The Rockies did everything right when they had to.
The result was a satisfying 5-4, 11-inning victory over San Francisco on Thursday afternoon at Oracle Park.
The game-winner came off the bat of Raimel Tapia, whose sacrifice fly to deep left scored Garrett Hampson. Reliever Jairo Diaz, whose struggled so often this season, induced a groundball double play in the bottom of the 11th to clinch the win.
The game-saver came from shortstop Trevor Story, who pulled off one of the Rockies’ best plays of the season in the 10th.
With the bases loaded after two intentional walks, the Rockies deployed a pulled-in, five-man infield. Evan Longoria rocketed a shot toward Story, who somehow snared the ball and threw home from his knees for the force out. The inning ended when Daniel Bard got Mauricio Dubón to pop out to first. Bard pitched 2 2/3 clutch innings.
The Rockies took a 4-3 lead in the seventh, stringing hits together in a manner that’s been missing much of the season. The two-run rally began with a one-out single by Kevin Pillar, followed by a ground-rule double to left by Story. Pillar scored from third on Charlie Blackmon’s groundout to short and Story scored on Josh Fuentes’ two-out single.
The lead evaporated on Mychal Givens’ third pitch in the bottom of the frame, a 1-1 changeup that Brandon Belt muscled into the left-field seats.
Colorado received a solid outing from right-hander Chi Chi Gonzalez, who was making his last start of the season.
Based on the first two innings, it appeared that Gonzalez’s day on the hill would be a short one. The Giants tagged him for two runs on three hits in the first, with an RBI single by Wilmer Flores and a run-scoring double by Brandon Crawford.
San Francisco added another run in the second to go ahead 3-0, loading the bases with no outs on three consecutive singles. Although Joey Bart scored on a wild pitch, Gonzalez was able to limit the damage.
He mostly cruised from there and ended up pitching 5 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on eight hits with four strikeouts and only two walks.
As they have done so often this season, Colorado squandered chances to score against San Francisco right-hander Kevin Gausman, who gave up nine hits but only two runs. The Rockies put two runners on in both the first and the third innings but came away empty. Gausman, who fanned nine over his six innings, struck out Fuentes to end the first and then fanned Story and Blackmon, back-to-back, to end the third.
The Rockies finally broke through with a two-run fourth inning, banging out four hits, including an RBI double off the left-field wall by Ryan McMahon and a two-out single to left by Tapia.