If not now, when?
That was the attitude in the Rockies’ clubhouse Sunday after C.J. Cron hit two three-run homers to lift his team to a 6-5 victory over Arizona at Coors Field and clinch the three-game series.
The Rockies began the six-game homestand by winning two of three games from the National League West-leading Dodgers.
“I think we need wins however we can get them at this point,” Cron said. “It’s getting a little late here. Especially at this ballpark, we need to win games. Taking two of three from the Dodgers and two of three from these guys was big for us.”
The Rockies and Diamondback are both 35-44 and share fourth place in the NL West. The Rockies had been all alone in the division basement since May 10.
Monday, the Rockies open a three-game series at Los Angeles against the Dodgers before heading to Phoenix for a four-game rematch against the Diamondbacks. The numerical midway point of the season — 81 games — comes Tuesday at L.A.
Manager Bud Black put Sunday’s win in a special category.
“That was a big one,” he said. “I’d say there are five to 10 games like that where you walk into the clubhouse where you are fist-pumping and the guys are pumped. The players know that was a good one.”
After going 21-34 in May and June, Black believes the Rockies are in a better place in early July.
“We played pretty good, pretty clean baseball this (past week),” he said. “Our defense has picked up, like we’ve talked about, and that’s a good thing. And guys are starting to hit the ball better.”
Colorado, which has played sloppy baseball at times this season, has now gone eight consecutive games without an error — its best streak of the season.
Kuhl-ed off. In his first start since throwing a complete-game, three-hit shutout of the Dodgers last Monday, right-hander Chad Kuhl was battered for five runs over five innings on Sunday. David Peralta’s grand slam in the fifth inning was the big blow.
“That was just a bad slider,” said Kuhl, now 5-5 with a 3.83 ERA. “I was giving up singles and holding them in check, but unfortunately I gave up a 4-pointer, and it kind of ruins the day and ruins the ERA. Thankfully, our guys battled back and had my back today.”
Starting depth. The Rockies acquired right-hander Corey Oswalt from Philadelphia for cash considerations on Sunday. Oswalt will report to Triple-A Albuquerque.
The Rockies need reinforcements at the ready. Right-hander Antonio Senzatela is on the injured list with shoulder inflammation and Triple-A starter Peter Lambert is also on the injured list. Lefty Ryan Rolison, who was expected to make his big-league debut this season, underwent season-ending shoulder surgery.
Oswalt, 28, hasn’t pitched in the majors this year but has been used as both a starter and reliever for the Phillies and Giants Triple-A teams. He started this season with the Giants Triple-A affiliate before the Phillies purchased his contract. Between the two clubs, Oswalt posted a 6.11 ERA over 35 1/3 innings.