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


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.

Orioles interested in Denard Span

Denard Span
AP Photo/Alex Brandon
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MASN’s Roch Kubatko is reporting that the Orioles have “some level” of interest in free agent outfielder Denard Span. The Nationals did not make a $15.8 million qualifying offer to Span, which means he doesn’t come attached with draft pick compensation unlike other free agents such as Alex Gordon and Dexter Fowler.

Span, who turns 32 in February, hit a solid .301/.365/.431 with five home runs, 22 RBI, 38 runs scored, and 11 stolen bases, but took only 275 plate appearances due to back and hip injuries. He underwent season-ending hip surgery in September but is expected to be ready to participate in spring training.

The Mets and Royals have also reportedly shown interest in Span’s services.

Blue Jays showing interest in Ryan Madson

Ryan Madson
AP Photo/Orlin Wagner
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ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that the Blue Jays are on the prowl for relievers with closing experience. Ryan Madson is one of the names on their list.

Madson, 35, had a career rebirth with the Royals in 2015. He signed a minor league deal with the club that paid him a salary of $850,000 if he made it back to the majors. Due to a plethora of arm injuries, Madson hadn’t pitched in the majors since Game 5 of the 2011 NLDS against the Cardinals as a member of the Phillies. For the Royals, he wound up becoming a crucial member of the bullpen, finishing with a 2.13 ERA and a 58/14 K/BB ratio over 63 1/3 innings.

While Madson allowed five runs in 8 1/3 post-season innings, he pitched well when it mattered most, as he hurled three scoreless frames in three appearances in the World Series against the Mets.

Madson has closing experience, with 55 career saves. 32 of them came in 2011 when he took over the closer’s role from Brad Lidge.

After signing Marco Estrada and J.A. Happ, and trading for Jesse Chavez, the Jays have bolstered their rotation but it was reported on Saturday that interim GM Tony LaCava is still focused on upgrading the pitching staff.

Trevor Cahill considering the Pirates as a potential destination

Trevor Cahill
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ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that free agent pitcher Trevor Cahill is looking for a one-year, bounce-back deal. The Pirates are one of the potential teams he is considering.

It’s no surprise that the Pirates are on Cahill’s list. Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage has garnered a reputation as a miracle worker after turning around the careers of a handful of pitchers, including Edinson Volquez, Francisco Liriano, and J.A. Happ. Volquez parlayed a one-year, $5 million deal with the Pirates into a two-year, $20 million deal with the Royals last December. Liriano signed with the Pirates on a one-year, $1 million contract and turned that into a three-year, $39 million deal. Happ, dealt to the Pirates from the Mariners at the most recent trade deadline, just signed a three-year, $39 million contract with the Blue Jays.

Cahill, once a highly-regarded pitching prospect, has scuffled over parts of seven seasons in the majors. The 27-year-old owns a career 4.13 ERA with a 754/427 K/BB ratio in 1,083 2/3 innings. Cahill had some brief success after signing with the Cubs as a free agent in mid-August, compiling a 2.12 ERA in 11 appearances out of the bullpen.

Blue Jays narrow GM search to two candidates: Tony LaCava and Ross Atkins

Tony LaCava
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Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that the Blue Jays have narrowed their search for a new general manager down to two candidates: current interim GM Tony LaCava, and Indians vice president of player personnel Ross Atkins. Former Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos resigned last month.

LaCava was promoted to interim GM on November 2 and has already made a handful of moves along with new president Mark Shapiro. The club acquired Jesse Chavez in a trade and signed pitchers Marco Estrada and J.A. Happ to multi-year deals.

Atkins worked under Shapiro in the Indians organization for 15 seasons, so it is no surprise that he is a finalist for the open GM position.