PHOENIX (AP) — In a game with a postseason feel between two playoff contenders, Nolan Arenado let his bat do most of the talking.
Arenado’s tie-breaking three-run home run in the eighth inning powered the Colorado Rockies to a 5-4 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday night.
Arenado circled the bases, celebrated with teammates and exchanged some words with a heckling fan near the visiting dugout.
“There was a guy, he didn’t stop talking the whole game. That was a pretty long game,” Arenado said. “It is what it is. It was cool, man. It was fine, and he got me fired up, and lucky I was able to tell him to be quiet there for a second.”
The Rockies took the first game of a key four-game series between the National League wild-card leader, Arizona, and second-place Colorado. The Rockies moved four games behind the Diamondbacks and 3½ ahead of St. Louis for the second wild card slot.
Arenado drove in four runs with a double and his 33rd home run of the season, and the Rockies won their seventh straight road game and fifth overall.
Left-hander Tyler Anderson, activated from the 60-day disabled list on Sunday, pitched four scoreless innings in relief for the victory. Anderson (4-5) allowed a hit with four strikeouts.
“I thought as he (Anderson) moved into the game, his stuff was better. He started making pitches,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “You could say he was the key to the game.”
The Rockies’ winning rally started with two outs in the eighth. D.J. LeMahieu tripled over the top of an extreme defensive shift toward right field and Carlos Gonzalez walked against Diamondbacks reliever Jake Barrett (1-1).
Arenado’s home run followed, giving him a major-league leading 123 runs batted in on the season. It was his seventh home run to give the Rockies the lead in the eighth inning or later in his career and the third of 2017.
“It was a bad slider. I didn’t get exactly on top of the ball,” Barrett said.