Rockies rally to beat Giants 14-11
August 23, 2009
DENVER – Jim Tracy didn’t recognize his team for the first 14 innings of its key series with San Francisco. Then the Rockies’ offense showed up.
Ian Stewart and Todd Helton homered in Colorado’s seven-run sixth inning and the Rockies rallied to beat the Giants 14-11 on Saturday night to take a two-game lead in the NL wild-card race.
Dexter Fowler tripled twice and Jorge De La Rosa pitched six innings for Colorado, which scored a combined 11 runs in the sixth and seventh to even the important four-game series with San Francisco at a game apiece.
“I know the type of baseball team we’ve had since the end of May, and for the first game and a half of the series it wasn’t that team,” Tracy said. “The last half of the game it is the team I’ve been managing.”
Tracy said his team’s sluggish play in Friday’s 6-3 loss in the series opener was due, in part, to getting home at 4 a.m. after flying in from Washington.
“But at some point you have to realize, OK, that’s enough rest, lets get back to work,” he said.
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It took a while, but Colorado’s bats woke up. The Giants jumped out to a 6-1 advantage for the second straight game and led 6-3 before the Rockies sent 11 men to the plate in a wild sixth inning.
Troy Tulowitzki and Brad Hawpe led off with consecutive singles before Stewart tied it with his 19th homer. Justin Miller (2-2) relieved Joe Martinez and got Clint Barmes to pop out. But Yorvit Torrealba followed with a single to center and pinch-hitter Seth Smith tripled down the right-field line to give the Rockies the lead.
After Carlos Gonzalez walked, Smith was called out in a rundown and Gonzalez moved to second. Fowler tripled to right and scored on a wild pitch to make it 9-6.
Helton then hit Miller’s 1-2 changeup into the second deck in right for his 12th homer and first since July 22.
“We haven’t had too many meltdowns this year,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “Tonight we did. We couldn’t stop the bleeding.”
The Rockies scored four more in the seventh on Ryan Spilborghs’ RBI single, two bases-loaded walks and a sacrifice fly by Tulowitzki.
“Something happened,” Fowler said of the 11-run outburst. “I don’t know if we were jet lagged or something, but it shows the team has a lot of character coming back from that.”
Ryan Garko hit a pair of two-run shots for his first homers since the Giants acquired him from Cleveland on July 27. Nate Schierholtz and Aaron Rowand also went deep.
“I got some good pitches to hit and made the most of it,” Garko said. “What difference does it make? We lost the game.”
De La Rosa (12-8) allowed six runs and eight hits, struck out five and walked two.
“Sometimes you want to win games like we won today, but the most important thing is we’re still in first place in the wild card,” said De La Rosa, who has won 12 of his 15 starts since starting the season 0-6.
Garko connected in the eighth and Rowand followed with his 12th homer to make it 14-9. Pablo Sandoval hit two-run shot in the ninth but Huston Street came in and struck out Bengie Molina and Garko to end the game.
Randy Winn’s RBI single gave the Giants a 6-1 lead in the fourth but the Rockies responded with two runs in the bottom half. Stewart had a sacrifice fly and Barmes singled in a run.
Martinez gave up six runs and nine hits in five-plus innings.
“This is the biggest graveyard in the league,” Martinez said. “You hope they hit the ball right at someone, but they didn’t do that enough.”
NOTES: The Rockies placed RHP Aaron Cook on the 15-day disabled list with a right shoulder strain and purchased the contract of RHP Matt Herges from Triple-A Colorado Springs. … Giants 2B Freddy Sanchez (sore left shoulder) sat out his fifth straight game. … Tulowitzki returned to the lineup after missing Friday’s game with flu-like symptoms.
Athletics 3, Tigers 2
OAKLAND – Kurt Suzuki was pleased he came through when needed.
Suzuki hit an RBI single with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning to lead the Oakland Athletics past the Detroit Tigers 3-2 on Saturday night.
“I was just praying it was going to drop,” Suzuki said. “Once I rounded the bag, I was watching the play and should have been trying to get to second.”
Adam Kennedy hit a leadoff single off Zach Miner (5-4) and advanced to second on Rajai Davis’ sacrifice.
Suzuki hit a low liner into left field and Ryan Raburn went for the diving catch. He trapped the ball and came up throwing, but it was offline. It was Suzuki’s sixth career game-winning hit.
“That hit kind of takes the monkey off the back,” Suzuki said. “I’ve had chances and haven’t been coming through, so it’s a nice feeling when you get that big hit.”
Andrew Bailey (6-3) pitched the ninth for the victory.
Carlos Guillen and Miguel Cabrera drove in runs for the Tigers, who had won six of their previous eight.
“We get them in a jam early and only score one run,” Tigers’ manager Jim Leyland said. “But we don’t blow it open from the 3 or 4 spot. We didn’t get it done. We’re not doing a very good job of hitting a double with the bases loaded.”
Daric Barton and Cliff Pennington also drove in runs for the A’s, who ended a three-game slide.
Tigers starter Armando Galarraga went 6 1-3 innings, allowing two runs and seven hits. He walked two and struck out three.
“I made a couple of mistakes in the second, walking those two guys,” Galarraga said. “But I was making my pitches. I didn’t think I pitched that bad. I just have to attack the hitter and not worry about someone warming up or how many innings I have to pitch.”
Galarraga retired 14 of his final 17 hitters after giving up both runs in the second inning.
A’s starter Trevor Cahill allowed two runs and five hits over seven innings. He walked three and struck out four and is winless in his past six starts.
“I don’t worry about (my record) too much, it’s all good,” Cahill said. “My goal is to go out and pitch as many innings as I can. The bullpen’s been doing a great job but they’re probably also getting tired, so my job is to help them too.”
Curtis Granderson, who snapped an 0 for 13 streak with a pinch-hit single Friday night, opened the game with a double and scored on Guillen’s infield groundout to give Detroit a 1-0 lead.
The A’s took a 2-1 lead in the second when Barton hit a sacrifice fly and Pennington singled home a run.
Cabrera singled home the tying run in the sixth.
The A’s loaded the bases with one out in the eighth, but Ryan Perry got Barton on an infield fly and Pennington grounded to first.
Notes: Tigers 2B Placido Polanco went 2 for 4 and is hitting .379 in 41 career games against the A’s. … Cabrera fouled off seven consecutive pitches before striking out in the eighth. … A’s No. 3 hitters are batting a combined .218 (104 for 478), which is the lowest mark in the major leagues.