Tulo plates 5, Rox rally for wild walk-off vs. LA
DENVER -- Just when it seemed the Rockies would waste a potentially game-turning Troy Tulowitzki homer for the second straight night, they fashioned a three-run ninth inning, culminating in Nolan Arenado's sacrifice fly for a 7-6 victory over the Dodgers at Coors Field on Wednesday night.
The game was delayed 2 hours, 10 minutes at the beginning by rain, lightning and hail, and for 16 minutes after the top of the second by rain. The Rockies' day started with manager Walt Weiss urging the squad to put Tuesday night's 8-5 loss behind them. Tulowitzki's two-run shot had given the team the lead, but Rafael Betancourt gave up an Alex Guerrero grand slam in the ninth.
The day ended with the Rockies' own walk-off for their ninth victory in the last 12 games.
"I told the guys the game rewards you for playing it the right way and competing like we are, and it happened right away -- happened tonight," Weiss said.
Tulowitzki's three-run shot in the fifth off Mike Bolsinger gave the Rockies a 4-2 lead. But the Dodgers scored three in the seventh and Joc Pederson made it five straight games with a homer with a solo shot off Scott Oberg for a 6-4 lead.
"Guys were still upbeat in the dugout, thinking we could get it done," Tulowitzki said. "We knew if we could get some guys on base and make it difficult, we had a chance. That's what we did."
But Michael McKenry singled and Charlie Blackmon doubled -- for his season-high fourth hit -- off Adam Liberatore to open the ninth. Yimi Garcia (2-2) walked DJ LeMahieu and Tulowitzki to force in a run -- for his fifth RBI. A passed ball on catcher Yasmani Grandal allowed Blackmon to score to tie it. Arenado's fly to center off Chris Hatcher allowed the Rockies to split the four games between the clubs and made a winner of John Axford (1-0), who pitched a scoreless top of the ninth.
On Tuesday night, in the second game of a doubleheader, Tulowitzki gave the Rockies a late lead with a two-run homer as part of a three-run inning, before Alex Guerrero's grand slam in the top of the ninth gave the Dodgers a 9-8 victory.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
That's a balk?: After complaining about umpires in St. Louis, the Dodgers made it through three games before unrest broke out on plate umpire Jeff Nelson's balk call against Bolsinger in the first inning. The call came when Blackmon attempted to steal third base, but balk calls are not reviewable.
'Tulo' time: Before the first of his two home runs in Philadelphia on Friday, Tulowitzki had gone 91 at-bats and 96 plate appearances without a home run.
He has gone 10-for-19 with four homers, a double and 10 RBIs in the last five games.
"I hope so," Tulowitzki said when asked if he's turning hot. "That would be nice. I'm just coming to play every day, coming to work, trying to get better each and every day. That's what I've done since day one of my career."
Not heads up: The Dodgers missed scoring a second run with one out in the second inning and runners on the corners when Guerrero failed to get into a rundown between first and second base that would have extended a tag play long enough for Grandal to score from third base. Instead, Guerrero was tagged out sliding into second base before Grandal touched the plate and it went as an inning-ending double-play hit by Jimmy Rollins.
Control: Arenado made a couple of nice fielding plays but struggled at the plate, going 0-for-4 with a strikeout -- often chasing pitches in the dirt. But he was able to lift Hatcher's 0-2 pitch over a five-man infield and deep enough that Dodgers center fielder Chris Heisey had no chance to erase the runner at the plate.
"Every single one of those guys has the opportunity to do something special, and everybody did. It was all a collective effort. We can be up in a game. We can fall back down, but the guys battled. They looked at every single pitch and took the opportunities when we needed it." --Axford, on watching the bottom of the ninth unfold from the dugout
"That was really on me. Our hitters came through, I just didn't get the job done." --Bolsinger on his performance
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Six of the Rockies' last 11 home games have encountered a weather delay -- the cumulative delay time being 9 hours, 50 minutes.
Rockies starter Chad Bettis said he felt out of rhythm, but he pushed through despite throwing 102 pitches. His two runs (one earned) and five hits yielded over six innings produced Bettis' fourth straight quality start -- a span in which he's lowered his ERA from 7.20 to 2.70.
"My motto the whole year -- whether I have my best stuff or my worst stuff -- is just to pitch my way through a game," Bettis said. "It's nice to work through that six innings and not have my best stuff and have guys make some fantastic plays behind me."
NOW YOU SEE HIM
Despite constantly demonstrating why he has earned Rawlings Gold Glove Awards the last two years and emerging as a power bat, Arenado languishes in fourth place among third basemen in All-Star voting. It didn't take long Wednesday for Arenado to show his wares before a national TV audience with his diving grab of Turner's first-inning line drive.
Dodgers: Carlos Frias will try to duplicate last weekend's 5-1 win over the Cardinals, when he allowed only one unearned run over seven innings, in the series opener at 7:10 p.m. PT at Dodger Stradium. The Dodgers are 21-7 at home this year. Joc Pederson was 0-for-3 with a strikeout against Wacha.
Rockies: Colorado is off on Thursday before welcoming in the Marlins for a three-game set. The Rockies took two of three from Miami at Coors Field last season, including a walk-off victory in the 13th inning. Rockies right-hander Eddie Butler takes the ball in Friday's 6:40 p.m. MT opener opposite Miami's Tom Koehler.
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