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Rockies Top Nationals In 11 Inning Slugfest

Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

After taking an early 7-0 lead yesterday in Denver, the Colorado Rockies (29-46) needed extra innings to top the Washington Nationals (43-31) 11-10, and earn a split in the 4-game series. Marco Scutaro delivered the walk-off 11th inning hit for Colorado. The Rockies open a weekend series against the San Diego Padres (28-49)tonight at 6:10 at Coors Field (TV: Root Sports).

Colorado came within three outs of the win in regulation before closer Rafael Betancourt hung a breaking ball over the heart of the plate to open the ninth, and Bryce Harper bounced it off the back wall of the Rockies’ right-field bullpen for a game-tying solo shot. It was Betancourt’s fourth blown save of the season.

Despite getting a man on second with one out in the ninth, the Rockies left him stranded there when Scutaro grounded into a double play, sending the game to extra innings.

“After that happens, you just have to turn the page and concentrate for the next at-bat,” Scutaro said. “You can’t do anything about the at-bat before. I’d never faced [Nationals reliever Craig Stammen]. I know he has a good fastball. I was trying to go in there aggressive.”

In a day of multiple chances, Scutaro got his second chance in the 11th. Jonathan Herrera doubled with one out, putting him back in scoring position, as he’d been in the ninth. After pinch-hitter Jason Giambi drew a walk and Dexter Fowler skied a fly to the center-field warning track, advancing Herrera to third, Scutaro worked the count full against Stammen then dropped the game-winning hit into the right-center-field gap.

Official: Thursday’s Box Score.

The Rockies jumped out to a five-run lead in the first inning, and added a pair in the second to stake out a seven-run cushion. Their attack featured a multihit day from five of the first six batters in the lineup, with Tyler Colvin’s career-best four hits and five RBIs leading the charge.

Starting pitcher Josh Outman couldn’t protect a big lead for the second start in a row. He came out of the gate strong, retiring the first six batters he faced without letting a ball out of the infield. He struggled from the start of the third inning, however, walking the leadoff hitter before allowing five hits, including a three-run homer over the center-field fence off the bat of Michael Morse.

The Rockies’ bullpen took over in the fourth frame, with Josh Roenicke going three innings and losing the lead in a four-run fifth despite only allowing one earned run. The inning turned on a one-out, one-on grounder to Nelson at third, who threw wildly to second, throwing away the chance for an inning-ending double play. Adam LaRoche followed with a sacrifice fly to center, and Ian Desmond launched a three-run homer into the right-field bullpen to tie the game at 9.

The Rockies reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the fifth. Roenicke was hit by a pitch to open the inning, Fowler doubled him to third, and Scutaro walked to load the bases for Gonzalez, who grounded into a double play, sending Roenicke home with the go-ahead run — a lead that would hold up until the top of the ninth when Harper — a 19-year-old rookie center fielder — touched Betancourt for his eighth homer of the season.

Tickets are available for this tonight’s game at Coors Field vs. the San Diego Padres, and can be purchased by calling (800) 388-ROCK, or click here.

[ColoradoRockies.com]

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