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Rockies snatch defeat from jaws of victory; fall 5-3 to Miami

Six outs away from losing, the Rockies rallied to take the lead - before losing it almost immediately in a crushing home loss.

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

There are no "must-win" games in August, but the Colorado Rockies let a golden opportunity to gain ground in the wild card chase slip away tonight against the Marlins; mere minutes after they staged one of the most exciting rallies of the season to take a lead into the ninth inning. There was so much action in the final two innings that one could be forgiven for forgetting that this game was a pitchers' duel for most of it.

The Marlins got on the board in the top of the first when noted Rockie killer Giancarlo Stanton doubled off Colorado starter Jorge De La Rosa to score Dee Gordon. The score would remain 1-0 for a very long time. De La Rosa threw six strong innings and allowed just one run on four hits, and Scott Oberg, Adam Ottavino and Boone Logan were nearly perfect out of the bullpen, but Colorado's offense was even less effective than Miami's for the first seven innings.

In the bottom of the second, the Rockies got three hits (including one from their pitcher) but couldn't push a run across. They put two on in the fifth without scoring, and as Fernando Rodney took the mound in the bottom of the eighth it seemed like a crushing 1-0 loss was imminent.

DJ LeMahieu and Carlos Gonzalez singled to start the inning, but Nolan Arenado hit a ground ball to short on a 3-0 pitch that seemed like it would make an easy double play (so easy that Drew Goodman called it ahead of time). But Dee Gordon put a little too much juice on his throw and it sailed over Chris Johnson's head, allowing DJ to score. The next batter was David Dahl, and he extended his career-opening hit streak by hitting a double that scored Arenado and made it 2-1. The alarmingly small crowd of 27,888 went into a frenzy the likes of which haven't been seen in LoDo in quite some time.

Mark Reynolds followed Dahl, and he hit a double to right field off the auxiliary scoreboard that chased Rodney and gave Colorado a 3-1 lead they would take into the ninth inning. The Rockies easily could have gotten more in that inning, but a wild pitch bounced straight back off the backstop and Ryan Raburn and Charlie Blackmon couldn't deliver with the bases loaded. Still, it seemed like it should have been enough to win. It wasn't.

Rockies closer Carlos Estevez, who had looked dominant just 24 hours ago, came on and walked the first batter he faced on four pitches, before allowing three singles that gave the Marlins a 4-3 lead by the time he came out of the game with one out in the inning. He didn't have it tonight, and the coaching staff would have been wise to start warming someone up after his first four pitches were nowhere close to the zone. Jordan Lyles came on for Estevez and induced a fly ball from Christian Yelich that scored another run to make it 5-3 Miami.

DJ LeMahieu got a leadoff single in the bottom of the ninth, but CarGo, Arenado and Dahl couldn't do anything with it, as AJ Ramos shut the door on a huge win for the Marlins and a crushing defeat for the Rockies, who have lost two in a row for the first time in two weeks and have fallen back below .500 at 54-55.

Colorado will try to get back to even tomorrow at 6:10 MDT as Chad Bettis takes on Andrew Cashner.

Source: FanGraphs

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