This is a habit the Colorado Rockies would never like to break. For the second game in a row, the Rockies escaped with a timely hit in their last at-bat. On Sunday Justin Morneau was the hero against the Padres, and on Monday night Nolan Arenado provided the dynamite with a walk-off double in the bottom of the ninth to give his team a 5-4 win over the San Francisco Giants.
If the Rockies would have needed it, they might have had the deciding hit reviewed, as it appeared to have hit above the yellow line in left field and been touched by a fan. In fact, Arenado was in his home-run trot midway between first and second when he realized the ball was still in play. In the end it did not matter, as Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki scored ahead of him and the game was over.
Most importantly, the win moved the Rockies to within two games of the Giants for first place in the National League West, with two more games at Coors Field in the 3-game series. Colorado leads the season series with the Giants 4-3, and they are 10-4 against San Francisco at Coors Field since last season.
The Rockies got the scoring started in the fourth inning when Wilin Rosario doubled in Tulowitzki to give the home team a 1-0 lead, but it was short-lived. The Giants came back in the top of the fifth to score three runs on a two-run triple by Gregor Blanco and a throwing error by Tulowitzki which allowed Blanco to score on a ball hit by Hunter Pence. Rosario then picked up his second and third RBI of the game in the sixth inning when he hit a 424-foot home run to left field off of Giants’ starter Madison Bumgarner to tie the game 3-3.
The game would stay that way until the ninth, when closer LaTroy Hawkins gave up a double to Tyler Colvin in the top of the inning to give San Francisco a 4-3 lead as Colorado came to bat for the final time. Justin Morneau drew a walk off of Giants’ closer Sergio Romo to begin the Rockies’ ninth inning before Michael Cuddyer, back for his first game since a hamstring injury 25 games ago, flied out deep to right. Tulowitzki then hit a ground ball but beat the double play relay to keep the inning alive. Gonzalez then laced a single to right to move Tulo to third and the stage was set. Arenado, who had gone 0-13 coming into the game, got the count to 2-2 before he connected with a slider at his knees and line drove the ball deep to left field, well clear of Giants’ left-fielder Colvin.
Hawkins got the win for Colorado, but starter Franklin Morales pitched pretty well, giving up just three earned runs in six innings. He walked only one batter and struck out six. Arenado went 3 for 5 for the Rockies and raised his batting average to .301.
These two teams will meet in the second of the three-game series on Wednesday at Coors Field. Matt Cain (1-3, 4.33 ERA) will be on the mound for the Giants against Jhoulys Chacin (0-2, 4.76 ERA) for the Rockies.
Commentary by Chuck Podhaisky
Guardian Liberty Voice Sports Writer covering the Colorado Rockies