PHOENIX — Four years after Tommy John surgery derailed his anticipated opening day start, Patrick Corbin got another chance and made the most of it, with a lot of help from Arizona’s offense.
Corbin struck out eight while pitching into the sixth inning and the Diamondbacks got hits up and down the lineup in an 8-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday night.
“It’s great just to start off with a win,” Corbin said, “get things rolling in the right direction.”
Corbin, 14-13 last season, got the opening day nod from manager Torey Lovullo after a minor groin issue messed up Zack Greinke‘s preparation schedule and made him unavailable.
Corbin, Lovullo said, “did everything we wanted him to and then some.”
He allowed two runs and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings, walking just one.
Corbin “had the good slider tonight,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “I think that was the key for him, the good breaking pitch. He went to it often. The slider had good depth to it. He kept it down. Out of the hand it looks like a strike then it falls down. He has a good slider. We have to be ready tomorrow with another good one with (Robbie) Ray.”
Jake Lamb led the offense. He came up with the bases loaded three times and came through twice, once with a two-run double and again with a two-run single.
“That just shows how good our team is,” Lamb said. “That’s my job in that part of the lineup, but it’s on the other guys to get on base. Up and down the lineup, that’s what our team does.”
“We had runners on base all day long,” Lovullo said, “and that’s what we’re all about.”
The teams opened the season on the same field where Colorado’s 2017 campaign ended in an 11-8 loss to the Diamondbacks in last year’s National League wild-card game.
Jon Gray (0-1), who started that game but didn’t get out of the second inning, took Thursday’s loss, too. He went four innings, allowing three runs and six hits.
“There were a few pitches up but overall I just didn’t get ahead,” he said. “A lot of pitches weren’t competitive at all and it is tough to win that way. You can put yourself in a bad spot early.”
Archie Bradley didn’t allow a hit in 1 2/3 innings of relief, striking out two.
With Colorado up 1-0, Peralta and A.J. Pollock led off Arizona’s first with singles and Paul Goldschmidt walked to load the bases. On the first pitch he saw, Lamb lofted a fly ball that no one could chase down in front of the 413-foot sign in right-center. Peralta and Pollock scored to make it 2-1. Goldschmidt scored when Alex Avila grounded out to first, and Arizona led 3-1.
After Arenado’s homer cut the lead to 3-2 in the sixth, the Diamondbacks scored three in their half of the inning. Peralta brought one run home with an infield single, and Lamb two more with a two-out bloop hit to left and it was 6-2.
Rockies: Colorado placed three players on the 10-day DL retroactive to March 26: RHP Carlos Estevez (left oblique strain), RHP Jeff Hoffman (right shoulder inflammation), LHP Zac Rosscup (left middle finger blister).
Diamondbacks: OF Steven Souza Jr. (strained right pec) said he ran for the first time since the injury and did a little light swinging of the bat but has not tried to throw. Still, he said he didn’t expect to feel this good so quickly. He started the season on the 10-day disabled list, as did RHP Randall Delgado (left oblique strain).
The new, much-hyped motorized cart available for relievers from both teams to come in from the bullpen sat idle all night as all the relief pitchers chose to jog in as usual.
Lovullo confirmed that Greinke would start the final game of the Colorado series on Saturday night. That means right-handers Taijuan Walkerand Zack Godley will go against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday and Tuesday.
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