Holliday, Rox drop Dodgers in 14
Left fielder's RBI single breaks tie; Hawpe adds insurance
LOS ANGELES -- Rockies manager Clint Hurdle boiled it down Sunday morning around half-past midnight PT: "Nobody dragged, nobody bowed their head."
Winning pitcher Matt Herges was willing to go Hurdle one better: "This is the kind of game you can mark, 'That's when things started happening.'"Matt Holliday's one-out single in the 14th inning drove home Ryan Spilborghs from third, and Brad Hawpe knocked in two insurance runs with a bases-loaded single, giving the Rockies a 7-4 victory over the Dodgers on Saturday night. The win -- which took five hours and six minutes to grind out -- meant Colorado swapped places with Los Angeles in the National League Wild Card race, fourth in that scramble and two games behind Wild Card leaders Philadelphia and San Diego. The game was the Major Leagues' longest of 2007 in elapsed time, and provided what remained of the 52,508 announced crowd the rare opportunity to enjoy the 14th inning stretch. Herges (2-0) pitched the 12th and 13th innings for the victory, and Manny Corpas pitched the 14th to register his 11th save in as many chances. Roberto Hernandez (0-2) took the loss. Herges, whose nine-year Major League career began with a three-year stint in L.A., has seen what can happen to visiting teams late in games in Chavez Ravine. "For this team to play 14 innings on the road, against the Dodgers, this is is a huge win," he said. "This is a special place in my heart. When I was traded to Montreal, it broke my heart." Rockies starter Franklin Morales will have to wait for his first Major League victory. The fireballing 21-year-old Venezuelan left-hander's night ended after he went 5 1/3 innings, giving up a run on five hits while striking out four and walking none. "There was nothing not to like about his outing," Hurdle said. "He threw strikes, mixed speeds. It was good to watch. He handled himself professionally. "There were a couple of times you could almost see his heart beating out of his shirt. But the biggest thing was he continued to throw strikes." Matt Kemp presided over Morales' Major League baptism in the first inning with a two-out home run into the right-field pavilion. The Rockies answered with two runs in the second on RBI singles by Troy Tulowitzki and Morales -- his first Major League hit in his first at-bat. Colorado made it 3-1 in the fifth on Cory Sullivan's solo homer with one out -- his first homer in almost a year, having stroked one here last Sept. 3. The lead went to 4-1 in the seventh when Sullivan's single up the middle off reliever Mark Hendrickson scored Kazuo Matsui from third. The Dodgers shaved it to 4-2 in the bottom of the seventh on Shea Hillenbrand's RBI single, then tied it in the eighth with two unearned runs off reliever Jorge Julio. The Rockies let a one-out, bases-loaded opportunity elude them in the top of the 11th. Sullivan cracked Rudy Seanez's fastball up the middle, but Rafael Furcal, who had positioned himself 10 feet in front of second base, scooped it up and started the double play that gave the Dodgers a temporary reprieve. "I don't think I've ever seen a guy hit a double-play ball to the shortstop behind the pitcher's mound," Hurdle said. "Whether it was Furcal's intuitive nature, whatever it was ..." Whatever it was, the "W" made it all go away.
Ted Brock is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.