for this game

Rockies score three in eighth to force playoff

Oct 1, 2007 - 3:16 AM DENVER (Ticker) -- The Colorado Rockies received some good news in the eighth inning. Brad Hawpe and Ubaldo Jimenez provided even more.

The red-hot Hawpe drove in three runs and Jimenez pitched 6 1/3 gutsy innings in the franchise's biggest game since 1995 as the Rockies forced a wild-card playoff with a 4-3 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday.

The Rockies (89-73) entered the contest needing a loss by the San Diego Padres and a win to force a one-game playoff Monday in Denver.

"The craziness isn't over, we get to play 163," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. "We're happy about it. We're very happy about it."

They won't be happy about facing the likely Cy Young winner, Jake Peavy, who leads the league in wins, strikeouts and ERA. The Rockies counter with Josh Fogg.

Peavy was 0-0 with a 1.29 ERA in two starts this season against the Rockies and 4-4 with a 4.11 ERA in 12 lifetime starts.

"Peavy is tough, he's obviously the front-runner for the Cy Young," Hawpe said. "We've got a good challenge in front of us. But we've had some success against him before, and you know he's going to bring his 'A' game. We're going to go out there and battle and hopefully score some runs in pressure situations."

Fogg is 10-9 this season with a 4.79 ERA and 1-1 with a 6.43 ERA in three starts vs. San Diego this season.

"It's something that we we're thinking about tomorrow, we were thinking about that game," Fogg said. "For the things to fall into place like they did today, its kind of a gift and we want to take advantage of it.

"They know me and I know them. It's a matter of me making my pitches and they take bad swings. We're glad it's at home, that's for sure. We like playing here, we're already here and we don't have to worry about traveling anywhere. There's probably a handful of people in the world that have pitched in a game of this magnitude. I'll go out there with the best stuff I have tomorrow and we'll see what happens."

The Padres held up their end Sunday by squandering an early lead to the Milwaukee Brewers and dropping an 11-6 decision - a score that became final in the eighth inning here and was greeted with a raucous ovation by the Rockies fans.

Perhaps energized by the final in Milwaukee, Colorado scored three runs in the eighth inning to snap a 1-1 tie.

Troy Tulowitzki led off the frame by reaching on an error by third baseman Mark Reynolds before Matt Holliday tapped an infield single off Dustin Nippert (1-1).

Bill Murphy entered and walked Todd Helton to load the bases, and Garrett Atkins singled to left, plating Tulowitzki with the go-ahead run. Hawpe then doubled down the right field line to score two more for a 4-1 lead.

"I got a curveball over the plate, that time of game it usually gets pretty tough with the shadows," Hawpe said. "He threw me a fastball before and I swung through it and I realized that I had to settle down and put the barrell on the ball and I got a curveball and was fortunate enough to do that."

Hawpe finished the season on fire, going 21-for-45 with 20 RBI in his last 11 games. His hit became crucial because Colorado closer Manny Corpas yielded two runs in the ninth before nailing down his 19th save in 20 chances when he threw out Stephen Drew on a close play at first.

"Hawpe's been unbelievable, he's come up with big hit after big hit," Holliday said. "He's a big part of our lineup."

Brian Fuentes (3-5) recorded the win after striking out four batters in 1 2/3 innings, including two straight with runners on first and second in the seventh to preserve a 1-1 tie.

A win, however, would not have been possible without Jimenez.

The Rockies had their franchise-record 11-game winning streak snapped by Brandon Webb in the opener of the three-game set Friday but rebounded with a 11-1 triumph on Saturday to stay alive.

With their season on the line Sunday, Colorado turned to the 23-year-old Jimenez, who was summoned from Class AAA Colorado Springs just after the All-Star break and had just 15 career starts on his resume.

"He was fantastic," Hurdle said. "One-hit ball into the seventh and to finish up the way he did with the punchouts, his stuff was just electric."

Jimenez had failed to get past the fourth inning in two of his last three outings, but he saved the best performance of his young career for a game that became the most critical contest for the Rockies since their 1995 playoff season.

