Rockies tops in holiday madness
Colorado overcomes nine-run deficit with offensive onslaught
Fans were expecting Fourth of July fireworks, but not the kind the Rockies and Marlins provided.
In one of the wildest games of the year, the Rockies came back after trailing 13-4 in the fifth and 17-13 in the eighth, and Chris Iannetta's slow-rolling single drove home Matt Holliday with the winning run as Colorado outlasted Florida, 18-17, in front of a sellout crowd of 48,691.
"It was a crazy game," Iannetta said. "We score a bunch of runs to get back into the game, and then they score another four that put us even farther away. It was just great to be on top at the end."
The game can be seen in its entirety at 1 p.m. MST on Sunday, as part of MLB.com/Live's ongoing daily series of Baseball's Best games.
The nine-run comeback was the largest in Rockies history.
When the three-hour, 59-minute slugfest was over, the Rockies and Marlins had combined for 35 runs, 43 hits and eight home runs -- six of which were hit by Colorado. The 35 runs were the second most in Coors Field history, and the 43 hits tied the most in any Rockies game.
"If people were coming just to see the postgame fireworks, they got to see a whole lot more," Holliday said.
The tone was set from the first pitch.
Rockies pitcher Greg Reynolds left a sinkerball over the middle of the plate, and Hanley Ramirez belted it over the fence in left-center field for his 21st home run of the season. Mike Jacobs hit an RBI double, and Matt Treanor hit a three-run shot over Holliday's outstretched glove to give the Marlins an early 5-0 lead.
Ryan Spilborghs hit a 435-foot solo home run in the bottom of the fourth, and Holliday led off the fifth with a solo shot of his own. Three batters later, Iannetta hit a three-run home run that didn't drop until it landed on the concourse beyond the left-field seats.
"[It was] one of the best [home runs] I've ever had," Iannetta said.
Spilborghs, who had his first career four-hit game, hit his second solo home run in the sixth, and Garrett Atkins hit a two-run shot later in the inning to bring the score to 13-12. But the Rockies' relievers couldn't keep it that way. Jason Grilli and Manuel Corpas combined to give up four runs in the seventh to extend the Marlins' lead to five.
The Rockies loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh, and Holliday cleared them with his third career grand slam.
Taylor Buchholz pitched a scoreless ninth to set up the final scene.
Kevin Gregg yielded singles to Clint Barmes and Holliday to open the inning. Atkins, who had a career-high five hits, hit a line drive to left, bringing home Barmes to tie the game. Jeff Baker then grounded into what should have been a double play, but Ramirez dropped the throw at second, and the bases were loaded for Iannetta.
"When you're in a game like that, you always know you have a chance, no matter what happens," Iannetta said. "We just kept battling, and eventually we won."
Jim Molony is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.