From the Rockies’ point of view, their 9-6, 10-innings win over the Dodgers on Friday night was indescribably delicious.
It was a “cuckoo for cocoa puffs” kind of stuff.
For the record, the Rockies scored three runs off an RBI single by Trevor Storey in the 10th and a two-run home run from Charlie Blackman, who detonated a Jimmy Sheriffey slider into the night.
But that was only part of the story.
In the ninth, outfielder Sam Hilliard wore a Superman cape.
Hilliard, who spent most of the season at Triple-A Albuquerque, blasted lefty reliever Darien Nunez’s two-out, pinch-hit, single home run-off to give Colorado a 6-5 lead. It was Hilliard’s sixth career homer at Dodger Stadium, which is really something when you consider he has just eight at Coors Field.
Oh yes, it was also Hilliard’s first big league hit on the road in an entire season.
But the lead didn’t, as Colorado’s close Daniel Byrd blew the save and there was an almost nuclear meltdown at the bottom of the frame.
Austin Barnes opened ninth with a single off Byrd, followed by another single from Chris Taylor. Bard then dropped back-to-back walks to Billy McKinney and Justin Turner, the latter forcing the game to tie at 6-all.
But with the base loaded, Byrd suddenly found lost command of his slider and sent the game into extra innings by dismissing Will Smith, Sheldon Newse and AJ Pollock.
Rookie lefty from Legacy High School in Broomfield, Lucas Gilbraith closed the Dodgers in 10th for the first save of his career.
The Rockies, who have been so bad on the road this season (10–34), have now scored three straight victories, with two consecutive victories on the road in San Diego on July 10–11.
Since July 1, 2018, Colorado had been 3-20 at Chavez Ravine, but the Hex did not catch on Friday night as Colorado took advantage of the Dodgers bullpen.
Colorado’s offense, which averaged only 2.8 runs per game on the road, eventually showed signs of life beating LA 12-10 with three homers.
His two-run eighth innings, which featured an RBI double by Blackmon and an RBI single by Ryan McMahon, tied the game at 5-all.
It was the kind of night the Rockies kept building mini rallies.
Facing Dodgers starter David Price, Elias Diaz took the lead in third place with a single homer, cutting the Dodgers’ lead to 3–1.
In Colorado’s two-run sixth, Storey led a massive home run of dead center of Price. Story’s 12th homer of the season was his first since July 1 – a period of 43 at-bats. A walk by Blackmon and back-to-back singles by CJ Cron and Ryan McMahon brought Blackmon home to reduce LA’s lead to 4–3.
But the Dodgers wasted no time extending the lead to 5-3 at the bottom of the frame. Cody Bellinger, showing signs he might be getting out of a terrible slump, led with a triple against reliever Ben Bowden. The lefty committed the main sin of throwing a 0-2 fastball right in the middle. Pollock took a single from the left and drove into Bellinger.
First innings toss out and Rocky’s right-hander Chi Chi Gonzalez pitched very well. From the second inning to the fifth, he allowed just one hit – a leadoff solo homer by Justin Turner in the third – and two base runners.
However, that first innings was a killer, especially considering that the Dodgers entered the game with a 43–15 record in which they score first. LA scored three runs, driven by an RBI doubles by Smith and Bellinger and an RBI single by Matt Beatty. All three runs came with two outs.
Gonzalez has struggled out of the gate this season, posting a 9.6 ERA in the first innings.