Hilliard Delivers Go-Ahead HR in 8th, Lifts Rockies to Victory in Spring Opener

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From the Colorado Rockies

SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ. – The Colorado Rockies kicked off the 2019 Cactus League season with a 7-3 come-from-behind win over the home team Arizona Diamondbacks Saturday at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.

Rockies outfielder Sam Hilliard propelled the Rockies to the win, snapping a 3-3 tie in the top of the eighth inning with a two-run home run to right field. Infielder Colton Welker added two insurance runs in the top of the ninth with a two-run home run just over the left-field wall.

The D-backs scored all three of their runs on a three-run home run by outfielder Steven Souza Jr. in the bottom of the first inning off Rockies starter Chad Bettis.

Bettis finished his outing allowing three runs in two innings pitched with three hits, one walk and one strikeout. He threw 35 pitches, 21 for strikes.

Right-handed pitchers Jeff Hoffman and Chi Chi González each pitched two scoreless innings, while relievers DJ Johnson, Yency Almonte and Justin Lawrence each tossed a scoreless inning.

Second baseman Ryan McMahon got the Rockies on the board in the fourth inning with a two-RBI single up the middle, scoring outfielder David Dahl and pinch-runner Yonathan Daza. Daza entered the game for shortstop Trevor Story, who left with a right elbow contusion after being hit by a pitch.

The Rockies knotted the game up at three in the top of the fifth with a Pat Valaika RBI single to score Tony Wolters.

Valaika and Dahl led the Rockies with two hits apiece, with Dahl collecting two doubles.

The Rockies face the Seattle Mariners Sunday afternoon at 1:10 at Salt River Fields. Right-handed pitcher Jon Gray will make his first start of the Spring for Colorado. Right-handers Peter Lambert, Ryan Castellani, Bryan Shaw and Carlos Estévez and left-hander Jake McGee are also scheduled to pitch for the Rockies.