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Rockies down D-Backs to force one-game playoff for wild card

Rockies down D-Backs to force one-game playoff for wild card

Rockies down D-Backs to force one-game playoff for wild card
September 30th, 2007

Denver, CO (Sports Network) - Garrett Atkins broke a tie in the bottom of the eighth inning with a go-ahead RBI single, and Brad Hawpe followed with an ultimately necessary two-run double as the Colorado Rockies forced a one- game playoff for the wild card by beating the Arizona Diamondbacks, 4-3, at Coors Field.

Colorado's dramatic win, coupled with San Diego's 11-6 loss in Milwaukee Sunday afternoon, means the Rockies (89-73) will meet the Padres (89-73) in Denver at 3:37 Eastern Time Monday to decide who earns the fourth and final National League playoff berth. Arizona, Chicago and Philadelphia have already clinched the other three spots.

The eighth inning rally began when Troy Tulowitzki reached on a throwing error by Diamondbacks third baseman Mark Reynolds, then moved around to third on Matt Holliday's single. Bill Murphy came on for Arizona to replace Dustin Nippert, but walked Todd Helton to load the bases with no outs.

Atkins then roped a line-drive single over the head of shortstop Stephen Drew to score Tulowitzki, and Hawpe provided the insurance when he smoked a ball down the right-field line to bring around Holliday and Helton.

After Murphy intentionally walked pinch-hitter Jeff Baker, Brandon Lyon relieved him and got Yorvit Torrealba to strike out and Cory Sullivan to hit into a double play to avoid further damage.

Rockies closer Manny Corpas hardly made things easy on himself in the ninth, as Miguel Montero lined a leadoff single and Carlos Quentin gave Arizona runners on second and third with no one out when he doubled off the left-field wall. Augie Ojeda hit a fly ball to shallow center to score Montero, and Jeff Cirillo grounded to second for the second out.

But Alberto Callaspo looped a single over the head of second baseman Kaz Matsui to bring home Quentin and make it a one-run game. Corpas finally escaped the inning when he got Drew to roll a ground ball in front of the mound, and he fired to first to barely get the third out.

The Rockies received a stellar pitching performance from starter Ubaldo Jimenez, who allowed just one hit in 6 1/3 innings while striking out 10. Jorge Julio and Brian Fuentes (2-3), who took the win in 1 2/3 scoreless frames, bridged the gap to Corpas.

Hawpe finished the game 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles and three RBI, and Helton and Ryan Spilborghs had two hits apiece for the Rockies, who finished the regular season by winning 12 of their last 13.

Nippert (1-1) was charged with the loss in one inning for the D-Backs, who will head home to host the Cubs in the opener of their National League Divisional Series Wednesday and have already earned homefield advantage throughout the NL playoffs.

Yusmeiro Petit was excellent in five shutout innings, allowing just four hits while striking out four and walking one. Quentin and Callaspo each finished with two hits and an RBI.

Petit and Jimenez matched scoreless frames through the fifth, and Jimenez actually carried a no-hitter into the sixth before Callaspo lined a one-out single to left.

The Rockies finally broke the tie in the bottom of the sixth when Hawpe doubled to left to score Atkins, who had walked.

But, Arizona responded with a run in the seventh on back-to-back walks by Jeff Salazar and Montero and an RBI single by Quentin.

Game Notes

A Colorado win on Monday would grant them their first postseason berth since 1995...The Rockies took the season series with Arizona, 10-8...Colorado took the season series with San Diego, 11-7.

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