There was a moment in Wednesday afternoon's game that illustrated just how far Jorge De La Rosa has traveled on his return to being a quality big-league starter.
The lefty had just given up a fifth-inning infield single to the Diamondbacks' A.J. Pollock, followed by a bloop single to Didi Gregorius. Now he was facing dangerous slugger Paul Goldschmidt. There was a time, even during this year's spring training, when De La Rosa might have come undone.
Not now. Cooly and confidently, De La Rosa threw a 90-mph, sinking fastball that Goldschmidt pounded into the dirt for a 4-6-3 double play.
Bolstered by De La Rosa's strong start — and another powerhouse performance by Carlos Gonzalez — the Rockies whipped Arizona 4-1 at Coors Field to clinch the series. By taking two of three from the Diamondbacks, and going 5-2 on an important early-season homestand, the Rockies moved into a tie with Arizona for second place in the National League West.
Should the San Francisco Giants lose to Washington Wednesday afternoon, the Rockies, Diamondbacks and Giants would all be tied atop the NL West. The Rockies travel to San Francisco for a three-game series beginning Friday.
De La Rosa pitched 5 ⅓ innings, allowing one run on six hits and striking out five. Manager Walt Weiss lifted him after he threw his 103rd pitch with one out in the sixth.
Gonzalez opened the scoring with solo home run in the first, his 11th of the season. His laser shot hit the wall behind the Rockies' bullpen in right field. Back-to-back doubles by Dexter Fowler and Nolan Arenado gave the Rockies another first-inning run. Fowler, filling in for Troy Tulowitzki in the cleanup spot, went 2-for-4.
Gonzalez hit a screaming triple into the right-field corner in the third, driving in DJ LeMahieu, and then scored on a wild pitch. CarGo lifted his batting average from .298 to .302 and now has 29 RBIs, second on the team to Tulowitzki's 38.