DENVER -- Rockies center fielder Charlie Blackmon was bruised and winded from a full-on sprint and wall collision in the top of the ninth, and delighted by a sprint home for the winning run on Nolan Arenado's walk-off single in a 5-4 win over the Mets on Tuesday night at Coors Field.
For Blackmon, the soreness and breathlessness simply fulfilled what was foreordained -- a victory that propelled the Rockies into the lead in the National League Wild Card race.
"I felt like we were supposed to win today," said Blackmon, who robbed Asdrubal Cabrera of a possible extra-base hit before the Rockies' winning rally. "I can't explain it."
Blackmon drew a leadoff walk against Hansel Robles (6-2), then advanced on DJ LeMahieu's infield single -- which caromed off the glove of Mets debuting shortstop Amed Rosario. Then, Arenado, who had a three-run homer in the sixth off Mets starter Steven Matz, delivered the winning hit to center to improve his Majors-leading RBI total to 95.
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"To be honest with you, I want those moments, those at-bats," Arenado said. "I don't mind them."
Jay Bruce -- who gave the Mets a brief 4-3 lead in the eighth with a leadoff homer off Chris Rusin -- and Neil Walker consoled Rosario (1-for-4), the Majors' No. 2 overall prospect per MLBPipeline.com, as the Rockies celebrated and the Mets trudged to their dugout.
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"It really means a lot that they're there for me like that," Rosario said through an interpreter. "But that's just part of the game, you shake it off. I've already forgotten it, and I'll come in tomorrow with a new mindset and a lot of faith."
Blackmon's catch helped left-handed reliever Mike Dunn (3-1) complete a perfect top of the ninth. The Rockies took the Wild Card lead after the D-backs lost to the Cubs, 16-4.
"It was a momentum-swinging game all the way through, and those are good games to win," Rockies manager Bud Black said.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Familiarity isn't foolproof:Pat Neshek is new to the Rockies, but he and catcher Ryan Hanigan were together in Phillies Spring Training. However, familiarity is no guarantee. Hanigan let Neshek's third strike to Jose Reyes bounce off his glove and to the backstop for a passed ball. Reyes eventually scored on a Cabrera sacrifice fly. It was just the fourth time Neshek has given up a run in 46 appearances, but this one was unearned. Reyes was playing at Coors for the first time since his brief stint with the Rockies in 2015.
Matchups aren't foolproof, either: The Rockies came back to tie it at 4 thanks to some well-placed hits. Gerardo Parra and Carlos Gonzalez -- two lefties -- came up vs. Mets left-hander Jerry Blevins. Entering Tuesday, Parra had been 0-for-3 with 2 strikeouts against Blevins, while Gonzalez was 0-for-5 with 4 strikeouts. But both managed soft singles, with Gonzalez's infield hit bringing home the Rockies' tying run.
"When you come into this market, and you're the franchise all of a sudden, there's a lot of things on your plate. So to have those veterans take a little bit off it, yeah, it's pretty cool, and we've got that kind of clubhouse in here where he'll get through it fine." -- Mets manager Terry Collins, on Bruce and Walker running over to Rosario at the end of the game
• Rosario collects first career hit in MLB debut
LUCROY SCRATCHED FROM LINEUP
Tuesday night was supposed to be the Rockies debut for catcher Jonathan Lucroy, acquired from the Rangers for a player to be named. However, Lucroy was scratched with a stomach illness. Hanigan caught, and went 1-for-3 with a walk.
"I think [Lucroy] came down with a bug, he was vomiting right after batting practice," Black said. More >
After surrendering 14 runs (13 earned) in seven innings over his previous two starts, Rockies rookie Jeff Hoffman gave up Yoenis Cespedes' one-out RBI double in the first, but held the Mets to two runs and five hits over six innings. Hoffman used his curveball and slider less than before, instead pounding fastballs and using his developing changeup confidently.
"There were some situations where it could've escalated and I could've given up a few more runs or hits, and I really beared down," Hoffman said.
Mets:Chris Flexen will make his second career MLB start, taking on the Rockies at 8:40 p.m. ET on Wednesday. The rookie right-hander threw just three innings in his debut last Thursday vs. the Padres, giving up four runs (three earned) on five hits.
Rockies: Righty Tyler Chatwood (6-11, 4.78 ERA) will look to erase the painful memory of his last start agains the Mets at 6:40 p.m. MT on Wednesday. He gave up four runs, including a Bruce three-run homer, in just one-third of an inning against New York before leaving with a calf strain on July 15. Chatwood, who has struggled with walks all season, returns to the rotation with hopes of holding onto a spot down the stretch.
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