The Colorado Rockies went into the bottom of the 9th inning Monday night at Coors Field in Denver with an 0 for 15 tally with runners in scoring position, had left 12 on-base, and trailed the Arizona Diamondbacks 4-1. 8 batters and 2 outs later pinch hitter Ben Paulsen smashed a ground single to center-field, and Nolan Arenado and DJ LeMahieu scored as the Rockies took their 7th walk-off victory of the 2015 MLB season by a score of 5-4.
The contest was a teeth-grinder for Colorado fans for the first 8 innings. Arizona ran out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the 3rd on singles by Chris Owings and Ender Inciarte, who scored on an AJ Pollock home run to left-field. The Rockies got one back in the bottom of the inning when Charlie Blackmon, who was 3 for 4 with a stolen base, tripled leading-off and scored on a Jose Reyes ground ball. The Dbacks made it 4-1 in the 5th when Paul Goldschmidt doubled with 2 out and rode home on a David Peralta single.
Colorado in the meantime left Blackmon at 2nd in the 1st, LeMahieu and Brandon Barnes at 2nd and 3rd in the 2nd, LeMahieu again at 2nd in the 4th, Blackmon at 2nd in the 5th, Matt McBride out there in the 6th, and Blackmon at 3rd in the 7th. Chad Bettis started for the Rockies and surrendered all 4 of the Arizona runs in 6 innings. Bettis allowed 11 hits but walked no one. He struck-out 4.
Robbie Ray, Randall Delgado and David Hernandez held Colorado in-check through 8, then Brad Ziegler (0-3, 2.48) got in trouble in the bottom of the 9th.
Daniel Descalso pinch-hit for reliever Simon Castro (2-0, 0.00) and grounded a single to right. After Blackmon struck-out and Gary fell asleep, Reyes doubled to right, driving Descalso to 3rd. Arenado then singled off the yellow home run line in left-field to plate Descalso and Reyes, bringing the score to 4-3. Carlos Gonzalez lined to left, leaving Colorado only one out to work with, but LeMahieu, who had 3 hits, smashed one back at Ziegler, who couldn’t handle it, then threw wildly, putting Arenado at 3rd and LeMahieu at 2nd. Nick Hundley was walked, and Rockies’ manager Walt Weiss turned to the left-handed Paulsen in lieu of McBride. Chip Hale countered with lefty Matt Reynolds, the former Rockie, but Paulsen was undeterred, driving Reynolds’ 3rd offering up the middle as the base runners scampered home for the win.
Paulsen will have little time to dry off from the obligatory Brandon Barnes dousing. The Division rivals go right back at it this afternoon with Yohan Flande facing Patrick Corbin at 1:10 MDT, then the legendary Kyle Kendrick returns from the Disabled List to match-up with Rubby De La Rosa at 6:40. Both contests are back at the old ball park in downtown Denver.