Rockies 9, Mets 8 (10 innings)

Jack Etkin, The Sports Xchange
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.
Jordan Pacheco singled home the winning run with two out against Greg Burke. With two out in the 10th, Carlos Gonzalez walked and Michael Cuddyer reached base on an error by third baseman David Wright.
After Cuddyer took second base on defensive indifference, Pacheco grounded a single into right field to give the Rockies their fifth straight victory -- and second five-game winning streak of the season -- and end a game that lasted 4 hours, 19 minutes.
With two out in the eighth, Josh Rutledge reached base on an infield single, his third single of the game and second infield hit, against Brandon Lyon. Left-hander Scott Rice came on to face Carlos Gonzalez, who grounded his first pitch through the third-base area, vacated as the Mets shifted, playing Gonzalez to pull.
Closer Bobby Parnell came on to face Cuddyer. And after Gonzalez stole second base, Cuddyer grounded a ball to shortstop Ruben Tejada. He 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 for Tejada, who made 12 all 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 Jordan Pacheco to force in a run, and that brought Mets manager Terry 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 had a ragged start, coming off the shortest outing of his career -- 1 2/3 innings April 10 at San Francisco. He 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.
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.
The Rockies had made just four errors in their first 13 games, but they made three in the first three innings when the Mets totaled three runs. After Lucas Duda's infield single with one out in the second, Justin Turner bounced a ball back to Francis. His throw to second base was a little wide but catchable, only shortstop Reid Brignac wasn't able to do so and drew an error. Ruben Tejada singled to right, scoring Duda.
Collin Cowgill, who had three infield hits on his first three at-bats, led off the third with a bunt single and moved to third on David Murphy's double. A throwing error by catcher Torrealba trying to pick Cowgill off third enabled him to score and Murphy to take third.
He scored on Marlon Byrd's sacrifice fly to give the Mets a 3-1 lead.
Before the inning ended, Torrealba made his second throwing error, firing a ball into center field as David Wright stole second with two out, but Francis struck out Justin Turner.
The Rockies scored a quick run in the first against Laffey when Eric Young Jr. and Josh Rutledge opened the inning with singles, and Carlos Gonzalez hit a sacrifice fly. Cuddyer's single put runners on first and third, but Laffey struck out Pacheco and retired Nelson on a groundout.
With a run in the third, the Rockies cut the Mets' lead to 3-2, but the Rockies had a runner thrown out on the bases. Rutledge led off with a walk, and Gonzalez singled. Cuddyer grounded into a run-scoring fielder's choice but was thrown out attempting to steal second before Pacheco flied to deep center.
Failure to execute took the Rockies out of an inning in the fourth. Laffey issued consecutive walks with one out, bringing up Francis in an obvious sacrifice situation. Francis' bunt was barely fair and catcher Anthony Recker threw to third base to start an unusual 2-5-4 double play.
NOTES: 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. That created the odd sight of the Rockies in their gray road uniforms from 1993 and the Mets in white home uniforms. The Coors Field scoreboard also had a retro look with much less statistical information than is found today. ... Reid Brignac made his fourth start of the season and first at shortstop for the Rockies. He also started twice at third base and once at second base. ... The split-doubleheader was the Rockies' first at home since May 24, 2011, against Arizona. The Rockies and Mets last played a doubleheader April 14, 2011 at Citi Field, when the Rockies swept both games. ... The Mets didn't play Sunday at Minnesota or Monday here due to snow. The last time they had consecutive games cancelled due to weather was Aug. 27-28, 2011 against Atlanta at Citi Field. Both games were called due to Hurricane Irene.

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