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Walker homers twice, hitting 2-run shot in 8th in Diamondbacks’ 9-7 victory over Rockies

Arizona Diamondbacks' Christian Walker follows the flight of his two-run home run off of Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Austin Gomber in the first inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2023, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Arizona Diamondbacks’ Christian Walker follows the flight of his two-run home run off of Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Austin Gomber in the first inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2023, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

ame Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2023, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

BY JACK MAGRUDERUpdated 4:30 PM MST, August 16, 2023Share

DENVER (AP) — Christian Walker hit a pair of two-run homers, the second in the eighth inning lifting the Arizona Diamondbacks past the Colorado Rockies in a 9-7 victory Wednesday.

The Diamondbacks moved back over .500 at 61-60, winning two straight to capture their second straight series after a stretch in which they lost 10 of 12 games to fall 3 1/2 games out of an NL wild-card berth. They have 31 come-from-behind victories.

“This is a gut check,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. “After losing the first day here, we came out and won two really tough ball games. We didn’t shut down. There is a certain degree of not shutting down that creates an environment that we have been used to here.”

Tommy Pham singled off Tyler Kinley (0-1) to open the eighth inning and Walker followed with a 425-foot homer to right-center for an 8-7 lead. Walker, who has 28 homers, also homered in the first two games of the series. He has 22 career homers against Colorado, 13 at Coors Field.

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Walker had three hits and four RBIs, Nick Ahmed had a three-run triple and Corbin Carroll had two hits and his 37th stolen base after replacing Lourdes Gurriel in the fifth inning. Gurriel left because of a strained left hip. He is considered day-to-day.

“Knowing that I don’t have to hit a ball 112 miles an hour for it to get out of the park, as far as like cheap homers or whatever, for me it’s nice to feel rewarded for taking a clean swing and putting the barrel on the ball,” Walker said.

Kyle Nelson (7-3) pitched the seventh for the victory. He was the fifth of seven Arizona pitchers.

Paul Sewald pitched around Charlie Blackmon’s single to open the ninth inning for his 25th save in 29 chances, his fourth save in five days. He has four saves in five chances for Arizona since being acquired from Seattle.

“That’s a real test, especially here in Colorado, to bounce back like that,” Sewald said. “Every win is important if you are in a playoff race, and we absolutely are.”

Walker’s two-run homer in the first inning opened the scoring in a game that had a Blake Street Bombers vibe, stretching to three hours, 16 minutes with both teams scoring four runs in the sixth inning as the lead see-sawed.

Walker drew one of three walks off Colorado starter Austin Gomber in the sixth and Buddy Kennedy drew a bases-loaded walk to tie it at 3. Ahmed greeted reliever Jake Bird with a triple high off the fence in right-center field for a 6-3 lead.

“They had some really disciplined at-bats,” Colorado manager Bud Black said. “Were probably read to hit, but laid off borderline pitches.”

The lead did not last the inning. Nolan Jones hit a two-run homer to cap the Rockies’ four-run sixth for a 7-6 lead. Brendan Rodgers had a two-out, two-run double off Miguel Castro to pull Colorado within 5-4 lead before Jones followed with his 12th homer, a 406-foot liner over the right-field fence.

Ryan McMahon had three hits, including his 20th home run, Ezequiel Tovar had three hits and scored twice and Rodgers had a pair of doubles.

Pham had a sacrifice fly in the ninth inning.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Diamondbacks: RHP Zach Davies (lower back) gave up seven runs and 11 hits while throwing 80 pitches in three innings of second rehab start for Triple-A Reno on Tuesday. He is a candidate to rejoin the rotation Sunday. … C Carson Kelly was released, two days after being designated for assignment.

Rockies: RHP Chase Anderson (shoulder) and RHP Ryan Feltner (fractured skull) are scheduled to face hitters Saturday. Anderson will likely need two rehab starts before a possible return to the rotation, Black said. Feltner will face hitters for the first time since being struck in the right side of the head by Nick Castellanos’ line drive May 13.

UP NEXT

Arizona RHP Zac Gallen (12-5,3.24 ERA) was set to face San Diego LHP Rich Hill (7-12, 5.17) in the opener of a four-game series at Petco Park on Thursday.

Colorado RHP Peter Lambert (2-4, 5.46 ERA) and Chicago White Sox RHP Michael Kopech (5-10, 4.58) were scheduled to meet Friday at Coors Field in the opener of a three-game set.