Estes allowed two hits in seven innings, Charles Johnson hit a two-run homer off The Big Unit as the Rockies beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 6-2 Tuesday night, their first opening-day victory in
Todd Helton was 4-for-4 with a double and scored two runs as
Colorado snapped an eight-game losing streak against Randy Johnson.
After going 13-23 the past two seasons with three teams, Estes
had become a baseball castoff -- discounted much like the Rockies.
"No one is giving us a whole lot of credit. I mean, zero credit
up to this point," Estes said. "Sometimes they don't even mention
the Rockies as part of the NL West. Hopefully, after today they
Randy Johnson was encouraged despite the loss.
"Overall, I felt pretty good," he said. "I felt my velocity
was there. The command of most of my pitches was there, especially
my slider and my fastball. I made basically one mistake, and that
was the home run."
Johnson hit 97 mph on the radar gun, but he threw 114 pitches in
six innings, allowing three runs on six hits. He struck out six,
walked three and hit a batter.
"He was throwing great," Arizona manager Bob Brenly said.
"His stuff was good. That's all I can say. If he takes that same
stuff to the mound the rest of the year, we've got no problem."
Estes, who struck out three and walked two, retired 14 of the
first 16 batters he faced. The exceptions were Gonzalez's home run
with two outs in the first and a leadoff walk to Roberto Alomar in
the fourth. Alomar was quickly erased when Gonzalez hit into a
The only other hit off the Colorado lefty was Steve Finley's
two-out single in the sixth.
"He's been really, really good against us or really, really
bad," Brenly said of Estes. "Unfortunately, today he was really,
It was a meek start for what is supposed to be a much-improved
"We just couldn't get our offense going, but we're going to
score a lot of runs around here," Arizona's Gonzalez said. "We're
confident that we're going to do that. It just didn't happen
Estes often fell behind in the count, but he induced the
Diamondbacks into 12 groundouts.
The Rockies' starter said he took advantage of the Arizona's
"Nobody likes to walk. They like to drive the ball. I just
wasn't going to give in today," Estes said. "I knew I had a
moving fastball today. Even though I got behind in the count a few
time, I still had confidence that I was going to make the pitch,
and they beat it into the ground a lot."
Johnson, coming off a 6-8 season interrupted by surgery on his
right knee, pitched on opening day for the 12th time, and sixth in
The 40-year-old left-hander struck out Kit Pellow to start the
fourth, but hit Jeromy Burnitz with a pitch. Charles Johnson
followed by sending the first pitch into the left-field seats to
make it 2-1.
Colorado added a run in the fifth when Helton doubled, stole
third and scored on Preston Wilson's double.
The Rockies made it 5-1 when their Gonzalez hit a two-run homer
off reliever Jose Valverde in the ninth.
Chacon, the Rockies' new closer, allowed Gonzalez's second home
run in the ninth.
Arizona took a 1-0 lead in the first when Gonzalez fouled off
three pitches, then lofted Estes' 2-2 pitch over the right field
When Arizona was beaten by Los Angeles 8-0 last season, it
marked the first time Johnson had lost an opener. ... Retired
ex-Diamondbacks Matt Williams and Jay Bell threw out the ceremonial
first pitch. ... Arizona placed RHP Shane Reynolds on the 15-day DL
(right rotator cuff) and recalled RHP Andrew Good from Triple-A
Tucson. ... Even though it was 81 degrees outside, the roof at Bank
One Ballpark was closed because of the heat and glare on portions
of the stands. ... Estes is one of eight non-roster invitees to
make the Rockies' opening-day roster.
Tommy La Stella, San Francisco Giants finalizing contract, sources say
Second baseman Tommy La Stella and the San Francisco Giants are finalizing a contract, sources familiar with the deal told ESPN's Jeff Passan. The deal is expected to be for three years.
SS Andrelton Simmons, Minnesota Twins agree to 1-year, $10.5M contract, sources say
Shortstop Andrelton Simmons and the Minnesota Twins are in agreement on a one-year, $10.5 million contract, sources familiar with the deal told ESPN's Jeff Passan.
Ron Johnson, former Boston Red Sox first base coach and minor league manager, dies at 64
Ron Johnson, who worked 25 seasons as a minor league manager and spent the 2010 and '11 seasons as the Red Sox's first base coach, died Tuesday. He was 64.
Infielder Freddy Galvis and Baltimore Orioles agree to 1-year contract
The Orioles filled a hole in their infield by agreeing to a 1-year deal with free agent Freddy Galvis.
It's no surprise Realmuto scored himself an extension
Pedro Gomez breaks down J.T. Realmuto's skills on the baseball field and how that got him an extension with the Phillies.
Why Kurkjian is not surprised by Baseball HOF shutout
Tim Kurkjian reacts to the news that no players, including Curt Schilling and Barry Bonds, were elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame this year.