Rockies rally big in ninth to beat Giants in finale
By Thomas Harding and Oliver Macklin
SAN FRANCISCO -- Corey Dickerson hit a three-run home run in the ninth inning to tie the game and Justin Morneau added a two-RBI single to give the Rockies a 7-3 comeback win over the Giants in Sunday afternoon's season finale at AT&T Park.
After Dickerson cleared the bases with his homer, the Rockies loaded the bases for Morneau. The veteran pulled a ground ball through the Giants' drawn-in infield to give Colorado the lead. The seven-run ninth was tied for the second-most runs the Rockies have ever scored in an inning on the road.
"It's a snapshot of our season when you really look at it," said Rockies manager Walt Weiss, whose team finished 68-94, last in the National League West. "We dug ourselves a hole, like we did today, and we always tried to fight our way back out of that hole. Sometimes we did, sometimes we didn't."
Christian Bergman allowed both of his runs in the first inning and lasted just three frames. The Rockies right-hander gave up six hits and a walk with no strikeouts.
Matt Cain needed just 65 pitches to get through five innings before being pulled to give the bullpen, which eventually could not hold the lead, some work. He threw 43 strikes en route to a scoreless outing in which he surrendered two hits and a walk while striking out one.
"Today definitely felt good," Cain said. "I felt like I had good rhythm. I felt like I was throwing the ball where I wanted to. I got a lot of quick outs."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Bidding adieu: Giants manager Bruce Bochy wanted to give the retiring Jeremy Affeldt one last chance to pitch so he brought him in to begin the sixth. The left-handed reliever retired the only two batters he faced on four pitches before walking off the mound to a standing ovation from the sellout crowd. Affeldt tipped his cap to his former team's bench and to the fans before hugging each of his teammates in the Giants' dugout.
"Today was a lot about Jeremy, what he's done throughout his career and what he's done for us," Cain said. More >
Rare moments:Carlos Gonzalez tripled in his first at-bat, then singled in the third inning to go 2-for-2 against Cain. Before Sunday, Gonzalez was 4-for-44 (.089) with no extra-base hits in his career against Cain.
Bullpen woes: The Giants pitching staff held the Rockies scoreless through eight innings. But Javier Lopez gave up a hit before George Kontos entered and allowed a single and then Dickerson's blast. Cody Hall relieved Kontos and proceed to give up three more runs to seal the deal for Colorado.
"It was a Debbie Downer, the last inning," Bochy said. "There's no doubt about it."
Fit to be tied: The National League home run race came down to the final ninth-inning at-bat for the Nationals' Bryce Harper and the Rockies' Nolan Arenado. Minutes after Harper doubled in his last chance, Arenado singled to left field, and the sluggers finished in a dead heat at 42. Arenado nearly had another chance. He was on deck when the Rockies' wild top of the ninth ended.
"Absolutely, no question I wanted it for myself," Arenado said. "That's the competitiveness in me. I wanted it all by myself. But you have to give Harper credit. He hit a bomb yesterday to give [the Nationals] a lead. And he had an unbelievable year, and he's probably the MVP."
Not one to just let things go, Weiss got his team the second out of a double play in the bottom of the eighth by successfully challenging a safe call at first base. The replay showed that Jose Reyes' throw beat Mac Williamson.
In the ninth, Rafael Ynoa hit a chopper to Yusmeiro Petit, who flipped to Buster Posey at first. Posey missed the bag with his left foot, but managed to tap it with his right before Ynoa reached the base. The umpire initially thought Posey missed first, but the Giants challenged and replay officials overturned the call.
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Rockies last scored seven runs in the top of the ninth for a road comeback win in the Oct. 1, 2000, season finale at Atlanta, a 10-5 victory.