Denver, CO – Jordan Pacheco hit a tie-breaking two-run single in the bottom of the eighth inning to lift the Colorado Rockies to a 9-7 win over the Houston Astros in the opener of a doubleheader at Coors Field.
Colorado produced the two eighth-inning runs after Houston reliever Fernando Rodriguez (1-5) retired the first two batters. Pinch-hitter Jason Giambi worked a walk and Dexter Fowler hit a chopper to short.
Jed Lowrie fielded the ball and threw it to an unoccupied second base. The ball wound up caroming off pinch-runner Jeremy Guthrie, putting runners on second and third.
"I didn't see the second baseman, so I really didn't think there would be a play," Guthrie said.
Pacheco then delivered with a bloop single to center.
"If you give them those extra outs, it's too easy to get those extra hits," said Astros manager Brad Mills.
Rafael Betancourt tossed a 1-2-3 ninth to pick up his ninth save of the season. Matt Belisle (2-2) was credited with the win.
Houston scored two first-inning runs off Colorado starter Juan Nicasio, but the Rockies responded with a five-spot during their first turn at the plate.
Fowler reached on a error to begin the home first and Pacheco followed with a triple before scoring when Astros starter Wandy Rodriguez uncorked a wild pitch. Back-to-back doubles by Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki plated another run. After the next two batters were retired, Wilin Rosario crushed a two-run homer to left field.
The Astros trimmed their deficit to 5-4 in the third. Jordan Schafer, who tripled to lead off the game before scoring on a groundout, and Jose Altuve hit consecutive singles to begin the frame. A wild pitch advanced both runners into scoring position, and Lowrie, who homered in the first, knocked in Schafer with a groundout. Carlos Lee followed with a single to plate Altuve.
A two-out double by DJ LeMahieu drove home Rosario to make it 6-4 after three innings.
Houston pulled even in the fifth when Lowrie, Lee and Chris Johnson strung together three straight two-out singles. Lowrie scored easily on Johnson's hit to right field and Lee crossed home as well on Michael Cuddyer's throwing error.
Tulowitzki put Colorado back on top with a leadoff home run in the bottom of the fifth, but the Astros tied the game again in the seventh.
Schafer displayed his tremendous speed by bunting for a leadoff hit and stealing second. Altuve then drove him in with a single to center.
Nicasio gave up six runs on nine hits with a walk and five strikeouts in six innings...Wandy Rodriguez was tagged for seven runs -- four earned -- on 10 hits over five frames...Houston was swept in a three-game series in Colorado last August 22-24.