DENVER (AP)—Another night, another curtain call.
Brad Hawpe sheepishly poked his head out of the dugout and waved to the crowd after hitting a two-run homer in the eighth as Colorado rallied for a 6-5 win over Los Angeles on Wednesday night.
Hawpe wasn’t sure of the proper protocol for a curtain call, this being the first one of his life.
The Rockies right fielder should’ve asked Todd Helton for advice. The fans enticed Helton out of the dugout for a deafening round of applause on Tuesday night after he hit a game-winning two-run homer off Takashi Saito in the ninth.
“This is special,” Hawpe said.
“I made a mistake and paid for it,” Broxton said.
Hawpe learned something striking out on Tuesday against Broxton. So when Broxton (4-4) shook off catcher Russell Martin on a 3-2 pitch, Hawpe figured he was going to throw the slider.
He figured right.
“I thought it was gone as soon as I hit it,” Hawpe said. “If it hadn’t have gone out, I would’ve been pretty upset.”
Colorado, winners of four straight, moved a game ahead of Los Angeles in the NL wild-card race.
However, the Rockies picked up no ground on the wild-card leading San Diego Padres, and still trail by 4 1/2 games. The Padres beat Pittsburgh on Wednesday night on a ninth-inning home run.
“He’s on a different level,” Helton said. “He’s locked in and swinging the bat well.”
The ever-modest Holliday claimed he’s simply making good contact.
“I just continue to try to see the ball and put a good swing on it,” he said.
For Hawpe, it’s been a rough September. He came into the game hitting .180 this month.
“Things aren’t going to go right all the time,” he said. “I haven’t been good lately. It’s nice to come through today.”
The Rockies are eight games over .500 for the first time since July 6, 2000. They still believe there’s time to sneak into the postseason.
“Why not?” Hawpe said. “We’re still within good striking distance. If we didn’t feel like that, we wouldn’t have won the last two games. We’ve worked hard for this. It’s something you’re thinking about at night, you’re thinking about eating breakfast, talking to your wife. … I think everybody feels we’re just good.”
Grady Little was mellow after the Dodgers’ fourth straight loss. The clubhouse wasn’t much better as players quickly showered and left.
“We got all our mileage out of singles while they got all theirs out of home runs,” Little said.
Penny was in line for his 17th win of the season before the eighth inning. Penny went six innings, giving up four runs—three earned—and nine hits. He also allowed a season-high three homers after giving up only six all season before Wednesday night.
He was still angry with himself over the pitches he made to Holliday.
“I was trying to get ahead of him,” he said. “Time is running out on us. We aren’t coming through at the end.”
The Rockies sure are.
“It’s freakish what we’re doing,” said pitcher Josh Fogg, who lasted five innings, giving up eight hits and three runs. “Nobody expects to hit two-run homers every night to win. They’re not the norm, that’s for sure.”
Yorvit Torrealba made the most of a second chance by hitting his seventh homer of the season in the second. James Loney dropped Torrealba’s pop fly in foul territory just before the home run. It was Torrealba’s first home run since July 29 against the Dodgers. Torrealba also scored a run in the fourth after leading off the inning with a double.
Before the game, manager Clint Hurdle was stumping for Holliday to win the NL MVP award.
“Do I think it should happen? Yes, I do,” Hurdle said. “He’s worthy. He’s done some remarkable things.”
Holliday’s putting up some impressive numbers. He’s leading the NL in batting average (.340), RBIs (128), extra base hits (88), total bases (367), hits (204) and doubles (48).
“It’s a pretty swing—a powerful swing,” Hurdle said. “I’m just enjoying the ride.”
Same with the rest of the team—one curtain call at a time.
2B Kaz Matsui entered the game as a pinch runner in the eighth and stole his 31st base of the season. He’s been out since Sept. 8 with a strained right hamstring. … Loney had two hits and drove in three runs.