DENVER (AP) — Charlie Blackmon hit a two-out grand slam that capped a five-run rally in the ninth inning and lifted the Colorado Rockies over the Los Angeles Angels 8-4 on Friday night.
Blackmon hammered Jose Quijada’s fastball on a 3-1 count over the wall in right center to give Colorado its second walk-off grand slam in franchise history.
Blackmon is fifth in the NL with a .331 batting average but was 7 of 31 in September before hitting his second grand slam of the season and third of his career. It was the fourth walk-off hit overall, three of them homers.
“I really just needed to not make an out. I wasn’t trying to hit for extra bases or swing hard. I wanted to make sure when I swung it was in the zone,” Blackmon said. “He fell behind in the count and had to throw it over the middle of the plate.”
Ryan McMahon’s solo home run with one out in the Rockies ninth off Ty Buttrey (1-3) made it 4-all. Josh Fuentes then doubled to right-center and Daniel Murphy was intentionally walked, bringing on Quijada.
“I felt like after I swung on that fastball he was going to come at me with a changeup and I was ready,” said McMahon, who hit his seventh homer.
After Trevor Story walked with two outs to load the bases, Blackmon connected. It was Los Angeles’ major league-high 13th blown save of the season.
“It’s a frustrating part of our season. We’ve been in this position often and haven’t been able to close games,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said.
Blackmon finished with five RBIs and Story had two hits and three RBIs for the Rockies, who are in the chase for the NL’s final postseason spot. They are 1 1/2 games behind San Francisco with 15 days remaining in the regular season.
Jared Walsh and Anthony Bemboom homered for the Angels. Walsh and Mike Trout each had two hits.
Bemboom hit a high drive down the right-field line off Daniel Bard (3-2) for his second home run of the season. Jared Walsh tied it at 3 to lead off the eighth with a drive to right-center. The Rockies’ bullpen has a 6.71 ERA, which is second-highest in the majors.
The Angels jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first. A throwing error from shortstop by Story to second on Anthony Rendon’s infield single allowed Walsh to score the first run before Justin Upton’s RBI single extended the lead.
The Rockies evened it in the third. Story got an RBI double after miscommunication between Trout and Taylor Ward in right-center. Blackmon evened it with a sacrifice fly.
Colorado took a 3-2 lead in the fifth when Raimel Tapia reached on a two-out single and scored on Story’s triple to right field. Ward looked like he was going to be able to make a play at the wall, but he banged into it before getting his glove up and the ball bounced off the 14-foot high manual scoreboard.
“I like the way we played. Our guys stayed at it,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “There was an intensity that was present all night. Even though Bard gave up a home run, he got the outs to keep it at one run.”
WALKING IT OFF
Colorado’s other walk-off grand slam was by Ryan Spilborghs on Aug. 24, 2009, vs. San Francisco. It is the fourth one in the majors this season and first since San Diego’s Manny Machado on Aug. 19 against Texas.
Colorado’s Germán Márquez went seven innings for the second straight game. The right-hander allowed two runs on four hits in the first inning, but allowed only two hits and a walk over his final six innings while striking out six.
Griffin Canning went a solid 5 2/3 innings but was plagued by a couple bad plays in the outfield. The right-hander gave up three runs on seven hits with a walk and five strikeouts. He has allowed three or fewer earned runs in six of his nine starts this season.
Angels: David Fletcher (left ankle sprain) is expected to come off the injured list before Saturday’s game after he ran the bases and took groundballs without any soreness.
Rockies: IF-OF Chris Owings (left hamstring strain) is taking swings in the batting cage but still can’t go full speed running or fielding. … 2B Brendan Rodgers (right shoulder capsular strain) took some at-bats during a game at the alternate training site but not do any fielding. There is no timetable for his return.
Angels: Jaime Barria (0-0, 3.38 ERA) makes his third straight start. The right-hander threw a season-high 86 pitches in five innings last Sunday against Houston.
Rockies: Kyle Freeland (2-1, 3.60 ERA) is tied for the NL lead in quality starts with seven. The left-hander has a 3-1 career mark in interleague home games.
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