montero protested, Gibson trotted out of the dugout to challenge the play. The call was reversed when replays showed Montero tagged Rosario on the back before touching home.
''That was awesome,'' Anderson said. ''I saw that Miggy did tag him, but I wasn't sure if it was in time. Luckily, it was in time.''
NOTES: Arizona recalled INF Didi Gregorius from Triple-A Reno and placed INF Cliff Pennington (sprained left thumb) on the disabled list. Gibson said Pennington will undergo surgery. ... It was the third time this season the Diamondbacks have hit back-to-back homers. ... Owings also added an RBI double and finished a single shy of the cycle. ... The umpires used replay to check the count in the fourth.