PHOENIX (AP) — Colorado catcher Michael McKenry dropped down to keep the ball in front of him, then took a quick glance to third base.
Not seeing anything, he lobbed the ball back to pitcher Rex Brothers.
It was all the time Arizona’s David Peralta needed.
Peralta raced home for Arizona’s first steal of home in seven years and the Rockies showed little signs of life until it was too late in a 5-3 loss to the Diamondbacks on Friday night.
“It was on me, it was my fault,” McKenry said. “I already apologized to Rex. I feel awful about it.”
Miguel Montero provided the early highlight for Arizona, hitting a three-run homer off Tyler Matzek (2-7) in the first inning.
Not much else happened between the NL West’s two worst teams after that.
Matzek adeptly worked around baserunners after Montero’s homer and Arizona’s Chase Anderson (7-4) fought through a high pitch count for five effective innings.
Peralta provided some life in the seventh inning.
The rookie doubled in the first inning and notched his 24th multi-hit game since June 1 with a run-scoring triple off Brothers in the seventh to put the Diamondbacks up 4-1.
Arizona coaches had noticed McKenry had a tendency to lob the ball back to the pitcher and Peralta, with some encouragement from teammate Cliff Pennington, took advantage for Arizona’s first steal of home since Chris Young did it in 2007.
The run proved to be a big one.
Colorado’s Corey Dickerson and DJ LeMahieu had run-scoring singles in the ninth inning before Addison Reed struck out Charlie Blackmon to end the game.
Colorado has lost 10 of 12.
“Those are things I will take care with our club,” Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. “We just lost sight of the guy on third.”
After a rough patch of the season, Anderson has rounded back into form.
The rookie right-hander lost four straight following a five-win start to his career before stringing together four quality outings since July 7.
Anderson was sharp against the Rockies, making one mistake: the towering homer by McKenry.
Anderson allowed three other hits and struck out six. He has allowed two earned runs or less in 11 of 14 starts and has a 1.74 ERA over his last five.
“It’s nice because you can kind of settle in, throw fastballs a little bit more early in the count,” Anderson said of having an early lead. “You can let them swing a little bit.”
Matzek has struggled on the road this season, entering Friday’s game 0-3 with a 6.11 ERA in six games, including five starts.
His latest road effort wasn’t looking good early.
The left-hander walked the second batter he faced and gave up a double to Peralta, then Montero hit the first pitch he saw out to left for a three-run homer, his 12th of the season.
Matzek allowed three runs, four hits and walked five in five innings.
“I walked a few people but overall I felt pretty good,” Matzek said.
Taking a cue from Cincinnati Reds fans, Arizona’s fans started flashing the lights from their phones all around the ballpark in the ninth inning. Reds fans flashed their phones during an extra-inning game last month and Diamondbacks fans did it once before during the current homestand.
Rockies: Left-hander Brett Anderson underwent an MRI on Friday to determine if he has a disk problem in his back. He left Tuesday’s game against the Chicago Cubs in the fourth inning due to back spasms.
Diamondbacks: Outfielder A.J. Pollock, out with a broken right hand, is 2 for 18 with a double and a run scored in five rehab games with Triple-A Reno and Arizona’s rookie league team.
Rockies: Left-hander Jorge De La Rosa, Saturday’s starter, has 24 strikeouts with two walks over his last three starts.
Diamondbacks: Right-hander Trevor Cahill has had two straight quality starts heading into Saturday’s game against the Rockies, allowing four earned runs in 13 innings. He allowed a run in seven innings against Pittsburgh in his last start, but did not factor in the decision.