Walk-off walk gives Rox WC breathing room

September 4th, 2017

DENVER -- The Rockies, down on their luck after a sweep by the D-backs, bounced back with aplomb Monday. drew a walk-off walk in the bottom of the ninth to beat the Giants, 4-3.

Haze wafted into Coors Field all afternoon, and in the ninth, the Rockies took advantage. Giants left fielder lost a Charlie Blackmon fly ball to start the frame, and Blackmon -- the winning run -- ended up at second base. The Rockies then loaded the bases thanks to two walks, and Gonzalez wrapped up the game with the third free pass of the inning.

"I think that's the first time that happened to me. I've had some walk-off hits and home runs or whatever, but I never had a walk to win the game," Gonzalez said. "For me, I wasn't trying to do too much … just enough to win the game."

Said Williamson: "In the big leagues, you gotta make that catch. It was a long way to run, but they're not going to hit it right to you every time."

The Rockies gained a game in the National League Wild Card race for the first time since last Tuesday, increasing their lead over the Brewers to 1 1/2 games for the second berth.

Rockies starter made his fifth start of the season and went 5 1/3 innings giving up three runs. His fastball velocity was up, averaging 90.5 mph and topping out at 93.1. Bettis' four-seamer averaged 89.3 mph over his first four starts.

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"For as connected as I felt those last four starts, there was a deficiency somewhere power-wise," Bettis said. "We did some drills the last bullpen to get ready for this game, and I think it just came to fruition."

Giants starter Chris Stratton labored through his outing, throwing 98 pitches in four innings. He started off quick, notching the first five outs of the game on just 16 pitches, but then got stuck in the mud.

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The Giants' bullpen pitched well until the ninth, not giving up a hit from the fifth through eighth innings.

"It's just unacceptable for me to come in, not throw strikes and make that a competitive at-bat," said Giants right-hander , who issued the game-ending walk to Gonzalez.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED

You Bettis, you Bettis, you Bet: The Rockies struggled mightily with runners in scoring position against the D-backs, going 2-for-30 in the series, but Monday they got a boost from an unlikely source -- Bettis. After Gonzalez doubled to lead off the fourth, Bettis drove a single up the middle to tie the Giants at 2-2. It was Bettis' fourth career RBI and first this season. DJ LeMahieu kept it rolling two batters later, giving the Rockies a 3-2 lead with a single.

"I was just trying to shoot the ball the other way, honestly, and I just happened to get it," Bettis said of his single. "Really, when I got to two strikes, I was just trying to shoot it the other way, and just see what happened. He threw the fastball there and I barreled it." More >

Panik attack: Bettis retired eight Giants in a row to finish off the second turn through the order, but his third go-around was bumpy. led off the sixth with a double and Joe Panik drove him in with a single, tying the Rockies at 3-3. Span and Panik provided all of the Giants' offense, as they both hit second-deck solo home runs earlier in the game and combined for six of the Giants' seven hits.

"The last four or five hitters in the lineup couldn't mount any offense," Bochy said. "That was tough, because we got a lot of production from our first two guys."

WHAT'S NEXT

Giants: Facing the Rockies is always a big deal for , who grew up rooting for them in the Denver suburb of Centennial, Colo. Blach's seventh appearance against the Rockies and his third start, which begins Tuesday at 5:40 p.m. PT at Coors Field, were dreams to him as he pulled hard for Andres Galarraga, his favorite player.

Rockies: makes his first start since Aug. 2 on Tuesday at 6:40 p.m. MT to begin what will likely be a bullpen day for the Rockies. Chatwood was bumped from the rotation after injuring his calf July 15. If Chatwood pitches well, however, he could go as many as 100 pitches.

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