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Rockies bolster Wild Card chances with 8-4 victory over Padres

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The Rockies magic number is down to 5

Colorado Rockies v San Diego Padres Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images

The Rockies found their bats and the bullpen was nails in the club’s 8-4 win over the Padres Sunday afternoon. The win reduced their magic number to five.

The game was closer than the final score suggests. The Rockies scored a run in the first inning, which was pretty uncharacteristic of play lately, but the Padres took the lead back in the bottom half of the inning. The Rockies tied it in the second and took the lead with two more runs in the third. Another run in the sixth gave the Rockies a 5-2 lead, but the Padres scored two in the bottom half of the inning to make it 5-4. The bullpen held in the seventh and eight, and it looked like Greg Holland was ready to come in for a save opportunity, but the Rockies tallied three runs in the top of the ninth to make it a much more secure 8-4 lead. That ended up being the final score.

Starting pitcher Germán Márquez was solid through five innings. He allowed two runs on five hits while walking three and striking out three. It took hi 89 pitches to get through five, so there’s no guarantee he would have made it to the sixth even without the expanded bullpen.

Charlie Blackmon, Nolan Arenado, and Mark Reynolds strung together singles to give the Rockies an early 1-0 lead in the first, but the Padres took the lead in the bottom of half. Wil Myers and Yangervis Solarte hit solo home runs to give the Padres a 2-1 edge. Ian Desmond tied the game in the second, pretty much by himself. He walked, stole second, took third on a wild pitch, and then scored after an errant throw to third base. The Rockies started off the third inning strong as well. Blackmon walked and DJ LeMahieu singled to put two on with nobody out, but neither Arenado nor Reynolds were able to bring anybody home. Gerardo Parra salvaged the inning and drove Blackmon in with a single to right field. Desmond followed that up by scoring LeMahieu the way he knows best, with an infield single.

The bullpen covered the final four innings of the game, and Scott Oberg owned the only blemish. He gave up the two-run home run to Christian Villanueva that brought the Padres within one. Pat Valaika and Charlie Blackmon both homered in the ninth to extend the Rockies’ lead. It was Valaika’s 13th homer of the season. It was the 36th for Blackmon.

The Rockies begin their final home stand of the season tomorrow. The Marlins arrive for a three game set first. Tyler Chatwood and Odrisamer Despaigne face off in the opener, which begins at 6:40 MT.

Go. Rockies.

Additional notes

  • The Rockies will finish the 2017 season with a 41-40 road record. It’s the second time the Rockies have finished over .500 on the road. They also went 41-40 in 2009.
  • Nolan Arenado exited the game early. He apparently jammed something swinging it the third inning. It doesn’t appear serious.
  • Carlos González didn’t play today with a sore shoulder, which he got diving for a ball in the outfield on Saturday.