settled into his chair for his post-game news conference and took a deep breath.
''That was interesting,'' he declared.
From start to finish, it was a wild, wacky night at Coors Field.
homered for the first time since Aug. 29 and the Rockies beat San Diego 11-10 on Tuesday night despite a rare rough outing
Jorge De La Rosa
and a four-run ninth-inning rally by the Padres.
After allowing two bloop singles that plated four runs and putt the tying run at third base and the go-ahead run at first,
secured his seventh save in eight chances when pinch-hitter
hit an absolute rope that appeared to be heading over left fielder
's head before settling into his glove.
''Nick hit that ball right on the screws,'' Padres manager
said. ''And it was right at him.''
''That's baseball, we got lucky,'' said Rockies outfielder
. ''Sometimes you hit bloops and they fall in and sometimes you hit it as well as you can and it's an out.''
Tracy, for one, thought the Padres had just gone ahead when the ball came smoking off Hundley's bat.
''You can't square a ball much better than that, I can promise you that,'' Tracy said. ''I saw Seth either freeze or just
take a tiny step forward and the way that ball was hit and came off the bat, I thought it maybe had a chance of going over
his head. I really did. I'm glad it didn't.''
If the ball sails over Smith's head as just about everybody left in the ballpark envisioned, the Padres would have grabbed
''I thought it might have a chance to get past him,'' Hundley said. ''I looked for (speedy pinch-runner)
when the ball was caught and he was rounding third. He would have scored. He can score from first base on a single.''
The Rockies increased their NL lead in the NL wild-card race to five games over San Francisco and Atlanta.
And they did it in frantic fashion.
The Rockies scored every way imaginable: on an inside-the-park homer by
, a balk and twice on wild pitches, and they needed every bit of that wacky production to go with their routine run-scoring
hits, including Hawpe's opposite-field shot that barely cleared the wall.
In a cold, steady drizzle, Morales came on in the ninth with two outs and the bases loaded courtesy of
's wildness, trying to protect an 11-6 lead. He surrendered a two-run single to
and gave up a two-run single to
to make it 11-10.
really shouldn't have had to pitch tonight,'' Tracy insisted.
After securing the save, Morales learned
was going to reclaim the closer role after retiring the only two batters he faced in his first appearance since returning
from biceps tendinitis.
''When I handed (Tracy) the ball, he said, 'You convinced me,''' Street recounted.
While Morales hung his head in the clubhouse after the close call, Street walked past and told him, ''We won, that's all that
matters. That's all that matters.''
Morales shook his head in agreement.
's RBI single off
(0-1) broke a 6-6 tie in the fourth and made a winner of
(2-1), the first of seven relievers.
Belisle allowed two hits in three scoreless innings as the Rockies began a nine-game homestand with their eighth straight
win at Coors Field, where they're 39-14 since Tracy took over as manager in late May.
De La Rosa was tagged for six runs on six hits and three walks in just 2 1-3 innings. It was a stunningly poor performance
by the left-hander who leads the majors with 15 wins since June 1 and who had allowed just three earned runs in 26 innings
this month, compiling a 1.04 ERA while going 3-0.
The Padres loaded the bases off De La Rosa in the third on two walks and a single by
tripled them all home, then scored on
That was it for De La Rosa, who was replaced by Belisle. The Rockies quickly got De La Rosa off the hook for the loss on Barmes'
RBI single in the bottom of the inning.
After Tulowitzki's single broke the tie, the Rockies made it 8-6 in the sixth inning when
scored from third on
's wild pitch.
An inning later, Barmes hit his 23rd homer. Right fielder
dived for the ball and barely missed it, rolling over in pain as Barmes circled the bases behind
, who had walked, with his second career inside-the-park homer.
Notes: Gonzalez's left shoulder popped out but popped right back in. He said he's sore but will be OK in a couple of days.
... Rockies LF
strained his left hamstring leading off the bottom of the first with a triple. He was lifted an inning later as a precaution.
... Mujica allowed six runs on eight hits in 2 2-3 innings. ... Barmes' other inside-the-park home run came on May 8, 2005,