Rockies stun Cardinals with nine in 9th, win 12-9

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It was an inning for the ages. Down 9-3, the Rockies came through with nine runs against Dennys Reyes and Ryan Franklin to beat the Cardinals on Tuesday night.
The inning started innocently enough. Miguel Olivo singled to open it against Reyes, but Seth Smith followed with a lineout. Another single and a walk followed, with Olivo scoring on a passed ball on the walk.
That led to Franklin, the Cardinals’ closer, being brought into a 9-4 game. It seemed like the safe play, what with Franklin sporting a 2.16 ERA on the year and not having worked in four days.
The Rockies, though, weren’t about to go quietly. Chris Iannetta immediately hit a three-run bomb. It was just the second homer surrendered by Franklin this year and the fourth in 94 1/3 innings since the beginning of 2009.
With the score 9-7, but the bases again empty, the Cardinals still had to be feeling pretty confident. However, Dexter Fowler doubled to start another rally. After a Brad Hawpe groundout, Carlos Gonzalez singled in Fowler from third. 9-8.
After that, it was Jason Giambi’s turn. He lined a ball to right that should have put runners on the corners. No one told Gonzalez that, though. With Randy Winn playing an inch in front of the wall in right, he raced all of the way around to score from first on a single. 9-9.
Giambi was removed for a pinch-runner. In this case, pitcher Aaron Cook. Olivo came up for the second time in the inning and delivered his second single. That gave Smith another chance, and the guy who made the first out of the inning launched a walkoff homer. 12-9 Rockies.
It was the largest ninth-inning comeback in Rockies history, and it left Colorado and St. Louis with identical 45-38 records this season.
Give a ton of credit to Iannetta, who has managed to stay sharp despite limited action of late. The Rockies are usually loathe to use their backup catcher off the bench, so Iannetta had played just once this month. He entered tonight’s game as a pinch-hitter, played an inning of third base for just the second time in his career and then hit his fifth homer of the year in his second at-bat. He’s homered in three of his last five appearances.

Diamondbacks return Rule 5 pick Tyler Jones to Yankees

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Diamondbacks’ right-hander Tyler Jones is headed back to the Yankees, the teams announced on Friday. The Diamondbacks had previously selected Jones in the Rule 5 draft last December, but elected to leave the 27-year-old off of their 40-man roster heading into the 2017 season. Rule 5 draft rules stipulate that when a player is not kept on the receiving team’s roster, the player must be offered back to his original team.

Jones signed a minor league contract with the Yankees prior to the 2016 season. He pitched to an impressive 2.17 ERA, 2.2 BB/9 and 13.2 SO/9 over 45 2/3 innings with Double-A Trenton, but was unable to make the leap to Triple-A or beyond during his stay with the organization.

Jones’ outlook with the Diamondbacks appeared slightly more promising. GM Mike Hazen described the righty as a power arm with a “good fastball and power curveball” after selecting him in the Rule 5 draft, and early reports indicated that Jones would be in the mix for a bullpen spot. A rough spring performance — underscored by his lack of experience at the Triple-A and major league levels — undid most of that confidence, however, and the Diamondbacks weren’t willing to keep him on the active roster throughout the entire 2017 season in order to acquire his control rights.

Jones is set to open the season with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, per a report from the Yankees.

Derek Norris signing with the Rays

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Yahoo Sports’ Tim Brown reports that Derek Norris is signing with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Norris was released by the Nationals nine days ago, made redundant by the Nats’ signing of Matt Wieters and by everyone sliding down a notch on the depth chart below him. Norris hit only .186/.255/.328 with 14 home runs and a .528 OPS for the Padres in 2016.

Still, there always seems to be a place for a backup catcher. For Norris that place is Tampa Bay.