Rox ride 6-run eighth to win
HELENA, Mont. — After allowing Helena to take a 6-5 lead with a run in the seventh inning Thursday night, the Grand Junction Rockies answered in a big way, putting up six runs, paving the way to an 11-6 win at Kindrick Legion Field.
The Rockies sent 11 to the plate. Three Rockies walked, including two with the bases loaded, and they had five hits, the last being a two run double by David Dahl.
Helena jumped out to an early lead when Chris McFarland homered in the first inning, which started a three-hit night for him. After the Rockies tied the game in the third, the Brewers put up three immediately to make it a 4-1 game. Grand Junction scored a pair in the fourth to climb to within a run, but Helena got one of those runs back, making it a 5-3 game, but it didn’t stay that way for long.
Dahl didn’t play in the first two games of the series, but made a difference Thursday. He tied the game 5-5 with a two run home run in the fifth. In the seventh inning, it looked like he made a spectacular diving catch at the warning track on leadoff hitter Andres Martinez, but umpire Cody Oakes ruled that he didn’t catch the ball, allowing Martinez to get to third with a triple. He scored on a McFarland double to give Helena a 6-5 lead, but then the Rockies took over with the six-run eighth, and they added one more in the ninth.
“The way we came back after they took the lead is a perfect example of how much fight this team has,” Rockies manager Tony Diaz said. “We could’ve quit after that call didn’t go our way, but we didn’t. It was only fitting that Dahl came up with that big hit to blow it open.”
Ryan Warner started for the Rockies, and allowed five runs in 3 2/3 innings. He allowed two home runs, the eighth and ninth he has allowed this season. Alving Mejias allowed only one run in four innings to pick up the win.
“Mejias was big again tonight,” Diaz said. “We needed a good outing out of him, and that was what he gave us.”
The win gives the Rockies a 13-11 second-half record, and they are 34-28 overall, including a 17-7 record against Northern Division opponents.
Tonight, the Rockies will conclude their four-game series in Helena with their final game against the Brewers in 2012. Jayson Aquino will take the hill in search of his third win of the season opposite Taylor Wall. First pitch from Kindrick Legion Field is set for 7:05.