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.

Video: Adrian Beltre and Carlos Beltran give signs from the dugout

OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 23:  Adrian Beltre #29 of the Texas Rangers stands in the dugout before their game against the Oakland Athletics at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on September 23, 2016 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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The Rangers got a bit of a breather on Saturday after clinching the division lead during Friday night’s win. Naturally, it was also a prime opportunity for another of Adrian Beltre‘s well-documented antics, as he spent his off day directing the Rangers’ infield defense with a series of signs. Even with Carlos Beltran‘s help, no one, least of all those playing the infield, appeared to have any idea what Beltre’s gestures were intended to convey.

You can add this to the list of in-game oddities Beltre has become so well-known for over the years, running the gamut from the way he kicked a ball over the foul line to his histrionics every time someone comes close to touching his head. If nothing else, it’s a convincing audition reel for the third baseman’s future in major league coaching — a career path that, I’d imagine, would end up looking something like this:

Yordano Ventura exits game with back tightness

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 24: Yordano Ventura #30 of the Kansas City Royals pitches against the Detroit Tigers during the first inning at Comerica Park on September 24, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
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Royals’ right-hander Yordano Ventura was pulled in the fifth inning of Saturday’s matinee against the Tigers with an apparent injury. After throwing four pitches to start the fifth and serving up a Justin Upton double, Ventura was visited on the mound by head trainer Nick Kenney. Per Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star, he’s day-to-day with back spasms and lower back tightness.

It’s just another bump in the road for the defending champions, who currently sit 6.5 games back of a postseason spot with seven left to play. Through 176 innings in 2016, Ventura posted a 4.35 ERA and 1.2 fWAR, a considerable downgrade from the 4.08 ERA and 2.7 fWAR he contributed during last season’s championship year despite a moderate bounce-back in the second half.

Prior to his early exit from Saturday’s game, Ventura went four innings for the Royals, giving up three runs on 10 hits and two walks and striking out six of 24 batters faced.