Tapia's RBI single in ninth lifts Rockies past Giants, 10-9 (Jun 15, 2017)
DENVER (AP) The Colorado Rockies got their first walkoff win of the season, thanks to a rookie.
Raimel Tapia hit a run-scoring single in the bottom of the ninth inning and the Rockies recovered from blowing a late lead to beat the San Francisco Giants 10-9 on Thursday night.
''This cat has confidence,'' Rockies manager Bud Black said of Tapia, who has multiple hits in each of his last three starts. ''I thought over time the Triple-A numbers would translate. We've seen that the last couple days. He's been swinging well.''
Nolan Arenado doubled three times and drove in four runs, while D.J. LeMahieu added four hits. The Rockies won for the 10th time in 14 games this month despite allowing the Giants to come back from an eight-run deficit.
''Scrappy win,'' Black added. ''We needed that. We couldn't let that one get way.''
Mark Reynolds began the tiebreaking rally by singling off Hunter Strickland (1-2) to start the ninth. After Ian Desmond popped out, pinch-hitter Carlos Gonzalez, the Rockies veteran slugger who has been in a slump, walked to bring up Tapia, who came through with his second hit of the night.
''I feel really good in those situations, when they're pitching around someone to get to you,'' Tapia said through a translator. ''You know you have the opportunity to come up and make an impact.''
Buster Posey connected for his ninth home run, a two-drive in the seventh off reliever Scott Oberg, but then left the game with ankle soreness. Eduardo Nunez also left the game with hamstring tightness after legging out a leadoff infield single in the seventh. The team said both players' status was day to day.
Nick Hundley, who replaced Posey at catcher, had a pinch-hit home run to ignite a five-run eighth. Pitcher Ty Blach, in a rare pinch-hitting appearance, also had an RBI single. Brandon Crawford then drove a 2-2 offering from Jake McGee into the left-field bleachers for a three-run homer that pulled the Giants, who trailed 9-1 earlier, within a run.
Austin Slater singled off closer Greg Holland to lead off the ninth for his fourth hit of the game. Holland fanned Hundley but Denard Span singled and Gorkys Hernandez delivered a game-tying sacrifice fly, marking the first blown save of the season for Holland (1-0). He had converted a franchise-record 23 in a row to start the year.
With Giants position players depleted, Jeff Samardzija became the second Giants pitcher to be used as a pinch-hitter. While he was up, Span, who had stolen third, broke for the plate when a pitch trickled out of the glove of catcher Tom Murphy. Murphy quickly grabbed it and flipped the ball to Holland covering home, and the sliding Span was tagged out in a bang-bang play that survived replay review.
Span said afterward that he did not immediately get a clear view of ball coming out of the catcher's glove and rolling backward past the umpire.
''I hesitated a split-second and I think that was the difference between me being safe and out,'' he said.
Giants starter Matt Moore went three innings and allowed eight runs on 11 hits.
The Rockies did most of their damage early, scoring seven runs in the first two innings. Arenado had an RBI double in the first and a two-run double in the second. He had another run-scoring double in the sixth.
A stunning defensive play by Rockies shortstop Trevor Story helped keep the Giants in check early in the game. With the bases loaded and two outs in the second inning, Span hit a liner that seemed headed for left field. Story ranged to his right in a dead run and then made a sideways leap to snag the liner in midair, keeping the ball snugly in his glove despite hitting the ground with a thud. ''I was just like, `You've got to be kidding me,''' Span said. ''That's just the type of season that's been going on for us.''
Giants: LHP Madison Bumgarner (left shoulder sprain) is scheduled to pitch a simulated game Sunday morning before the team's series finale against the Rockies. A minor league rehab assignment will follow if all goes well.
Rockies: C Ryan Hanigan was optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque to make roster room for C Tom Murphy, who was reintstated from the 10-day disabled list after recovering from a broken right forearm sustained March 11 during a spring training game. ... RHP Jon Gray (stress fracture, left foot) is slated to make his second rehab start Monday for Albuquerque and throw 75-80 pitches. ...LHP Tyler Anderson (left knee inflammation) is scheduled to make a rehab start Sunday for Albuquerque and throw about 75 pitches.
Giants: Samardzija (2-8, 4.31 ERA) has gone 0-2 with an 8.03 ERA in two previous starts against Colorado this season.
Rockies: Rookie RHP Antonio Senzatela (8-2, 3.84) has won six of his seven decisions this season at Coors Field.