"The biggest game of my life right now," Jimenez said. "It feels good for tomorrow. In every inning, I was watching the scoreboard. When Milwaukee scored, it was like, 'Oh, we're close.' I had to keep the team in the game."

The slender righthander came through, losing a no-hitter with one out in the sixth on a single by Alberto Callaspo. Jimenez took a 1-0 lead into the seventh before surrendering a one-out walk to Jeff Salazar, who then stole second base.

Jimenez then walked Miguel Montero, and Colorado manager Clint Hurdle decided to bring in Jorge Julio, who allowed a first-pitch single to left field by Carlos Quentin that tied the game at 1-1.

Fuentes rescued Julio by striking out a pair of pinch hitters to end the threat.

"I was able to come in and get some big outs and roll through it. I had some traffic the next inning and was fortunate to get a strikeout and get out of that," Fuentes said.

Jimenez yielded just the one hit and four walks with a season-hight 10 strikeouts among his 108 pitches before departing to a rousing ovation.

Jimenez was outstanding, but Arizona starter Yusmeiro Petit kept the red-hot Rockies in tow.

Starting in place of scheduled starter Doug Davis, Petit allowed four hits and a walk over five scoreless innings before Colorado broke through against Doug Slaten in the sixth.

"He was impressive, five innings and we were going to go about 80 pitches, he was outstanding under the circumstances," Arizona manager Bob Melvin said.

Atkins drew a two-out walk before Hawpe doubled deep to left field off the lefthander, scoring Atkins with the game's first run.








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    ARIZONA 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 3 5 1
    COLORADO 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 3 x 4 8 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: ARI - YUSMEIRO PETIT, DOUG SLATEN (6TH), BOB WICKMAN (6TH), DUSTIN
    NIPPERT (7TH), BILL MURPHY (8TH), BRANDON LYON (8TH) AND
    MIGUEL MONTERO
    COL - UBALDO JIMENEZ, JO

    Sep 30 6:04 PM


  • NL
    AT COLORADO - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY ALBERTO CALLASPO SCORED CARLOS QUENTIN.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, A CALLASPO ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ARIZONA 3
    COLORADO 4 TOP, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR ARIZONA: S DREW (.238, 0-FOR-4)

    Diamondbacks vs. RockiesSep 30 6:02 PM
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    RUWTbot Added 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Diamondbacks vs. RockiesSep 30 6:02 PM


  • NL
    AT COLORADO - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY AUGIE OJEDA SCORED MIGUEL MONTERO.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C QUENTIN ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ARIZONA 2
    COLORADO 4 TOP, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR ARIZONA: J CIRILLO (.205, 0-FOR-1)

    Diamondbacks vs. RockiesSep 30 6:00 PM


  • NL
    AT COLORADO - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY BRAD HAWPE SCORED MATT HOLLIDAY AND TODD HELTON.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, B HAWPE ON SECOND, G ATKINS ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ARIZONA 1
    COLORADO 4 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR COLORADO: B FUENTES (.000, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    Diamondbacks vs. RockiesSep 30 5:42 PM


  • NL
    AT COLORADO - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY GARRETT ATKINS SCORED TROY TULOWITZKI.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, G ATKINS ON FIRST, T HELTON ON SECOND, M
    HOLLIDAY ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ARIZONA 1
    COLORADO 2 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR COLORADO: B HAWPE (.291, 1-FOR-3, RBI)

    Diamondbacks vs. RockiesSep 30 5:40 PM
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    Diamondbacks vs. RockiesSep 30 5:15 PM


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    AT COLORADO - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY CARLOS QUENTIN SCORED JEFF SALAZAR.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C QUENTIN ON FIRST, M MONTERO ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ARIZONA 1
    COLORADO 1 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR ARIZONA: B WICKMAN (.000, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    Diamondbacks vs. RockiesSep 30 5:02 PM


  • NL
    AT COLORADO - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY BRAD HAWPE SCORED GARRETT ATKINS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, B HAWPE ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ARIZONA 0
    COLORADO 1 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR COLORADO: R SPILBORGHS (.305, 2-FOR-2)

    Diamondbacks vs. RockiesSep 30 4:46 PM
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