BY LESLIE MONTEIRO
A game-tying hit.
A grand slam.
An insurance run.
A diving catch.
Striking out the side to get a save.
Those five moments stood out in last night’s Rockies’ 10-9 victory over the Giants at Coors Field.
It was only significant since this played a role in the Rockies snapping a 10-game losing streak to the Giants.
A win against the Giants never felt this good for the Rockies.
Make no mistake. The Rockies almost blew another lead after blowing the first lead of the game, and they were in danger of losing to the Giants for the second straight night. With the errors and wild pitches, it’s clear the Rockies were feeling the pressure to get that win.
A 10-game losing streak to the Giants can wear on the Rockies along with going 9-31 since 2011. The losses and the questions of when will it end take its toll after awhile.
The Giants were relentless throughout the game. With that said, the Rockies found a way to respond, and they should be commended for it.
After the NL West division leaders took a 5-4 lead in the fourth inning, the Rockies created a big inning by scoring five runs in the fifth inning.
Dexter Fowler singled to start the fifth inning, and Carlos Gonzalez walked after that. Wilin Rosario’s RBI single tied the game at 5 as Fowler scored.
When D.J. Lemhaieu walked to load the bases, Jordan Pacheco hit a grand slam to give the Rockies a 9-5 lead over the Giants.
The crowd applauded, and the entire Rockies bench was fired up with Pacheco receiving a bear hug by Rosario.
The Rockies needed that. They wilt when the Giants regains the lead everytime it happens, so on this night, it was refreshing to see the home team was not going to back down on this night.
The grand slam gave the Rockies a new start in the middle of the game. They knew they can get back at the Giants.
Despite what the Rockies did, the Giants were not going to quit on this night. It is never over until the 27th out is made.
That’s why Gonzalez’s home run was huge in the sixth inning when that home run extended the Rockies’ lead to 10-5. It was a much needed insurance run.
Insurance runs are always a must for an opponent playing against the Giants.
It’s a good thing the Rockies had one. The Giants continued their assault on the Rockies by scoring three runs in the seventh inning, and they cut their deficit to 10-8. In the process, they got to reliable Rockies reliever Edgmer Escalona.
Escalona walked Buster Posey to start the seventh, and Hunter Pence tripled that sent Posey home for the Giants’s first run of the seventh inning.
Then, Escalona threw a pitch that Rosario could not hold on to, and Pence scored to give the Giants their second run of the seventh inning.
From there, Escalona expressed his frustration by gesturing at Rosario.
After Brett Pill hit a double off Escalona, Rockies manager Walt Weiss made a pitching change with no outs in the inning. He had to as his reliever was not into the game after the Giants scored runs off him.
Joaquin Arias hit a single off Rex Brothers to have Pill scored the Giants’ third run in the inning.
Unlike Escalona, Brothers shook off the hit and got the last three outs by striking out Brandon Crawford, getting Gregor Blanco to ground out and having Angel Pagan to line out.
Brothers received an assist by Fowler who made a diving catch to end the inning. If the Rockies centerfielder does not hold on to the ball, it would have been a 10-9 game. The game may have been tied if the inning continued.
Fowler’s catch was the turning point of the game.
This is how to step up and put a stop to it when another team creates a big inning by getting outs and making defensive plays.
The Giants kept it going in the eighth inning when Posey hit a two-out solo home run off Matt Belisle. It was now a 10-9 game. What? You expected Giants to quit?
With Pence hitting a double, he was the tying run.
Pressure was on Belisle to get the last out, and he found a way by getting Pill to ground out.
The Rockies needed three outs to get this win.
Rafael Betancourt is reliable as a closer with nine saves and no blown save to show for it prior to last night’s game, but it wasn’t going to be easy with the way the Giants were scoring in this contest.
The Rockies closer handled the inning with ease by striking out the side.
Talk about an exclamation mark to end the game and end the losing streak against the Giants for the Rockies.
It was a symbol that the Giants were not going to deny the Rockies a win.
For one night, the Rockies did not have to answer the media’s questions about another loss to the Giants. It was a welcome relief.
Winning a game against the Giants meant something. They could have lost another one. Instead, they preserved whenever the Giants were cutting deficits. They found a way to get a key hit, key outs, key strikeouts and a key play.
The Rockies learned something about themselves for one night. They know they can do something about putting a stop to what the Giants are doing.
That’s what makes this win against the Giants more special than others.
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