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D’backs out-homer Rockies 5-3 to win opener

The Diamondbacks' Eric Byrnes (left) high fives Chad Tracy after Tracy's solo home run against the Colorado Rockies to lead off the seventh inning during Arizona's home opener in Phoenix on Monday.

The Diamondbacks' Eric Byrnes (left) high fives Chad Tracy after Tracy's solo home run against the Colorado Rockies to lead off the seventh inning during Arizona's home opener in Phoenix on Monday.

PHOENIX – Strong pitching is supposed to make the Arizona Diamondbacks a contender. Big bats made them a winner on opening day.

Ex-Arizona Wildcat Tony Clark and Arizona newcomer Felipe Lopez each homered from both sides of the plate, and the Diamondbacks outslugged the Colorado Rockies 9-8 on Monday.

Eight home runs were hit in the game, including the decisive shot by Chad Tracy leading off the seventh inning against reliever Jason Grilli (0-1).

“It was a heavyweight fight out there. It was blow after blow,” Tracy said. “Every time we scored, they scored, and we finally had the last say.”

Lopez and Clark became the first switch-hitting teammates to homer from both sides of the plate in a game since Jorge Posada and Bernie Williams did it for the New York Yankees on April 23, 2000. It had never been done on opening day.

“Pretty amazing,” Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin said. “Pretty phenomenal.”

Lopez, signed as a free agent in the offseason, is the first Arizona player to homer twice in his first game with the team. He is the first to do it in the majors since Richie Sexson for Seattle on April 4, 2005.

Troy Tulowitzki, Chris Iannetta and Seth Smith hit solo homers for the Rockies.

Arizona ace Brandon Webb was rocked for six runs and six hits in four innings. Rockies starter Aaron Cook fared even worse, allowing six runs and seven hits in 2 1/3 innings. Neither had command of their featured pitch, the sinker.

“I was up in the zone,” Cook said. “The sinker was flat and you saw what happened, just not a normal day for me and Webby, either.”

Tony Pena (1-0) worked 1 1/3 scoreless innings for the win and closer Chad Qualls got three outs for a save.

“If they hit five home runs, you’re in a bad place. You’re struggling,” Colorado manager Clint Hurdle said of his pitchers’ woes. “I’m real proud of the way our offense battled back.”

Tracy, who says he’s finally healthy after a long recovery from major knee surgery, was 3-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored for Arizona.

“I came straight off the training table to playing last year,” Tracy said. “This year I got to get in there and get some strength in my legs. So we’ll see how things play out. This is one out of 162 so we’ve got a long way.”

Colorado’s Brad Hawpe was 3-for-4 with two doubles and three RBIs.

Webb says he’s OK

It wasn’t so much that Diamondbacks ace Webb had a rough day; it was the manner in which his afternoon ended Monday against the Rockies that raised concerns.

Webb, who gave up six runs in four innings, said his shoulder stiffened after the third inning.

Webb, who allowed four runs in the third, was throwing his fastball between 83 and 85 mph in the fourth. It had been mostly 87-88 mph the first three innings.

“You try to keep it loose as best you can,” he said. “Sometimes you do, sometimes you can’t. Sometimes it takes a few extra pitches out there, which I tried to do. I tried to get some extra pitches before the (fourth) inning. It felt a little better toward the end of the inning.”

He said the shoulder felt fine after the game, adding that he wasn’t concerned about the velocity drop.


D’backs catcher Chris Snyder threw out two would-be base stealers Monday, nailing Brad Hawpe in the second and cutting down Iannetta in the sixth.

The Arizona Republic



Colorado was 3-15 against Arizona last season. … Webb is 1-0 with three no-decisions in opening-day starts. … The Diamondbacks play 18 of their first 21 games at home. … Colorado’s roster includes 17 players 29 or younger, eight of them no older than 25.

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