The Colorado Rockies might be 34 1/2 games behind the division-leading Atlanta Braves, but they are second to no one in the minds of their fans.
The Rockies defeated the Dodgers, 12-3, on Friday night for their eighth consecutive victory at Mile High Stadium and set a major league single-season attendance record of 4,054,587.
“I was somewhat apprehensive about going into this game,” Manager Don Baylor said.
“We had the 4 millionth customer coming through the gate. I was worried about what kind of game we were going to give them.”
The Rockies’ season total broke the record of 4,028,318 set by the Toronto Blue Jays last year. A crowd of 56,679 watched Colorado defeat the Dodgers.
Daryl Boston had four runs batted in, and Charlie Hayes hit a two-run home run to help the Rockies win their fifth game in a row.
“The crowd always gives you that extra adrenalin,” Boston said. “From the beginning, you could tell it was going to be a good game.”
David Nied (4-7) gave up no runs and five hits in five innings for the victory. Willie Blair pitched 3 1/3 innings and Gary Wayne finished.
Tom Candiotti (8-8) had one of his worst performances. He gave up seven runs and nine hits in 1 2/3 innings before being replaced for his earliest exit ever.
“His knuckleball didn’t do anything in this altitude,” Manager Tommy Lasorda said.
“That’s the worst game I’ve seen him pitch since he’s been here.”
Colorado scored six runs in the second inning. Eric Young doubled, stole third and scored on Nied’s suicide squeeze. Boston hit a two-run double and Andres Galarraga added a sacrifice fly. Hayes then hit a home run to left, his 23rd, to make it 7-0.
Jerald Clark, who hit the game-winning three-run home run Thursday against Houston, hit his 12th homer to make it 9-0 in the fourth.
Galarraga added two more in the fifth with a two-run double and Joe Girardi hit an RBI single. Galarraga extended his hitting streak to a career-best 15 games, going two for three with two RBIs to raise his average .383.
“I feel really happy,” Galarraga said. “I feel so comfortable at the home plate. I hope it continues for the rest of the season. I want the batting title so bad.”