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Fowler injured while making crucial catch

Fowler injured while making crucial catch

DENVER -- The Rockies experienced a bittersweet moment with one out in the top of the ninth inning of their 8-7 victory on Sunday at Coors Field.

With the Rockies leading the Cubs by two runs, Chicago left fielder Alfonso Soriano hit a 1-0 sinker from Rockies closer Huston Street to deep center field. From what Rockies players could tell, center fielder Dexter Fowler had a bead on the ball, quickly calling off right fielder Seth Smith.

As Fowler leaped to make the catch, he crashed into the wall. He fell to the ground as Cubs center fielder Marlon Byrd tagged from third and scored the final run of the game.

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"It's safe to say it was a game-saving play," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. "It's that simple."

Tracy and Rockies trainer Keith Dugger rushed out to center field to tend to Fowler, who was eventually carted off. Ryan Spilborghs entered to play left field while Carlos Gonzalez shifted to center field before Street recorded the last out of the game via strikeout.

After the game, Dugger said Fowler was just catching his breath when team personnel reached him. Dugger said the 24-year-old center fielder stayed at Coors Field, but would have precautionary X-rays and possibly an MRI on his injured left side during the Rockies' off-day Monday.

"He's got some abrasion," Dugger said. "It scraped him. The wall pinched him a little bit, got the wind knocked out of him. It was a fabulous catch."

Fowler, 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI on Sunday, collected his fourth multi-hit game in a row. He's hitting .500 (10-for-20) after breaking out of a 3-for-43 slump on Thursday.

"When I went and watched it on replay, I can't believe he made the catch," Street said. "I just hope he can come back. I hope he's not as sore. I hope the X-ray comes back negative because the way he's been playing this series, we need him at the top of the lineup."

But now, the Rockies could lose him to the disabled list.

"It all depends on how sore he is in the morning," Dugger said. "With rib injuries, there's a good chance. We don't want him to be down 4-5 days, but he if comes back and shows a good size contusion, he's a DL candidate, for sure."

Todd Helton, likely returning to the Rockies from the DL on Tuesday, could take Fowler's roster spot should Fowler head to the DL. With Gonzalez able to play center field, Brad Hawpe, Spilborghs and Smith could handle the duties in right and left field.

Joey Nowak is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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