DENVER -- The D-backs upstaged a cold and wet day in Denver to rain on Drew Pomeranz's 2012 debut Sunday, spoiling the Rockies' hopes of a series sweep by dealing them a 5-2 defeat on Jackie Robinson Day.
Pomeranz lacked sharpness against Arizona Sunday, failing to fool the opposing lineup as they tagged him for five runs on nine hits and two walks in 4 1/3 innings.
"He struggled with his breaking ball," manager Jim Tracy said. "He was throwing a lot of breaking balls where he was trying to involve it in the count, and it ended up looking like a two-strike breaking ball, a lot of bounced breaking balls, and some misses with his fastball. Evidence of that is 100 pitches in 4 1/3 innings, and you can't go any further than that."
The barrage of hits began in the first when, after two quick outs, Juston Upton singled to left and Chris Young launched a two-run shot over the fence in left-center field.
"Most of those hits -- the home run the first inning -- were fastballs away that were kind of coming back middle of the plate up," Pomeranz said. "They weren't down. They're a good fast-ball hitting team, and when you're missing down the middle [and] up, they're going to hit it."
After a 1-2-3 second, Pomeranz got himself in and out of jams, usually with some collateral damage. He gave up a run on two hits in the third, then let the first three hitters on base in the fourth before striking out the last two to leave the scoreboard intact.
"I didn't throw a lot of changeups today, so I didn't have a good mix of three pitches," Pomeranz said. "They weren't swinging at my curveball. It was like they were sitting on it waiting for fastballs."
When the D-backs weren't hitting, they were stealing bases off Pomeranz, with Gerardo Parra and Chris Young stealing two each and Justin Upton swiping a fifth.
"He was a young kid and we pushed the envelope there and the guys did a good job," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "He got a little unraveled there from time to time."
After three hits, a walk, and a strikeout in the fifth frame, Pomeranz left having tossed 100 pitches, turning the game over to an overworked bullpen. He gave up two runs in the inning, framed by a leadoff single to center from Parra and a two-run single to left from Aaron Hill.
The 'pen was flawless, throwing 4 2/3 innings of one-hit, shutout ball. Josh Roenicke set the standard with 2 2/3 innings before turning it over to Matt Reyonds and Rafael Betancourt for an inning each.
"Roenicke was the exact opposite [of Pomeranz]," Tracy said. "He was throwing his breaking pitch for strikes early in the count, he was getting his fastball over the plate, he was pitching ahead in the count, and when you do things like that you force defensive swings."
The Rockies were short on starters Sunday. Carlos Gonzalez was sent home for a second day with strep throat, veterans Todd Helton, Marco Scutaro, and Ramon Hernandez had off days, and Dexter Fowler started the game on the bench.
"There are some days when you'd like to have it a heck of a lot different than it is, but if that's the situation on a given day, you have to deal with it," Tracy said of his lineup. "This club is built so that on certain days we're going to have to do some different things, or those guys that [were resting], there's not going to be much left of them for the second half of the season."
The Rockies managed just four hits off D-backs starter Trevor Cahill, and Jonathan Herrera's three hits were the only three balls off Colorado bats to leave the infield until a ninth inning fly to center from Wilin Rosario. Herrera's eighth inning knock finally drove Cahill from the game.
"There's one of the guys that we plug in," Tracy said of Herrera. "He's a very capable player, and when used in spots like we're hopeful of being able to do with him this year, he can be a very productive player for us, just like he's done in the past."
The regulars were all stacked up in the middle of the order, and Troy Tulowitzki, Jason Giambi and Michael Cuddyer went a combined 1-for-9.
"Today we ran into a guy who was on, and whether it was the way he was pitching or the elements, it was all around a hard day," Cuddyer said of Cahill. "We got in a lot of good counts, but he made a big pitch when he had to. He threw it just enough in the zone to get us to roll over and ground out. But we battled. We never quit, and that's what you ask for.
With Cahill gone, the Rockies rallied when Fowler drew a walk in his first at bat since coming in on a double switch and Eric Young Jr. beat out a bunt single. Tyler Colvin grounded into a fielder's choice, and with Young breaking up the double play, Herrera raced home with the Rockies' first run. Tulowitzki bashed a hard single off John McDondald's glove to plate Fowler and Giambi walked to load the bases before pinch-hitter Hernandez grounded to first against Bryan Shaw, the inning's fifth pitcher.
"We won the series, but we would have liked to have won today," Tracy said. "We had the go-ahead run standing at home plate in the eighth under some very, very tough conditions to play baseball in, no question about that. A good series to win. When you have two, you'd like to get three. We'll start over again tomorrow and move on against the Padres."
Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.