The Colorado Rockies defeated the San Francisco Giants in the longest game in Coors Field history on Sunday, 4-3. The win came after 15 innings and 5:24 minutes.
While most of the 35,274 in attendance had made their way to their fourth of July barbecues or fireworks plans, a few thousand fans were treated to an absolutely phenomenal performance from two young Rockies.
Dexter Fowler led the way, going 3-for-4 out of the leadoff spot with three walks and two triples, the final three-bagger coming to lead off the 15th inning, in what ended up being the game winning run.
Esmil Rogers performance also will be forgotten in the offensive heroics, but should not go unnoticed. The righty, back from Colorado Springs for the third time in 2010, did what a long reliever is supposed to do. He gave the Rockies length and kept them in the game long enough for them to win it.
Rogers pitched four innings, all in extra frames for the club. He gave up just two hits and struck out five. His heroics could not have been bigger when Aubrey Huff led off the 13th inning with a liner to right field that got past right fielder Seth Smith. Huff found himself of third base with a triple.
Instead of panicking, the young righty struck out Pat Burrell and Eli Whiteside before intentionally walking Juan Uribe and getting Edgar Renteria to harmlessly ground out to shortstop.
For Fowler, the transformation that took place during his stint in Triple-A has been obvious quickly. His hands are significantly lower when he hits from the left side. Before, he started his hands near his ear, which caused him to loop through the ball, popping it up. The lowered-hand approach allows him to bring his hands straight to the ball.
The final hero of the game was an old one. Todd Helton, who is clearly nursing a sore back, redeemed himself from two failed extra inning at bats earlier in the game. The grizzly first baseman drove the first pitch he saw from Guilerrmo Mota deep into left field, easily scoring Fowler from third base to win the game and the series.
Despite leaving a club record 20 men on base with two outs, the Rockies found a way to pick up the win. That is different than the way the team was playing early in the season. In April and May, the Rockies would have found a way to let this game slip through their fingers. Instead, they came out winners. That type of baseball is common amongst teams playing deep into October.
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