What a difference a night makes. The Colorado Rockies needed only two runs on Tuesday night to beat San Francisco, but less than 24 hours, 10 runs, 16 hits and 11 innings later found themselves on the losing end of their series finale against the Giants at Coors Field. Hector Sanchez was the difference for San Francisco, belting two of his team’s six home runs, including a grand-slam in the top of the eleventh inning of the Rockies’ 12-10 loss.
It was the second time during the Rockies’ current home-stand that they have failed in an attempt to sweep a three-game series. On Sunday they lost another slug-fest to the Phillies 10-9. On Wednesday the Rockies must have liked their chances early in the game. Troy Tulowitzki knocked a first-inning Matt Cain pitch over the left-center wall for a two-run homer. Then in the second inning, Colorado got three runs on four hits and an error to sprint out to a 5-1 lead. Things were just getting warmed up.
Brandon Hicks led off the Giants half of the third inning with a 407-foot solo home run to right. Then with two outs, Michael Morse hit his second home run of the game. This one was a three-run shot off of Rockies’ starter Tyler Chatwood. Colorado failed to score in the bottom of the inning, and just three innings into the game, the score was tied at five. Charlie Blackmon got into the home-run derby showcase in the fourth inning for the Rockies with a solo homer of his own, and Chatwood silenced the Giants’ bats for two more innings before leaving after the sixth.
Rex Brothers relieved Chatwood in the seventh and gave up a two-run homer, and the lead, to the aptly named Brandon Belt. The Rockies evened the score again in the bottom of the inning when Nolan Arenado doubled in Charlie Blackmon. Each team got one more in the eighth, followed by a scoreless ninth and tenth.
The trouble began for Colorado in the eleventh. Chad Bettis replaced Boone Logan on the mound and promptly gave up a lead-off single to Hunter Pence. After Belt drew a walk, he and Pence were sacrificed to second and third. The next batter, Joaquin Arias, was intentionally walked to load the bases and set the stage for the Heroics of Sanchez’ 438-foot grand slam to center. A two-run homer by Morneau in the bottom of the inning would provide the last gasp for the Rockies, who now leave on a six-game road trip against two more NL West rivals, the Dodgers and the Diamondbacks.
As bad as the day was for the Colorado Rockies’ pitchers in the 12-10 loss to the San Francisco Giants, it was a good day for their league-leading offensive unit. Tulowitzki and D.J. LeMahieu each had three hits on the day. The team piled up 16 hits without two of their most potent hitters—Carlos Gonzalez and Michael Cuddyer. Gonzalez has been nursing a bad knee, and went 0-1 as a pinch-hitter. Cuddyer is day-to-day with a hamstring injury.
Commentary by Chuck Podhaisky
Guardian Liberty Voice Sports Writer covering the Colorado Rockies