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Rockies’ Eliaz Daiz beats Nolan Arenado’s Cardinals with walk-off homer

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Nolan Arenado was the main attraction, but Elias Diaz stole the show.

The Rockies’ catcher hammered a three-run, two-out, walk-off homer off Giovanny Gallegos to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 5-2 Thursday night at raucous Coors Field.

Gallegos issued back-to-back, two-out walks to Brendan Rodgers and Ryan McMahon before Diaz crushed an 0-2 hanging slider into the left-field bleachers.

The Rockies improved to 29-16 at the friendly confines in LoDo.

Arenado, the Cardinals’ star third baseman whose wish was granted in February when the Rockies traded him to St. Louis, went 0-for-4 with a strikeout in his first game at Coors Field since the trade. His average dipped to .263.

AP21183097071186 - Rockies’ Eliaz Daiz beats Nolan Arenado’s Cardinals with walk-off homer
David Zalubowski, The Associated Press

St. Louis Cardinals’ Nolan Arenado, right, congratulates Paul Goldschmidt, who had hit a solo home run off Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Antonio Senzatela during the third inning of a baseball game Thursday, July 1, 2021, in . (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Batting third, Arenado received a rousing, one-minute, standing ovation when he came to the plate in the first inning. Arenado, clearly moved by the moment, took off his batting helmet and gestured to the crowd.

Then he promptly popped out to first. He did the same in the third, then struck out in the fifth and grounded out to short in the eighth.

Rockies right-hander Antonio Senzatela pitched an excellent seven innings, allowing two runs on seven hits, walking none and fanning five. Over his last five starts at Coors Field, he’s posted a 2.48 ERA with 18 strikeouts and just three walks.

Venerable St. Louis right-hander Adam Wainwright did Senzatela one inning better. Wainwright, 39, pitched eight innings, allowing two runs on six hits. His only big mistake was giving up a two-run homer to Brendan Rodgers in the second.

St. Louis carved out a 1-0 lead in the second on Tommy Edman’s one-out triple and Paul DeJong’s RBI single. But Rodgers quickly erased it in the bottom of the frame with a 451-foot, two-run homer to center.

It was Rodgers’ fifth home run of the season and he’s beginning to illustrate why he was the third overall selection in the 2015 draft.

St. Louis tied the game, 2-2, in the third on a leadoff home run by Goldschmidt off Senzatela. Goldschmidt’s 12th homer of the season was a 403-foot shot to left on a 2-0 fastball.

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