As Nolan Arenado took a curtain call outside the Rockies’ dugout late Sunday afternoon, an avalanche of cheers engulfed him. Arenado waved his arms, wanting more.
“Things are getting loud here,” Arenado said after he hit a walk-off, three-run, cycle-completing homer to beat the San Francisco Giants 7-5. “This was the loudest I’ve ever heard this place. I think the fans and the people of Denver are starting to get the hint that we are for real.
“I was just fired up, and I was fired up for them. I just wanted to give them some love.”
The Father’s Day crowd of 48,321 was the second sellout in a row at Coors Field for a team that improved to 20 games above .500 and holds onto first place in the National League West.
“Yes, no doubt about it,” manager Bud Black said when asked if his team can be energized by the crowd. “The crowd stayed today, and our guys heard it as they came off the field (before the last at-bat).
“These last few games, with the growing attendance, it’s been great. The players are talking about it. It’s wonderful.”
Chatwood’s start. The Rockies received a sturdy, though flawed, start from Tyler Chatwood, who pitched six innings, allowing two runs on five hits.
“Six inning and two runs and we won the game. That’s what it’s about,” Chatwood said. “I think if you look at our offense, you know that eventually they are going to break through, and that’s what I was able to do.”
However, the right-hander’s lack of command caught up with him in the fifth inning. He walked Denard Span for the third time in the game and, two batters later, Crawford sliced a flyball, two-run homer that just cleared the wall down the left-field line.
But credit Chatwood (6-7, 4.08 ERA) for his ability to manage traffic and give his a team length, even if he needed 114 pitches to get through six. Giants leadoff hitters reached base in each of the first four innings, but the Chatwood found escape routes. The Rockies turned double plays in the first and second innings, and Chatwood got Crawford to pop out to center fielder Charlie Blackmon with two on in the third.
Lyles delivers. Right-handed reliever Jordan Lyles has struggled mightily this season, giving up eight homers in 30 ⅓ innings while carrying a 6.82 ERA. But he pitched a perfect eighth inning Sunday, striking out slugger Buster Posey to open the frame.
“We had some guys who were down today in the bullpen,” manager Black said. “(Lyles) gave us a one-two-three inning, and that was critical. He’s capable of that, and there is a lot of season left for him to help us.”
Estevez called up. Hard-throwing right-handed reliever Carlos Estevez was recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque, and veteran righty Chad Qualls was placed on the 10-disabled list because of lower-back spams.
Estevez, 24, is 1-2 with a 2.92 ERA (12.1 IP, 4 ER), seven walks and 13 strikeouts in 13 relief appearances in Triple-A.
Qualls, 38, began the season on the DL with right forearm tightness and had a 4.60 ERA in 15 ⅔ innings. Black said Qualls’ back issue cropped up Friday, so the Rockies decided to call up Estevez to help a bullpen that has been taxed in recent games.
Looking ahead …
Tuesday: Diamondbacks RHP Zack Greinke (8-3, 3.00 ERA) at Rockies RHP German Marquez (5-3, 4.19), 6:40 p.m., ROOT
Wednesday: Diamondbacks RHP Taijuan Walker (5-3, 3.32) at Rockies RHP Jeff Hoffman (4-0, 2.25), 6:40 p.m., ROOT
Thursday: Diamondbacks LHP Patrick Corbin (6-6, 5.19) at Rockies RHP Antonio Senzatela (9-2, 4.10), 1:10 p.m., ROOT