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Rockies score three off Hoffman in the 13th to advance to Philly

Oct 2, 2007 - 6:05 AM DENVER (Ticker) -- The Colorado Rockies and San Diego Padres put the "wild" in the wild card. Matt Holliday and Jamey Carroll allowed the Rockies to continue their wild ride.

Holliday tripled in the tying run and Carroll hit a sacrifice fly against Trevor Hoffman as the Rockies rallied for three runs in the bottom of the 13th inning to win for the 14th time in 15 games, 9-8 over the Padres in the National League wild card tiebreaker on Monday.

"One thing this team doesn't do is quit and we didn't tonight," said Tulowitzki, who had two doubles, a triple and single. "We easily could have laid down, but we didn't. Some guys put together some nice at-bats against probably the best closer ever in baseball."

Colorado's reward is a trip to Philadelphia where they will open the best-of-five NL Division Series on Wednesday.

"We're just going to enjoy it tonight and we'll focus on the Phillies tomorrow," Holliday said. "We're just excited."

This is what it's all about right here," first baseman Todd Helton said. "You've got to enjoy this and refocus tomorrow."

After Scott Hairston delivered a two-run homer off Jorge Julio in the top half of the frame to give San Diego an 8-6 lead, Kaz Matsui and Tulowitzki led off the bottom half with consecutive doubles.

Holliday then blasted the first pitch from Hoffman (4-5) deep off the right field wall, scoring Tulowitzki with the tying run.

After Helton was intentionally walked, Carroll lined the first pitch to right field. Holliday tagged up and just beat the throw home from Brian Giles, although replays indicated that Holliday did not touch the plate.

"I wasn't sure," Carroll said. "I know he was in. It was a pretty good throw, but I wasn't sure until I saw him safe."

The Rockies mobbed Holliday at home plate, but the All-Star slugger was injured from his collision with Padres catcher Michael Barrett. He stayed on the ground for a few moments after landing on his face and catching his hand in Barrett's cleats.

Five minutes after the game, Holliday seemed fine as Todd Helton jumped on him on the field just outside the dugout.

"I feel fine. I got my hand stepped on and banged my head," Holliday said. "I'm OK now."

Holliday's heroics helped make up for his misplay in the eighth inning that allowed San Diego to tie the game at 6-6. Giles hit a fly ball to left, and Holliday took a step in before retreating, but the ball went over his head for a double.

"It would have been a long offseason," Holliday said if the Rockies had lost. "I took one bad step forward."

Holliday also ended innings by striking out with runners in scoring position in the sixth and eighth innings.

It likely will be a long offseason for Hoffman, who blew his second straight save. He was one-pitch away from getting San Diego into the postseason Saturday, but couldn't hold a one-run lead in a 4-3, 11-inning loss.

"It's not that I don't want to try and express it, but to be a part of that game the way I was and the way everybody anticipated me being in and for it to turn out the way it did, it's hard to deal with," Hoffman said. "You can't really point to any other factor than my performance tonight. And that's a burden I'm going to have to deal with."

Ramon Ortiz (5-4) relieved Julio to get the win with a scoreless inning.

"This is my pitching staff, I take care of this pitching staff and they didn't let me down and we finally made it to the playoffs," Rockies catcher Yorvit Torrealba said.

It was only fitting that the seventh one-game playoff in major league history - and first since 1999 - go extra innings. San Diego overcame 3-0 and 6-5 deficits to get the game into extra innings.

This game was billed as the hottest team in the league against its hottest pitcher.

Colorado entered winning 13 of their final 14 games to force a playoff. Peavy, the likely NL Cy Young winner, entered the start leading the league in wins, ERA and strikeouts and was 10-1 with a 2.24 ERA in his last 14 starts, but yielded six runs and 11 hits in 6 1/3 innings.

"Tonight, the way things have been going for us, I knew we had a real good chance," Rockies third baseman Garrett Atkins said. "That's the way the last two weeks have been. It's been amazing, improbable I guess you could say. That's the way we like it."

"It's baseball, that's why we play," Padres manager Bud Black said. "If it wasn't for (Peavy and Hoffman), we wouldn't be in this position, without a doubt."

But Colorado jumped on Peavy with two quick runs in the first inning. Matsui led off with a double to right field, Tulowitzki advanced Matsui to third with an infield single and Holliday walked to load the bases.

Helton followed with a sacrifice fly to deep center field and Atkins lined a single to left-center, plating Tulowitzki for a 2-0 edge. Peavy retired the next two batters to escape, but Torrealba led off the second by drilling a 2-1 slider into the left field stands for his eighth homer and a 3-0 edge.

But San Diego scored five times in the third off Colorado starter Josh Fogg to take a 5-3 lead. Adrian Gonzalez hit a first-pitch sinker over the right field fence for a grand slam and his 30th home run of the season.

San Diego then loaded the bases and took a 5-3 lead when Brady Clark hit into an RBI fielder's choice.

Helton halved the deficit in the bottom half with his 17th home run and the Rockies tied it at 5-5 in the fifth. Tulowitzki led off with a double and Holliday followed with a line single to left-center, plating the tying run.

In just the eighth at-bat of his major league career, Smith delivered a one-out triple in the sixth off Peavy that hit off the center field wall for his fifth hit - all pinch hits - of the season. Matsui followed with a fly ball to shallow center. Smith tagged and center fielder Brady Clark's poor throw home was well up the first base line.

Clark followed the poor throw by misplaying a long drive by Tulowitzki into a triple, but Peavy struck out Holliday to escape.

Peavy caught a break in the seventh when Atkins lined the first pitch to deep left field. The drive appeared to clear the fence, possibly striking a chair and bouncing back onto the field, but Atkins was held to a double despite the protests of Colorado manager Clint Hurdle.

"I thought it was a home run," Atkins said. "Maybe we win that game in nine innings, but either way we won the game, so it doesn't really matter at this point."

Peavy departed after intentionally walking Brad Hawpe and Heath Bell struck out the next two batters. Bell fanned five over a season-high 2 2/3 innings.

Fogg lasted four-plus frames, getting tagged for five runs and eight hits.