Rockies win in 10 innings, knock off Giants, 3-2
DENVER ” Rockies reliever Ray King wasn’t only angry about his ejection but the four others that marred the Colorado’s victory over the San Francisco Giants.
Giants starter Matt Morris was thrown out by home plate umpire Travis Reininger, a Triple-A reserve, in the first inning Sunday of Colorado’s 3-2 win in 10 innings ” and that was just the beginning of the early exits.
“With the ejections early, the umpires lost control of the game and it changed the game,” King said.
Crew chief Derryl Cousins defended Reininger, saying the umpires weren’t going to let things get out of hand a day after Jose Mesa renewed his long-running feud with Omar Vizquel by plunking the shortstop with a pitch.
The game featured four hit batters and five ejections, including both managers.
“No brawl. No fight. Kind of a strange,” Giants manager Felipe Alou said. “I never saw anything like that before.”
Morris was tossed after plunking Eli Marrero in the first. He had been warned by Reininger after he struck Matt Holliday two batters earlier. Alou drew an automatic ejection and San Francisco pitching coach Dave Righetti was tossed for throwing his pitch counter onto the field and yelling at Reininger.
Rockies starter Jeff Francis hit Steve Finley with a pitch in the sixth but stayed in the game, much to the chagrin of Giants coach Ron Wotus, who had taken over for Alou. In the eighth, Rockies manager Clint Hurdle and King were ejected after the left-hander hit Vizquel with a pitch, putting runners at the corners with one out and the Rockies clinging to a 2-1 lead.
Mesa and Vizquel played together in Cleveland from 1992-98 but their friendship ended when Vizquel criticized Mesa in his 2002 autobiography for blowing the save in Game 7 of the 1997 World Series against Florida, and Mesa vowed never to forget the criticism.
Alou said it’s a shame these two teams are paying for the Mesa-Vizquel feud.
“Whoever is in charge of stopping it better stop it and stop it soon. Because we play 15 more games,” Alou said.
King said it was obvious Holliday was hit on purpose but not so Marrero.
“They shouldn’t have thrown Morris out right there. He hits him with a breaking ball, and he hit a guy earlier in the inning. It’s a we-hit-their-guy, they-hit-our-guy and it’s over with. It was over with, and the umps took away from the game and lost control when they threw out Morris,” King said.
“When Francis hit Finley, the Giants wanted him out. Then when I hit Vizquel, it’s a 2-1 count, I’ve got to pitch in and get a groundball to this side of the infield. They blew it.”
Morris concurred, saying deliberately hitting a second batter “doesn’t make any sense. With the pounding our bullpen has taken, after a warning why would I want out of that game?”
Cousins said he felt the pitch that hit Marrero was intentional ” “It was a fastball behind the guy.” ” and the umpires figured they had to do something after a second batter was struck.
“It was the same thing with King getting run,” Cousins said. “We can’t just stand out there and let them throw at each other all day long.”
The Rockies improved to 3-0 in extra inning games this year ” all at Coors Field ” and handed the Giants their first series loss of the season when Miguel Ojeda hit an RBI single off Jeff Fassero with two outs in the 10th.
Marrero, who homered in the fifth, drew a leadoff walk and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. After Choo Freeman grounded out to short, Fassero thought he got Ojeda looking at strike three and began trotting off the mound.
“I thought the guy was out,” said Alou, who was watching on a clubhouse television. “Saw a strike on the corner that was not ruled a strike.”
Fassero composed himself behind the mound, then threw a 2-2 fastball that Ojeda hit up the middle, and Marrero scored from second, just beating Finley’s throw home.
“You always want to be ‘The Guy,’ ” Ojeda said. “You work hard and as a backup. That’s a great thing being able to help the team win.”
David Cortes (3-0) pitched a scoreless 10th for the win.
The Rockies weren’t only celebrating their win afterward but also the news that slugger Todd Helton was improving, although the stomach ailment that landed him in the hospital and on the disabled list Friday remained a mystery 48 hours later.
Helton is expected to be released from Rose Medical Center on Monday after another battery of tests. Team trainer Keith Dugger said doctors “haven’t officially eliminated anything” but reiterated that Helton’s condition wasn’t considered life-threatening.
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