Nolan Arenado hit a two-out double in the bottom of the ninth to knock in the tying and winning runs, as the Colorado Rockies came back to rock the San Francisco Giants, 5-4, Tuesday night, in the first of the three game series in Denver.
It was a back-and-forth game, with Colorado scoring first in the fourth inning and the Giants answering back with three of their own in the fifth. The Rockies tied it in the sixth and matters stayed that way until both teams scored in the ninth, the Rockies coming out on top by one.
There were two instant replay calls, one favoring the Giants when Tyler Colvin’s first double was ruled a hit, after being called foul, and the other going against, when Drew Stubbs was ruled safe on a play at second base. Replays seemed to indicate that Stubbs had been nipped in a close play, but the call stood.
There was also a little bit of acrimony when Madison Bumgarner, who had hit Troy Tulowitzki in the fifth inning, was himself plunked in the top of the seventh by Rex Brothers. Trotting down the first base line, Bumgarner was clearly calling someone from the Rockies’ bench out, though exactly what he expected, after he nailed Tulo with a fastball earlier, is unclear.
Wilin Rosario doubled in Troy Tulowitzki in the fourth inning to give the Rockies a 1-0 lead, and then homered in the sixth with Arenado aboard to tie the game at three. But before he could be awarded player of the game, Arenado stole his thunder. Arenado had already hit two singles, before hitting Sergio Romo’s 3-2 pitch off the wall, with two outs, to score both Justin Morneau and Carlos Gonzalez.
For the Giants, it was first Tyler Colvin doubling in Brandon Crawford in the fifth, followed by Gregor Blanco tripling in two more in the same inning. Then in the ninth, with two outs, Colvin did it again, doubling in the go-ahead run with two outs. He put on quite a show in terms of clutch hitting. Pablo Sandoval went 0-4 to end his nine-game hitting streak, including hitting into an eighth-inning double play.
Franklin Morales and Madison Bumgarner both made quality starts, going six innings and giving up three runs. For the Rockies, Rex Brothers, Adam Ottavino and Latroy Hawkins provided relief, with Hawkins surrendering the run in the ninth. Ironically, he earned the win.
For the Giants, it was Jean Machi (7th) , Santiago Casilla (8th) and Sergio Romo, who took over for Bumgarner. For the second time this season, Romo could not slam the door, beginning the ninth by walking Justin Morneau. Michael Cuddyer sent Hunter Pence to the track to haul down his blast and Tulowitzki grounded into a fielder’s choice, but Carlos Gonzalez sent a screamer just inches above Brandon Crawford’s glove, and Arenado got the big hit.
The game was tense and well-played as befitting the two top teams in the division. Up until today, the two teams had split the six games played, each taking two of three in the home park. It’s up to San Francisco to make the move now, after losing tonight. They must shake it off, get back out there tomorrow behind Matt Cain, and get it done.