"I was way too excited -- it felt like I was sprinting around the bases, just because I wanted to get back to the dugout," McMahon said. "As soon as I stepped on home plate, I saw the guys and said, 'All right. Let's celebrate.'"
And why not? The pinch-hit shot off Robert Gsellman with two down in the bottom of the fifth gave the Rockies a 9-8 lead, after a pitching meltdown in the top of the inning that undid some early offense, including a Nolan Arenado solo shot. Charlie Blackmon's leadoff home run in the sixth made for a two-run lead that proved safe in the hands of a bullpen that has struggled recently.
"That's the most important play of the entire game, in my opinion," Blackmon said of McMahon's homer. "He's been working really hard. It's nice to see that hard work pay off."
McMahon's second Major League long ball -- more specifically, where it landed -- was a sign that McMahon is finding his Major League swing after making the team out of Spring Training, then being demoted to Triple-A after a 9-for-50 start. Weak opposite-way contact is less a habit now. His first homer, last Thursday in Philadelphia, went to dead-center, and more balls are being struck to the right-field pull side.
After weeks of hard work turned into months, McMahon showed up at Coors around noon Wednesday and his hitting coaches presented him with the finishing adjustment -- holding the bat at a higher angle. He felt better preparing for the game, and his setup was golden during it.
"We've talked about that here, inside the walls of the clubhouse and some of the things he needs to do, and that's one of them -- get the bat head out on a fastball," Rockies manager Bud Black said. "That was awesome."
"I know it's been one day, but it just feels like I don't need to swing harder to be on time, which has been my problem," McMahon said. "It felt easier and hopefully I roll with it. Baseball is a hard game. It doesn't mean it's fixed or I'm going to hit a home run every time.
"It feels good to have a better idea, and to know all the other stuff I was doing wasn't wrong."
The Rockies, who have taken the last two over the Mets and can win the series Thursday afternoon, scored in double figures for the third time in four games, and have had seven or more runs in five of the last eight games.
And they need all the runs they can score.
With Chad Bettis giving up three first-inning runs to see his first-frame ERA rise to 11.04, and the last four of the eight runs (in 4 2/3 innings) off him in the fifth, the Rockies became the second team in history to to give up at least eight runs in nine straight home games, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. They stand in history alongside the 1894 Browns -- now known as the Cardinals after sportswriters came up with a more accurate description of the team's hosiery.
Arenado launched his 15th homer of the season in the first to cut the difference to 3-1, and a three-run second that included the first of Gerardo Parra's two RBI singles tied the game at 4. Parra and Tom Murphy singled in runs in the third for a 6-4 lead against Mets starter Seth Lugo.
The Rockies accumulated 12 hits, including three from DJ LeMahieu. Ian Desmond saw his hit streak end at five games, but he tied a career high with three walks.
Bettis seemed to settle until the fifth, when Dominic Smith tripled and scored on Wilmer Flores' sacrifice fly. That was the second out. But Devin Mesoraco singled, Jose Reyes doubled and Jose Bautista walked to chase Bettis with the bases loaded. Chris Rusin walked Brandon Nimmo and yielded an Asdrubal Cabrera two-run single.
Rusin walked Michael Conforto and gave way to the maligned Bryan Shaw (3-5), who made himself the pitcher of record by forcing a Todd Frazier grounder. Shaw has left some pitches up the the zone and missed with pitches, but grounders that roll through are an annoying factor in his 7.20 ERA.
"Buddy has said this, too, that we need just that one little thing to go my way," Shaw said. "And we got in the situation today where we go the ground ball where we needed it."
The Rockies found some bullpen magic. Harrison Musgrave escaped a double and two walks in the sixth, Jake McGee threw a spotless seventh, Adam Ottavino survived a hit in the eighth and Wade Davis earned his 100th career save with a one-hit ninth.
"That's the expectation, and that was their expectation," Black said. "So it was good to see."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Arenado turned a 5-3 double play that bailed Musgrave out of a bases-loaded situation in the top of the sixth.
With a one-run lead, Musgrave surrendered a leadoff double to Smith, then walked Mesoraco and Reyes. Pinch-hitter Kevin Plawecki hit a one-hop grounder to Arenado behind third base, who ran a few steps to the bag, then launched the ball to first before Plawecki could get there.
"I was ready," Arenado said. "The way [Musgrave] was throwing [Plawecki], it looked like a chance the ball would come my way. Musgrave made his pitches, and that was a big inning for us to get out of, a big confidence-booster."
Arenado received attention from trainers in the dugout after the sixth inning. He said it was a shoulder cramp on his right arm, but it wasn't anything major and he'll be good to play Thursday.
HE SAID IT "What I've learned from this group, in the year-and-a-half I've been here, is that there's such a great resiliency and 54-out fight. This group -- even the pitchers and guys on the bench are so engaged and really competing for the whole game. And that's a tribute to the players, the coaches, the intensity never wavers regardless of what's happening." -- Black, on the Rockies winning two straight after dropping eight in a row at home
MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY With Chris Iannetta pinch-hitting in the bottom of the seventh inning, Murphy stole second as Iannetta swung at the third strike. Murphy slid under Cabrera's legs, and the Rockies challenged that Cabrera didn't tag Murphy before Murphy touched the bag. The call was confirmed.
UP NEXT Left-hander Kyle Freeland (6-6, 3.59 ERA), who's coming off a hard-luck no-decision in his last start, will face the Mets and lefty Steven Matz (3-4, 3.31) in Thursday afternoon's series finale at Coors Field. Freeland went seven innings, but didn't give up any runs until his final inning of an eventual 5-2 loss at Texas. Expect a start from catcher Iannetta, who has caught 13 of Freeland's 14 outings. First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 p.m. MT.