PHOENIX (AP) — Madison Bumgarner pitched five scoreless innings to win his first game for Arizona in his ninth and final start this season, and the Diamondbacks beat the Colorado Rockies 11-3 on Sunday to close disappointing years for both teams.
Bumgarner (1-4), a former World Series MVP for San Francisco, left the Giants as a free agent for an $85 million, five-year contract to pitch in the desert. The 31-year-old left-hander never got untracked, plagued by inconsistency and a monthlong stint on the injured list with a mid-back strain.
Bumgarner allowed two hits with four strikeouts for first win since Sept. 4, 2019. He finished with a 6.48 ERA.
“I enjoyed played behind him this year and these last two outings have been fantastic,” Diamondbacks first baseman Christian Walker said. “In a normal season, he’s hitting his stride and getting hot right when we need him. Everything was magnified and sped up, but even then very happy to see a lot of confidence in Madison.”
Bumgarner did not speak with reporters after the game.
Arizona had aspirations of its first playoff berth since 2017 after finishing 85-77 last season but faded from contention with a stretch of 13 losses in 14 games last month and finished last in the NL West at 25-35.
“I was proud of them today, what they gave me and gave this organization the past several games when the easiest thing to do would be to shut down,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. “They stayed the course, stayed in the lane I wanted them to the entire year.”
Colorado finished 71-90 a year ago and wasn’t expected to be much of a factor in the NL West this season with Ian Desmond sitting out due to the coronavirus. The Rockies opened 11-3 but finished fourth at 26-34, 17 games back of the first-place Los Angeles Dodgers.
“They came to the park every day with preparation and intensity,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “Proud of the guys for that. It just didn’t work out basically the second half of the season.”
Arizona scored two runs in the first inning off Kyle Freeland (2-1) and four more in the third to close with five wins in its final six games.
Kole Calhoun hit a two-run homer in the third inning for the 16th of his first season with Arizona. Calhoun and Ketel Marte had three RBIs each.
Freeland allowed six runs and eight hits in 2 1/3 innings. He had no wins in his final 11 starts and had a 4.33 ERA.
“This one kind of stung a little bit,” Freeland said. “You always want to end the season on a high note, whether you’re a pitcher or a position player. I wasn’t able to do that, but I’ll use this as fuel but at the same time forget about it as quickly as I possibly can.”
Colorado rookie reliever Ashton Goudreau had an up-and-down stint during a three-game callup last month, giving up six earned runs in 4 2/3 innings. Given another chance against Arizona in the season finale, the 28-year-old former draft pick of the Royals was solid, giving up a run on four hits and 3 2/3 innings after replacing Freeland.
“That’s the best we’ve seen him in a big league game,” Black said. “I think that’s more indicative what he can possibly do in the big leagues. Today was a step right direction for him confidence wise and something he can take with him into the offseason feeling good about.”
The Rockies and Diamondbacks open their spring training schedules against each other on Feb. 27 in Scottsdale, Arizona.
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