DENVER – In his last contest before his first appearance at his first All-Star game, Colorado Rockies shortstop Trevor Story put a bow on top of his phenomenal first half by hitting the first walk-off home run of his career.
In a back and forth affair that was regularly impacted by inclement weather, Story smashed his 20th home run of the season to deliver a 4-3 win and send his club into the break with a sweep of the Seattle Mariners.
The game started with an eerie repeat of the first inning from the first game of the series. Dee Gordon reached on an infield single that just barely escaped the grasp of Trevor Story at short and then, with two strikes, Jean Segura perfectly executed the hit-and-run by shooting an inside pitch through the gap on the right side for a single that moved Gordon to third.
The speedy second baseman was able to trot home on a third consecutive single, a soft liner to left off the bat of Mitch Haniger. Anderson was almost able to get out of it by getting Kyle Seager to ground into a force out and striking out Ryon Healy, but Denard Span delivered a two-out double into the left-center field gap to score Segura and put Seattle on top 2-0.
Anderson had three pitches in the inning that were inside the strike zone but called balls, adding to his frustrations. But he settled in immediately, retiring the next 14 in a row.
Right after the conclusion of the first half-inning, the skies opened up and a steady rain persisted for the rest of the game.
The moisture played to the Rockies benefit in the bottom of the third. DJ LeMahieu drew a two-out walked and was able to advance to third on a bloop single to center from Charlie Blackmon. Nolan Arenado then played his clutch card, ripping a hard grounder down the right side that Haniger was unable to field cleanly, allowing Blackmon to score the tying run all the way from first.
The Mariners broke up Anderson’s stretch of perfection in the top of the sixth when a Haniger groundball skipped just underneath Trevor Story’s glove at shortstop for a single. He moved to third on a groundout from Seager before Anderson pitched carefully to Healy, walking him to put runners at first and third with two outs, bringing Span to the plate.
The pesky player hit another well-struck line drive, but this one fell harmlessly into the glove of Carlos Gonzalez in right, stranding both runners and keeping the game tied at two runs apiece.
Jake McGee came on in the seventh and gave up a single up the middle to Guillermo Heredia on the very first pitch he threw. David Frietas bunted him over to second but McGee was able to strike out a pinch-hitting Nelson Cruz to put himself an out away from escaping damage. He got Gordon to two strikes but the fantastic contact hitter was able to slice a soft line drive into left field. An online throw from Gerardo Parra in left might have nailed the runner at the plate, but his throw was well off and the go-ahead run scored with ease.
That lead didn’t last long, though. The Rockies came right back in the bottom of the seventh, getting a huge hustle triple from Ian Desmond with one out. Chris Iannetta followed with a screaming line drive to left that was knocked down by the heavy rain but still allowed Desmond to score the tying run.
Bryan Shaw came into the newly-tied game and retired the first two he faced on a weak flyout to center and a broken-bat groundout to second but Healy was able to hit a hard grounder through the right side for a single. Span followed with a bouncer toward second that it looked like LeMahieu was on, but, perhaps somewhat due to the conditions of the field, he was unable to field the ball cleanly, allowing a second runner to reach base.
Bud Black turned to Scott Oberg to try to escape the two-out jam and he did just that, getting a more typical easy grounder to second.
Oberg stayed on to pitch a clean top of the ninth. Trevor Story did the rest.
It’s the All-Star break! Nolan Arenado, Charlie Blackmon, and Trevor Story will join manager Bud Black in Washington for the festivities. First pitch on Tuesday at 6:00 Eastern Time.