Longtime minor leaguer Bernard helps Rockies beat Arizona
DENVER (AP) — Longtime minor leaguer Wynton Bernard singled, stole a base and scored in his major league debut, helping the Colorado Rockies beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-3 on Friday night.
Brian Serven homered, Dinelson Lamet (1-1) pitched a perfect seventh inning for the win and Carlos Estévez worked the ninth for his second save.
The 31-year-old Bernard toiled in the minors for more than 10 years and 863 games before having his contract selected by Colorado on Friday. He made it a memorable debut when he helped spark a seventh-inning rally that put the Rockies in front for good.
Bernard received a loud ovation when he stepped to the plate for the first time in the bottom of the third. He grounded out to second, but received more love from the crowd.
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“I never had anything like that,” he said. “That was incredible.”
Bernard was taken in the 35th round of the 2012 draft and spent three seasons in the Padres’ minor league system. He also played in the minors for Detroit, San Francisco and the Chicago Cubs, along with stints in the Mexican Winter League, Venezuelan Winter League and independent ball. And, he played for the Brisbane Bandits of the Australian Baseball League.
In 10 minor league seasons, he hit .286 with 50 homers and 226 stolen bases. His first stolen base in the majors had a big impact.
Bernard legged out an infield single after Sam Hilliard started the inning with a double off Chris Devenski (2-1). Bernard stole second, went to third on Charlie Blackmon’s RBI single and scored on a sacrifice fly.
“I want to do everything I can to help the team win,” Bernard said. “So in a big situation like that, to come through for the team, it was huge.”
Diambondbacks starter Zach Davies needed just five pitches to get through the first inning, and only had two baserunners — a walk and an error — through three innings. Colorado got to him in the fourth with a walk, an infield single and a two-run double by Elehuris Montero.
Serven tied it with his fifth home run of the season leading off the fifth, the last for Davies. He allowed three runs on three hits and struck out two in five innings.
Arizona had built a 3-0 lead with a run in the second and a double by Cooper Hummel that brought home two in the fourth. Rockies starter Antonio Senzatela didn’t give up another after that and left after allowing three runs on five hits in six innings.
“We scored some runs and we were ahead 3-0 and Zach was doing a really nice job,” manager Torey Lovullo said.
The Diamondbacks had a mechanical issue on their charter plane on Thursday that delayed their departure from Arizona for seven hours. The team didn’t arrive in Denver until early Friday morning.
Lovullo said the travel issues weren’t a factor Friday night.
“I gave the boys the afternoon off and we stayed off the field,” he said. “We all knew what happened last night. We were talking about and we put it to bed you’re ready to go.”
Lovullo will be away from the team for Saturday night’s game to attend the memorial service for the wife of Arizona general manager Nick Hazen, Nicole Hazen, who passed away earlier this week from glioblastoma.
Bench coach Jeff Banister will serve as the interim manager.
Diamondbacks: RHP Kenyan Middleton (right ankle strain) threw 38 pitches in a live batting practice session on Friday. Middleton left Arizona’s July 25th game against San Francisco in the ninth inning and was placed on the 15-day injured list.
Rockies: Placed OF Yonathan Daza (left shoulder dislocation) and catcher Elias Díaz (left wrist sprain) on the 10-day injured list. Daza was injured making a diving catch of Nolan Arenado’s line drive in the first inning of Thursday’s game against St. Louis. Catcher Dom Núñez was recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque and RHP Jordan Sheffield was designated for assignment.
The Diamondbacks will send RHP Zac Gallen (7-2, 3.12) to face Rockies RHP José Ureña (1-3, 4.63) on Saturday night in the second game of the three-game series.
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