Tyler Colvin was doing one of those “paybacks are a b–” numbers on his former employer Tuesday night, but the Colorado Rockies overcame their former teammate’s best intentions when Nolan Arenado doubled off the top of the left-field wall with 2 out in the 9th inning and runners on 1st and 3rd. Troy Tulowitzki scored. Carlos Gonzalez scored. Rockies 5, San Francisco Giants 4. Colorado wins.
The game at Coors Field in Denver was a tedious and lengthy (3:33) affair. The Rockies went ahead in the 4th on doubles by Tulowitzki and Wilin Rosario. Franklin Morales started for Colorado and pitched relatively well, but the Giants got to him for 3 in the 5th. With 1 out Brandon Crawford, who has become a real pain in the [neck], singled to right. Colvin followed, and on Morales’ second offering dropped a looping liner on what turned-out to be the outside 1/8 inch of the left-field foul line. The umps called it foul, but it was in-fact fair, and Crawford was awarded 3rd and Colvin 2nd base. Our esteemed RoOT Sports broadcast crew was stumped about the legal basis for the ruling, and so am I, but it seemed like the only fair call. Morales sucked-it-up and got San Francisco starter Madison Bumgarner to strike-out, but Gregor Blanco scalded him with a 2-run triple, then scored on a single by Hunter Pence.
Colorado would not trail for long. An inning later Arenado, who came off an 0-11 skid to go 3 for 5, singled leading-off and Rosario followed by driving Bumgarner’s next pitch on the “Tundra Trajectory” about 3 rows short of the left-field concourse to tie things-up.
A two inning stalemate would follow. Morales lasted 6. He permitted the 3 runs on 5 hits and a walk, and struck-out 6. Rex Brothers muddled through the 7th and Adam Ottavino faced the minimum in the 8th.
But LaTroy Hawkins (2-0, 4.41) was once-again burned in the 9th when Brandon Hicks singled with 1 out and Colvin followed an out later with a much fairer double down the left-field line to put the Giants ahead 4-3.
The Rockies were not to be denied. With SF closer Sergio Romo (3-1, 3.00) pitching, Justin Morneau pinch-hit for Brandon Barnes and walked leading-off, and after Michael Cuddyer, making his first start since returning from the Disabled List, lifted a fly-ball to the right-field track, Tulowitzki forced him at 2nd for the second out. One out remaining, Gonzalez singled, which brought Arenado to the plate. Struggling since the demise of his 28-game hitting streak, Arenado worked Romo to a 2-2 count, and on the 7th pitch laced a line-drive over the glove of Colvin and off the yellow line to plate both runners and win the game.
The middle contest in the 3-game series is set for 6:40 tonight at the old ballpark in LoDo. Right-handers Jhoulys Chacin and Matt Cain face-off for the Rockies and Giants respectively, as Colorado seeks to move to within a game of San Francisco in the NL West standings.