Giants’ three-run lead in 14th disappears
August 25, 2009
DENVER – Ryan Spilborghs hit a grand slam in the bottom of the 14th inning, giving the Colorado Rockies a come-from-behind 6-4 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Monday night.
The Giants had taken a 4-1 lead in the top of the 14th on Eugenio Velez’s two-run triple and Juan Uribe’s groundout.
But Brian Medders walked Dexter Fowler leading off the bottom half. One out later Justin Miller (2-2) relieved and gave up a one-out single to pinch-hitter Chris Iannetta. He then walked Troy Tulowitzki and Adam Eaton to make it 4-2. Merkin Valdez, the Giants eighth pitcher, came on and Spilborghs homered into the Rockies’ bullpen to give Colorado a four-game lead in the NL wild-card race.
Eaton (1-0) worked the final two innings to get the win. He gave up three runs and walked five.
The Rockies had chances in the 10th and 11th innings but couldn’t come up with the big hit. Spilborghs grounded into a double play to end the 10th and Clint Barmes flew out to center to end the 11th with runners on first and third.
The Giants loaded the bases with two outs in the 13th but Medders lined out to third to end the inning.
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Colorado starter Jason Marquis, trying to become the first pitcher in the NL to win 15 games, went eight innings, giving up one run on six hits. He struck out five and walked two.
San Francisco starter Barry Zito didn’t give up a hit until Brad Hawpe’s two-out single to right in the fourth. Then the Rockies broke through in the fifth.
Ian Stewart led off with a walk and Yorvit Torrealba reached on an error by third baseman Uribe. Marquis sacrificed the runners up a base, but Stewart was tagged out in a rundown on Fowler’s grounder to short.
With two outs, Zito issued consecutive walks to Barmes and Todd Helton to make it 1-all. Tulowitzki flew out to deep right to end the inning.
The Giants took a 1-0 lead in first when Velez led off with a double, stole second, moved to third on Randy Winn’s fly to left and scored on Pablo Sandoval’s sacrifice fly to center.
NOTES: Sandoval left the game in the third inning with a tight right calf. … An MRI on Rockies’ RHP Aaron Cook’s right shoulder revealed no damage to the joint. Cook, who was placed on the 15-day DL on Saturday with a strained shoulder, will start throwing after Colorado’s three-game series in San Francisco this weekend. … Giants 2B Freddy Sanchez sat out his seventh straight game with a sore left shoulder.
Mariners 3, Athletics 1
SEATTLE – With his mom in town for a rare visit, Ken Griffey Jr. had to come up with a little something special.
Career homer No. 625 worked just fine.
Griffey hit two-run drive off Oakland starter Vin Mazzaro in the fifth inning, and Seattle opened a key 10-game homestand with a 3-1 win over the Athletics on Monday night.
Moments after Jose Lopez was plunked on the hip by Mazzaro’s fastball, the young righty tried to sneak a 1-1 fastball past the aging slugger.
Griffey, instead, made Mazzaro his 403rd home run victim in his 21st season, hitting a 384-foot shot into the right-center field seats for his 14th homer of the season and his second in two games.
It was the first time Griffey has homered in consecutive games since Sept. 23 and 24 of last season while with the Chicago White Sox.
“She doesn’t get to see too many games live,” Griffey said about his mom, Birdie, whom he pointed to after crossing home plate to give Seattle a 3-0 lead. “She’s going to take credit for that one.”
Lopez hit his career-high 18th homer in the third inning, a solo shot and his third homer in the last five games. Seattle has now homered in eight consecutive games, its longest such streak in nearly three seasons.
Playing without right fielder Ichiro Suzuki for the first time since April 14, the Mariners started off their long homestand with solid pitching from Ian Snell and Griffey’s long ball that brought the small crowd to its feet.
Suzuki missed Monday’s game with tightness in his left calf that flared up during Sunday’s loss in Cleveland. Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu expects Suzuki to rest on Tuesday and hopes to get him back in the lineup Wednesday.
Franklin Gutierrez filled in for Suzuki in the leadoff spot and had three hits, while Bill Hall took Suzuki’s spot in right field, as Seattle stayed on the fringes of the AL wild card race 7 1/2 games behind Boston.
They stayed there largely because of Snell, who is finding a bit of comfort in the American League following his trade from Pittsburgh just before the July 31 trade deadline. Snell (2-1) kept Oakland hitless into the fifth inning, before Daric Barton got the A’s on the board with a chopping single up the middle that eluded diving shortstop Jack Wilson.
“We were in the dugout just shaking our heads like ‘this guy is unhittable.’ It was just one of those days,” Oakland’s Jack Cust said.
Oakland got a run back in the sixth on Kurt Suzuki’s two-out RBI single to score Mark Ellis, but Snell avoided the big inning by getting Ryan Sweeney on a groundout.
It was the only inning that Oakland threatened against the right-hander, who won his second straight with the Mariners, pitching six innings and giving up just four hits and one earned run, almost an identical line to his last start in Detroit, another 3-1 victory.
“It was hard for me to get accustomed to the league, but now I’m getting use to it,” Snell said. “And I’m using my other pitches than my fastball now and it’s throwing hitters off and helping out now.”
Sean White pitched two perfect innings of relief. Seattle closer David Aardsma had blown two of his last three save opportunities and gave up a leadoff double to Cust in the ninth. But he retired the next three batters, including a strikeout of Landon Powell to finish off his 29th save in 33 chances.
Mazzaro (4-9) lost eight straight decisions at one point during his rookie season, but had won his last two. He struggled from the start, and Seattle’s inability to capitalize with runners in scoring position was the only reason the game didn’t get out of hand. The Mariners loaded the bases in the first and fourth innings and had two runners on in the second and failed to score each time.
Mazzaro gave up five hits, walked four and struck out four.
NOTES: David Cook, winner of the seventh season of American Idol, threw out the ceremonial first pitch. … Oakland OF Rajai Davis got the day off after his right thumb was hit as he attempted a bunt in Sunday’s win over Detroit. Davis got X-rays at the stadium Monday night, manager Bob Geren said, but results were unavailable after the game. … Wilson played for the first time since Aug. 12 when he had to leave in the fifth inning against the Chicago White Sox with a pulled hamstring.