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Wolters' hustle provides thrilling end to win

MLB.com @harding_at_mlb

LOS ANGELES -- Tony Wolters has been a catcher since 2013 -- not long, but long enough to have backed up first base on infield throws to the point it's rote.

But now he has the final out of Monday's 2-1 victory over the Dodgers, which put the Rockies in first place in the National League West by a half-game over the D-backs, as proof that the fundamental can never be taken for granted.

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LOS ANGELES -- Tony Wolters has been a catcher since 2013 -- not long, but long enough to have backed up first base on infield throws to the point it's rote.

But now he has the final out of Monday's 2-1 victory over the Dodgers, which put the Rockies in first place in the National League West by a half-game over the D-backs, as proof that the fundamental can never be taken for granted.

View Full Game Coverage

"You never know," said Wolters, channeling Yogi Berra and, well, every other catcher, ever.

Wolters retrieved shortstop Trevor Story's errant throw after it skipped past first baseman Ian Desmond. Batter-runner Matt Kemp had made a small step toward second base, which meant he had no protection against being tagged. Wolters first ran toward first in an attempt to tag Kemp himself, then flipped to Desmond for the game-ending out.

Video: COL@LAD: Wolters, Parra, Marquez on win vs. Dodgers

"He started running quick, so he thought he made a move," Wolters said. "So, hopefully, they [the umpires] thought he made a move."

They did.

Kemp didn't make much of a move toward second, but neither he nor Dodgers manager Dave Roberts protested postgame. Roberts did check with crew chief Adam Holbrook whether Kemp did make a move toward second, but that was all he could do. The call by first-base umpire Alfonso Marquez was not reviewable. The tag itself was reviewable, but that was not in dispute.

"If you turn and took a step in the direction of second base, that's considered making an attempt and it's non-reviewable," Roberts said. "They made the tag, and he was out."

Video: COL@LAD: Roberts on Kemp's baserunning on final out

Kemp said, "He said I went, so the game was over. I wasn't sure."

There's a moral to the story that Rockies manager Bud Black and every manager and coach down to the youngest levels must teach.

"Every play that's made, everybody has somewhere to go," Black said. "That's a pretty standard play for a catcher, to back up first base on a ground ball to the infield with the bases empty. Tony hustled down, reacted very well to the long hop."

But it's easy to forget because plays like that are rare.

"I've never had one like that before," said closer Wade Davis, who earned his Majors-leading 17th save.

"I've never made a play," Wolters said. "I've backed up first base and caught it. But no one has ever made the move. I think that's the first time."

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter and like his Facebook page.

Colorado Rockies, Wade Davis, Ian Desmond, Matt Kemp, Tony Wolters