Fowler atones for mistake with game-winning hit in 13th
singled home the winning run with two out in the 13th inning, atoning for a fielding blunder that led to an inside-the-park home run in the 12th and giving the Colorado Rockies a 7-6 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 13th inning.
The Rockies came back in the 12th to score twice and tie the game, thanks in large part to a run-scoring double byon a 15-pitch at-bat off closer Javy Guerra. Helton, who turned 38 on Saturday, also hit a home run in the second.
Fowler’s hit off Blake Hawksworth came after a double by. The left-handed hitting Fowler rifled a 1-1 pitch inside third base to give the Rockies just their their second win in eight extra-inning games.
The Rockies scored twice in the bottom of the 12th after Aaron Miles led off the top of that inning with a home run against. With two out, Trent Oeltjen lined a ball to center field that Fowler unsuccessfully dived for, only to have the ball get past him for the Dodgers first inside-the-park homer since Blake DeWitt hit one May 6, 2008, against the Mets.
“You run for a ball, go to catch the ball,” Fowler said, “and I didn’t even have to dive for it and it cuts on you. Hey you’re like, ‘Oh man, what do you do?’ Whatever happened, happened. That’s in the past and you just got to move on from there.”
Fowler said he didn’t think Hawksworth would come inside. Looking for a ball away, Fowler got it for the hit that evened the series. The Rockies can win the series if they end their major-league record streak of 17 consecutive Sunday losses.
After the Dodgers struck for their two homers in the 12th, Fowler led off the bottom half with a walk and after getting to third whensingled to right, Fowler scored on Helton’s double, which capped a magnificent at-bats.
“I can’t tell you I’ve seen a better at-bat than Todd Helton took,” managersaid. “Obviously, it’s the at-bat of the season. It’s not surprising that it’s that guy.”
Helton fouled off eight two-strike pitches before he lined a double to right field. Helton, who said he was trying repeatedly to hit a home run against Guerra, said the key to the at-bat was “basically finally getting a strike to hit. I chased a lot of balls out of the zone, fouled them off. (I was) able to get something down a little bit and put the bat head on it…”
As for maintaining his concentration and focus during that long confrontation with Guerra, Helton said, “I guess you focus on the process instead of what could happen, just focus on taking the right swing and getting the right pitch.”
The marathon took 5 hours, 7 minutes, and the Rockies used 22 players, including pinch-runnerand pinch-hitter , who sacrificed in the 11th.
Helton’s double, his 26th of the season and No. 553 in his career, not only scored Fowler but sent Tulowitzki to third. He scored to tie the game when pinch hittergrounded to third baseman Miles, who threw out Alfonzo at first.
“I wasn’t set up (to throw home),” Miles said. “It would’ve been a sidearm throw, and with Tulowitzki running right away I don’t think I would have gotten him. We were playing for the tie there anyway.”
Manager Jim Tracy said he was very concerned after tThe Rockies loaded the bases in the 11th with one out but failed to score. His concern stemmed from having to use left-hander Matt Reynolds against Miles, a switch-hitter who is better from the right side, followed by right-handed hitters Matt Kemp and Juan Rivera before the left-handed hitting Oeltjen.
The Rockies 11th fizzled after Helton led off with a single, was sacrificed to second and took third on Mike MacDougal’s wild pitch. The play at third was close, and Helton was safe because of a high throw by catcher Dioner Navarro, who had to ball rebound to him off the backstop.
After MacDougal went to 2-0 on, he intentionally walked him and then intentionally walked to load the bases. But grounded into a 4-2 fielder’s choice, and Fowler grounded to Miles, who beat Smith to third base.
The Rockies got seven innings from six relievers, who combined to allow five hits. Three were off Reynolds, who gave up the only two runs charged to the bullpen afterthrew 109 pitches in six innings and gave up a career-high 12 hits and four runs, two coming in the first.
. stole a career-high three bases, scored twice and drove in a run. He made a leaping catch on the warning track of a drive hit by Justin Sellers to end the second with runners at first and second. Young made another nice play in the fifth when he went running to his right to make a diving catch of a ball hit by Jamey Carroll.
Young left the game with calf tightness after the seventh. That inning ended when he was picked off and caught stealing in a rundown play that required six throws and went 2-6-3-4-2-3.