It didn’t seem to matter much who was pitching against DJ LeMahieu. After striking out in his first at-bat [url=http://www.broncosauthorizedshops.com/authentic-royce-freeman-jersey]http://www.broncosauthorizedshops.com/authentic-royce-freeman-jersey[/url] , the Rockies leadoff hitter was as locked in as he’s been all season.
Especially in the ninth inning when Colorado trailed.
LeMahieu hit a two-run homer in the ninth and set a career best with five RBIs as the Rockies rallied past the San Francisco Giants 9-8 on Thursday to snap a four-game losing streak.
”It was a good one to win,” LeMahieu said. ”I feel like we’ve been on the other end of that for the last couple of weeks so it was good to win that one late.”
Nolan Arenado hit his 19th home run, tying him for the National League lead with Washington’s Bryce Harper. Trevor Story added three hits for Colorado, which had lost four straight at San Francisco.
The Rockies blew leads of 5-2 and 7-5 and were down 8-7 before scoring twice off closer Sam Dyson (2-2) to avoid a series sweep.
Chris Iannetta hit a leadoff single in the ninth and was replaced by pinch-runner Pat Valaika. After pinch-hitter Tom Murphy popped out, LeMahieu sent a full-count pitch from Dyson into the left-field stands.
Two nights earlier, Dyson got LeMahieu to ground into a game-ending double play with the tying run on base.
”It was roughly where we wanted,” Dyson said. ”I figured we’d go (inside) like we did two nights ago. Just didn’t get it far enough in there.”
It was a big hit for a ballclub that had been 0-37 when trailing going into the ninth.
”That was a big swing when the momentum shifted back to them in a big way,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. ”It takes a special moment and a special swing to get it back on our side and DJ put a great swing on that ball. It was awesome.”
LeMahieu had an RBI single as part of Colorado’s four-run fourth. His two-run single off Ty Blach in the seventh gave the Rockies a 7-5 lead.
Each of LeMahieu’s hits came off different pitchers.
”He knows the opposition [url=http://www.authenticsbaltimoreravens.com/cheap-mark-andrews-jersey]Mark Andrews Color Rush Jersey[/url] , he knows pitchers,” Black said. ”He’s as prepared as any player I’ve been around.”
Adam Ottavino (4-1) gave up two runs but retired three batters to win. Wade Davis pitched the ninth for his 22nd save.
All three games in the series were decided by one run.
Brandon Belt hit a two-run homer, Joe Panik had two hits and two RBIs while Pablo Sandoval and Andrew McCutchen also had two hits for San Francisco.
The Giants trailed most of the afternoon but took an 8-7 lead in the eighth when Alen Hanson doubled in two runs.
”That was a hard fought game,” San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. ”Tough one when you have a lead in the ninth and we couldn’t hold on to it. Sam was just a little bit off.”
Arenado homered off starter Chris Stratton in the first, his 10th this season in the opening frame.
It was also Arenado’s 10th career home run at AT&T Park, tying former Rockies infielder Troy Tulowitzki for second-most among visiting players. Arizona’s Paul Goldschmidt has 11.
Neither starter factored in the decision and had nearly identical lines.
Stratton allowed five runs on eight hits in four innings. Colorado’s Jon Gray also gave up five runs in four innings but yielded seven hits with seven strikeouts.
BACK TO BACK
Giants catcher Nick Hundley threw out a pair of runners trying to steal second base in consecutive at-bats in the eighth. Story hit a leadoff single but was thrown out. Gerardo Parra then reached on an error but was quickly erased when he tried to take second
GOLDEN COMPANY
Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr, a noted Dodgers fan, attended the game and sat next to the Giants dugout [url=http://www.panthersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-ian-thomas-jersey]http://www.panthersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-ian-thomas-jersey[/url] , at one point reaching over to shake hands with Bochy.
TRAINER’S ROOM
Giants: C Buster Posey was held out of the starting lineup due to the pitching matchup but had a pinch-hit single in the eighth.
UP NEXT
Rockies: LHP Tyler Anderson (4-3, 4.62 ERA) faces the Dodgers in the opener of a three-game series in Los Angeles on Friday. Anderson is unbeaten in nine road starts this season.
