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Rockies sweep Mets with 10-inning win

The SportsXchange

DENVER -- One of the Colorado Rockies' goals this season is to again establish their dominance at Coors Field. They want opponents to sense their swagger there and let them know comebacks are highly likely, not a rare occurrence.

The Rockies overcame a six-run deficit Tuesday in the second game of a split doubleheader with the New York Mets, tying the game with a gift of two unearned runs in the eighth and winning 9-8 in 10 innings to sweep their split doubleheader. They won the first game, 8-4.

Jordan Pacheco singled home the winning run with two out against side-arming Greg Burke. With two out in the 10th, Carlos Gonzalez walked and Michael Cuddyer singled off the glove of third baseman David Wright.

After Cuddyer took second base on defensive indifference, Pacheco grounded a single into right field to give the Rockies (10-4) their fifth straight victory -- and second five-game winning streak of the season -- and end a game that lasted four hours and 19 minutes.

It was 36 degrees when the game began. The temperature dropped and light snow began falling during the game.

Manager Walt Weiss said the Rockies' ability to erase a six-run deficit -- the Mets were leading 8-2 in the fifth -- "speaks volumes about our club. I've been saying that all along that these guys compete, they enjoy competing. Even in the extremely difficult conditions and getting down by six, they found a way to win. It says a lot about our club and who we are."

Mets manager Terry Collins was understandably deflated after watching his team fritter away a large lead and get swept.

"It's not much fun," he said. "We got here at 7:15 this morning, so it's been a long day. But we'll go back and get ready for tomorrow. There's nothing you can do."

The Rockies caught a huge break in the eighth when shortstop Ruben Tejada made a throwing error. With two out, Josh Rutledge reached base on an infield single, his third single of the game, against Brandon Lyon. Left-hander Scott Rice came on to face Carlos Gonzalez, who grounded his first pitch through the third-base area on the Mets' defensive shift.

"If they want me to take singles, I'll take singles," Gonzalez said. "I know if they make a mistake, I'm going to hit it over the fence."

Closer Bobby Parnell came on to face Cuddyer. After Gonzalez stole second base, Cuddyer grounded a ball to Tejada, who charged the ball and made a sidearm throw that sailed past first baseman Ike Davis, allowing both runners to score and tie the game at 8. It was the sixth error already for Tejada, who made 12 last season.

Trailing by six runs after the Mets scored five runs in the fifth, the Rockies loaded the bases with one out in their half of the fifth inning against left-hander Josh Edgin. He walked Pacheco to force in a run, and that brought Collins out of the dugout to summon LaTroy Hawkins from the bullpen.

He gave up a sacrifice fly to Chris Nelson, and Yorvit Torrealba hit a two-run double to left-center that trimmed the Mets' lead to 8-6.

Jeff Francis -- coming off the shortest outing of his career, 1 2/3 innings April 10 at San Francisco -- lasted 4 1/3 innings Tuesday and gave up nine hits and eight runs, seven earned, with four walks (one intentional), two wild pitches and one hit batter. He threw just 56 of his 93 pitches for strikes.

"Just trying to do my best to minimize the damage," Francis said, "but I wasn't able to do it."

Four relievers followed Francis to the mound and combined to pitch 5 2/3 scoreless innings. Weiss said, "Our bullpen gave us the opportunity to win that game."

The Mets chased Francis in the fifth when he retired one of the seven batters he faced. The Mets sent 11 men to the plate in the inning while scoring five runs -- their most in an inning this season -- to build an 8-2 lead. The final run in the rally scored on a one-out, pinch-hit single by Jordany Valdespin, who was batting for pitcher Aaron Laffey with the bases loaded.

Making his second start of the season and pitching for the first time since he worked one scoreless inning Friday at Minnesota, Laffey was lifted after throwing 77 pitches in four innings and giving up two runs.

Collins said the Mets will bring Laffey back early, which is why they went to the bullpen.

"We wanted to keep him at 75 pitches," Collins said. "We were trying to get him through five."

NOTES: Duda left the game in the fifth inning with low back tightness. ... Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, who was hit on the left elbow with a pitch in the fifth inning of the first game, came up as a pinch hitter in the second game with the bases loaded but struck out on three pitches against Scott Atchison to end the seventh. ... The temperature was 36 degrees when Francis threw the first pitch of the game. That is the fourth-lowest temperature at the start of a home game in Rockies franchise history. It was 28 degrees for a game against Montreal on April 12, 1997, and 35 degrees on April 15, 1999, for a game with San Diego and on Oct. 11, 2009, for Game 3 of a Division Series with Philadelphia. ... The teams wore their 1993 jerseys to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Rockies playing the first game in their history at Shea Stadium on April 5, 1993.
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