This took over a month in the making, but Patrick Corbin succeeded to reach double digits in victories.
While victories have been difficult in recent weeks, the All-Star-bound left-hander saved one of his better efforts of the season to reach the 10 win mark.
In limiting the visiting Colorado Rockies to three hits and one run before 22,090 Sunday afternoon in Chase Field, Corbin reached the double digit plateau with a 6-1 victory over the Rockies.
Corbin improved to 10-1, and the process, and joins Adam Wainwright of the Cardinals as the only double digit winners on the National League staff for the up-coming July 16th All-Star game in Citi Field.
Corbin is also the fourth pitcher in franchise history to reach 10 wins before the All-Star game. He joins Randy Johnson, Curt Schilling and Brandon Webb who achieved the feat.
The victory Sunday capped a three game weekend sweep of the Rockies and stretched the D-backs winning streak to five. That ties a season best achieved May 6-10. In the three games against Colorado, the Diamondbacks out-scored the Rox 22-2 and recorded their first sweep of Colorado since August 29-31, 2011.
The win gives the Diamondbacks a four and one-half lead over the second place Dodgers in National League West, and five and one-half game lead over the Rockies. The Giants are six and one-half games out and the Padres are seven and one-half games behind Arizona.
The game was also Corbin’s seventh try at this 10th victory, and his last triumph before Sunday was a 6-4 decision over the Cubs June 2 in Wrigley Field.
“I felt really good and the change and slider were working (Sunday),” Corbin said. “Because I had the pitches working, I tried to mix it up. With two strikes on the hitter, I went after guys with the slider.”
For his effort, Corbin’s control was nearly perfect and pitch location complete. At one point, he allowed only one base runner from first inning into the eighth frame. That was a two out single from shortstop Jonathan Herrera in the fifth, and Corbin retired 13 straight at the point.
With a two-hitter through six innings, Corbin threw 76 pitches and 52 for strikes at that point. Efficiency was probably the best way to describe Corbin’s afternoon.
With one more start before the All-Star game (this Friday night at home against Milwaukee), Corbin’s ERA dipped to 2.40, among the best in the National League.
Only Herrera’s first home run of the season in the eighth inning spoiled Corbin’s shut out bid. Still, Corbin’s 10 strikeouts set tied a career best. That was established earlier this season during his 5-1 victory at Colorado on May 20.
Right-hander Josh Collmenter came in in the ninth, and retired the Rockies in order end Sunday’s affair.
“When he’s on, he’s on,” said catcher Miguel Montero of Corbin. “Right now, he’s a complete pitcher. We know Colorado likes to swing early in the count and (Corbin) did a great job of mixing his pitches to keep them off-balanced. He’s just been outstanding.”
If Corbin was on his game, he needed little offensive support. Instead, the Diamondbacks pounded out 11 hits and jumped out to a 4-0 lead after three innings.
“We pressed on the recent road trip, and it was nice to get back home and in a comfort zone,” said manager Kirk Gibson. “We’re swinging the bats better and starters in the Colorado series pitched deep into games. They gave the bullpen a well needed rest and now we’ll be ready for the Dodgers (this Monday through Wednesday)”
Offensively, second baseman Aaron Hill paced the attack with a pair of doubles, two RRIs, two runs scored, and four players each contributed with a two hit game.
After the D-backs took a quick 1-0 lead in the first, Hill laced a double into the left field corner to score Corbin, who walked, and Gerardo Parra, who singled, in the third. Later in the fifth, Hill drilled an one-out double and came around on an RBI single from Eric Chavez.
Corbin also helped his cause with a two out double in the sixth, That scored Cliff Pennington, who singled.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Beginning Monday night, the Los Angeles Dodgers move into Chase Field for a three game series.
This is the first engagement of the teams since the beach-clearing event of June 11 in Dodger Stadium. After three different batters were hit by pitched balls in an eventual 5-3 Dodgers‘ win, the benches cleared and eight were ejected.
“We have to stay focused on beating teams,” said manager Kirk Gibson before Sunday’s game with the Rockies. “The Dodgers are a better team than the last time we played and we need to find ways to beat them.”
Gibson was reluctant to talk about the incident in which Ian Kennedy hit the Dodgers’ Zach Greinke with a pitched ball, and represented the catalyst for the bench-clearing event.
“If anyone thinks throwing at a hitter is intentional reaches an illogical assumption.” Gibson added. “Throwing inside is part of the game, and you have to take care of yourself.”
The Diamondbacks get an immediate look at Grienke (6-2, 4.30 ERA) for he will open the series for Los Angeles. Right-hander Randall Delgado (1-2, 3.67 ERA) gets the ball from Gibson Monday night.
On Tuesday night, it’s Kennedy (3-4, 5.16 ERA) going against Chris Capuano (2-6, 5.19) but that is likely to change. Look for newly acquired Ricky Nolasco, picked up in a trade from Miami over the weekend, to get the start. The Dodgers are expected to put Capuano in the bull pen.
In the finale Wednesday night, Tyler Skaggs (2-1, 3.65 ERA) gets a return look and opposes left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu (7-3, 2.82 ERA).
Then, the Brewers come in for four games, and help close the curtain on the first half of the season.