Guerrero's slam lifts LA over Rox in nightcap
DENVER -- Trailing by three, Alex Guerrero launched a go-ahead grand slam in the ninth inning off Rockies reliever Rafael Betancourt, handing the Dodgers an improbable 9-8 comeback victory over Colorado in Game 2 of Tuesday's doubleheader at Coors Field.
"I like to hit here," said Guerrero, a rookie who played seven seasons in Cuba.
With closer John Axford unavailable after saving Game 1, the Rockies turned to Betancourt (2-2) with an 8-5 lead, and things quickly turned sour for the veteran reliever. The Dodgers opened the inning with three straight singles, but Betancourt managed to retire the next two hitters without giving up a run.
Betancourt got ahead of Guerrero, 1-2, but the Dodgers utility man then crushed a 91-mph fastball to dead center -- the home run coming just inches away from landing in Charlie Blackmon's outstretched glove. It was the third grand slam Betancourt has allowed in his career.
"Tough loss, no doubt about it," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "Their guy got a big hit, and that's what it came down to."
The Rockies' ninth-inning implosion erased the late-game heroics of Troy Tulowitzki, who gave Colorado a 7-5 lead on a two-run homer in the seventh. That blast countered Joc Pederson's game-tying triple in the top half, which knotted things at 5 after the Rockies pulled ahead with a two-run sixth.
That was the final damage done off Dodgers starter Zack Greinke, whose streak of 10 quality starts came to a close. The Dodgers handed him an early 4-0 lead, but Greinke yielded 10 hits and five runs over six innings.
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Rookie relievers in spotlight: Josh Ravin made his Major League debut after nearly a decade in the Minor Leagues, struck out the only batter he faced and earned the win. But Yimi Garcia, who did not allow a home run in his first 14 appearances, served up Tulowitzki's tie-breaker, the fourth homer Garcia has allowed in his last 10 games. He also gave up a game-loser to Carlos Gonzalez on May 14. More >
A century of thirds: Before scoring the tying run on Pederson's two-out triple in the seventh inning, Jimmy Rollins stole third base for the 100th time of his career, second among active players behind Ichiro Suzuki's 109.
Hale is here: David Hale started Game 2 as the Rockies' 26th man and yielded four runs and seven hits over six frames. He served up home runs to Enrique Hernandez, Pederson and Adrian Gonzalez in the first three innings to fall behind, 4-0 but settled down after that.
"I learned quickly here that you've got to put some of those home runs behind you," Hale said. "Balls will be hit out of the park here, so you've got to learn to put them out of your mind quickly. I was happy with the way that I bounced back."
Late effort: Despite the Rockies' ninth-inning mess, Colorado did manage something in the bottom half off closer Kenley Jansen. Carlos Gonzalez doubled and moved to third on a fielder's choice, putting the potential tying run 90 feet away with two outs. But Jansen threw five straight cutters to Ben Paulsen and eventually struck him out to end the game.
"Joc has a chance to be a really, really good player." -- Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, on Pederson, who has homered in his last four games.
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Before the Dodgers' early homer barrage, Hale had served up just five career home runs in 105 Major League innings. That's an average of one long ball surrendered every 21 frames.
Dodgers: Mike Bolsinger was about eighth on the rotation depth chart during Spring Training, but he's 3-1 with a 1.15 ERA in five Dodgers starts this year with an opposing batting average of .196. Wednesday at 5:10 p.m. PT will be his first career start at Coors Field.
Rockies: The Rockies have been a mixed bag this year in series finales. They're 7-9 in such games, but enter Wednesday (6:10 p.m. MT) having won four straight, including the last two at home. Los Angeles did, however, give the Rockies their last series-finale loss at Coors Field, which came on May 10.
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