Situations Work in Rockies’ Favor
Two critical pitches, entirely different results.
Dante Bichette hit a three-run double off Orel Hershiser in the seventh inning, and Mike Munoz struck out Barry Bonds with the tying run on first in the ninth as Colorado beat San Francisco, 5-4, on Saturday night.
Trailing, 4-2, the Rockies loaded the bases with two outs in the seventh on pinch-hitter Jeff Barry’s single, Neifi Perez’s walk and Ellis Burks’ infield single.
Bichette, who earlier had a solo homer, drove a bases-clearing double down the left-field line, chasing Hershiser (7-7), who yielded eight hits and five runs in 6 2/3 innings.
“I was looking for a sinker the whole way, and he just left one up,” Bichette said. “With men in scoring position, all you’ve got to do is hit the ball hard, and hopefully it falls.”
Hershiser said Bichette “is a good hitter with the bases loaded and when you need to throw strikes. You knew he would be swinging. He’s had only four walks [actually eight] all year.”
Chuck McElroy (3-2) pitched a scoreless seventh for the victory. After Jerry Dipoto had gotten two outs in the ninth, the left-handed Munoz came in to face the left-handed hitting Bonds, an eight-time All-Star who hit a long homer in the All-Star game Tuesday night at Coors Field.
Working the count to 1-2, Munoz froze Bonds with a fastball for a called third strike.
“I think he was looking for a breaking pitch,” said Munoz, who earned his second save. “He was sitting on the curveball because I had just missed with a high, outside fastball. When a lefty goes against a lefty, your curveball is usually your bread and butter. Maybe we went against the odds there, but it worked.”
Bench coach Jackie Moore, managing the Rockies in the absence of Don Baylor, who was in Austin, Texas, attending the funeral of his grandmother, said Munoz was informed two innings earlier that he would face Bonds if he came to bat in the ninth.
“Our game plan was not to let him get up there,” Moore said. “Unfortunately, he did, but Moonie took advantage of it and closed it out.”