Young leads D-backs' 19-hit attack

Young leads D-backs' 19-hit attack

DENVER -- The past three weeks, the games have been excruciating for the D-backs. First they watched as their lead over the Dodgers turned into a deficit, and over the past week they've taken the field each day knowing they could not afford to lose.

Sunday, if only for a few innings, the D-backs got to take a breath as they easily beat the Rockies, 12-4, in front of 32,915 at Coors Field.

With the win, the D-backs trail the Dodgers by 2 1/2 games in the National League West with seven games left. The Dodgers lost to the Giants, 1-0, in 11 innings.

The D-backs did not waste any time jumping on Rockies starter Greg Reynolds.

An offense that has been stagnant for the better part of the season batted around in the first and scored five times, two of which came on a double to right-center by Adam Dunn.

It was an omen of how the game would go offensively for the D-backs, who collected a season-high 19 hits.

"Everything was falling," outfielder Chris Young said. "We put the bat on the ball and it was a hit."

"We had some big hits right away," D-backs manager Bob Melvin said. "Actually had some bleeders that fell for us, which we haven't seen a lot of. So I think the worm has turned as far as some of the luck."

That was certainly the case for Young, who went 3-for-5 with four RBIs, and finished a double away from hitting for the cycle.

It looked like Young might get it in the ninth, when he hammered a Steven Register offering to third that Jeff Baker snagged.

"I knew it was right at him," Young said of the drive. "I was definitely going for it. If I had hit a ground ball to shortstop I probably would have just kept running."

Young was kidding, of course, and levity was something that was much needed in the Arizona clubhouse as they prepare to head to St. Louis for a four-game series with the Cardinals.

"He needed that," Melvin said of Young. "I think it's going to be a good game for him confidence-wise going forward."

The offense was an embarrassment of riches for Arizona starter Dan Haren. In the right-hander's previous five starts, the D-backs scored a total of six runs when he was on the mound. Sunday, they had that many when Young homered to lead off the second inning.

"That reminded me a little bit of April there," Haren said, referring to the run support he received early in the season. "I didn't try to do too much, just throw strikes."

Haren (16-8) did not walk a batter and fanned four over six innings.

"The only real mistake I made was to [Garrett] Atkins," Haren said.

Atkins hit a cut fastball that caught too much of the plate over the wall in left for a three-run homer in the fourth.

"[Haren] got ahead, threw strikes, kept the ball down and used all his pitches," Melvin said. "Really, just the one pitch to Atkins or it looks even better for him."

The offense was consistent throughout the game and continued to tack on runs as the game went on, something the D-backs have struggled to do all year.

"A lot of things that we hadn't been doing, we did well today," Melvin said. "Whether it was early runs, add-on runs, consistent at-bats throughout the game, the offense was as good as we've seen all year."

A four-run fifth pushed the Arizona lead to 11-3 and allowed the D-backs to get relievers Leo Rosales, Yusmeiro Petit and Billy Buckner some much-needed work while resting their setup men and closer.

In the ninth, Josh Whitesell launched a 2-0 pitch from Register into the home bullpen in right for his first Major League homer.

"There were a lot of good things today," Melvin said.

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.