Giants: LHP Andrew Suarez (2-4, 4.43) takes the hill against the Diamondbacks on Friday.
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Columbus Blue Jackets find themselves moving deep into uncharted waters.
They’ve never led a Stanley Cup playoff series let alone taken a 2-0 lead. After winning both games on the road against the Washington Capitals in overtime, the Blue Jackets return home for Game 3 in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference series on Tuesday night at what’s expected to be a lively and loud Nationwide Arena.
“I just think we found our confidence at the right time and feel good about ourselves,” Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella said after the 5-4 victory in Game 2 on Sunday night. “It’s a bridge that we have crossed and I hope we stay on the right side. We go out there knowing we’re going to win. It’s a bit of a swagger they have.”
The excitement is palpable in Columbus in anticipation of Game 3 after forward Matt Calvert scored the winner from the doorstep with one hand on his stick in Washington. But there’s plenty of work to do to win a playoff series for the first time in team history.
“We’re going to keep getting better,” Calvert said. “We’re going to keep learning every day. We’ll be ready for Game 3.”
More than any other player, goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky is responsible for the Blue Jackets’ two victories. He was peppered with 58 shots by the Capitals in Game 2 but came up with big saves time and again when Columbus was backed up in the defensive zone for long stretches.
“I would say your career is a journey and you learn some things here and there [url=http://www.authenticswashingtonredskins.com/cheap-da_ron-payne-jersey]Da'Ron Payne Color Rush Jersey[/url] ,” Bobrovsky said. “It doesn’t matter what’s in the past. We’re going to play (Game 3). It doesn’t matter what happened (in Game 2). Each moment is huge right now and you just have to be ready.”
The Blue Jackets are just the fifth team to overcome multi-goal deficits in back-to-back playoff games in NHL history, but that’s also a concern. They’ve fallen behind in both games largely because of too many penalties — 13 combined in Games 1 and 2.
The Capitals have scored on five of 13 power-play opportunities so far.
“I think we have a way of (staying out of the penalty box),” Tortorella said. “We just need to be more consistent doing it. We can’t be (taking penalties) all that time. It’s just impossible. They’re too good. That has to be straightened out moving forward.”
The Capitals still have plenty of skill with Alexander Ovechkin leading the way, and they definitely have more postseason experience than the Blue Jackets.
Washington was in the same boat last year when it dropped the first two games of its second-round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Capitals rallied to force Game 7 before falling.
In 2009, the Capitals were trailing 0-2 against the New York Rangers before coming back to advance. But they’re also just the sixth team in league history to lose two at home in overtime to start a seven-game series, and all five ended up being eliminated.
So while there’s a sense of urgency for the Metropolitan Division champions given their past playoff failures, it’s not yet desperation.
“Right now we’re sitting here two in a hole,” Capitals coach Barry Trotz said. “But at the same time [url=http://www.authenticsdallascowboys.com/cheap-michael-gallup-jersey]Michael Gallup Color Rush Jersey[/url] , your group has an opportunity to grow, fight their way back.
“There’s a lot of character in our room. Our group has a lot of fight in it. We’re not going away. We’re going to be around. You’re going to see us dig in. You’re going to see us fight. We’re going to see something happen here. I’m excited to get to Columbus and for Game 3.”
The Capitals have outplayed the Blue Jackets for long stretches, but they’ve let leads slip away and the final result hasn’t gone their way.
“We’ve got to win, and that’s what we come for,” Capitals defenseman John Carlson said after contributing six assists in the first two games. “We don’t come to outplay them, we don’t come to outshoot them. You have to win, and we didn’t do it.”
Trotz has yet to indicate whether Philipp Grubauer or Braden Holtby will start in goal on Tuesday night. Holtby replaced Grubauer in Game 2.
“I think we’ve got to manage to not only get the lead but hold onto it,” Grubauer said. “It’s not easy. It’s a tough team to play against. But we made it really hard on ourselves [url=http://www.jetscheapshops.com/cheap-authentic-sam-darnold-jersey]Authentic Sam Darnold Jersey[/url] , too.”
One Capitals player who definitely won’t see action in Games 3 or 4 is winger Andre Burakovsky, who suffered an upper-body injury in the first period on Sunday and did not make the trip.
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