Ian Desmond hit a monster blast that brought fans to their feet but it was a manufactured run that made the difference for the Colorado Rockies.
Colorado scored its first five runs on homers — including Desmond’s 486-foot rocket — but Ryan McMahon delivered the go-ahead run with a single in the eighth inning, and Colorado rallied to beat the Chicago Cubs 6-5 on Monday night.
Nolan Arenado and Charlie Blackmon also went deep for the Rockies, who have won nine straight at home, but Desmond’s shot onto the concourse got everyone’s attention.
“Some of us were in awe. He walloped that one pretty good,” Daniel Murphy said. “It was a good swing, good at-bat, and a big swing for us, too.”
Anthony Rizzo, Kyle Schwarber and David Bote homered for the Cubs. Bote, who grew up in Longmont, Colo., outside of Denver and made his major league debut at Coors Field in 2018, hit his first homer in Colorado.
“Coming back this summer was a little bit more enjoyable than last year,” he said. “My debut wasn’t successful.”
The game was tied 5-all when Murphy doubled and stole third with one out in the eighth. McMahon drove him in with a single to right-center off of Steve Cishek (1-3).
“(Murphy) was causing havoc out there so maybe Cishek was thinking about him a little bit at third, probably afraid to bounce something, trying to be a little more perfect with his pitches,” McMahon said. “Got me something to hit”.
Wade Davis got the final three outs for his eighth save and first since coming off the 10-day injured list on Friday.
The teams used the long ball to put up four runs each in the third inning. Bote and Schwarber went back-to-back on consecutive pitches to score the first two, and Rizzo hit a two-run homer to center to give Chicago a 4-0 lead. Rizzo finished with three hits.
Blackmon and Arenado each had a two-run homer off Yu Darvish in the bottom of the inning to tie it. Desmond gave the Rockies a 5-4 lead with his mammoth pinch-hit homer in the seventh that hit a restaurant on one bounce on the concourse. It is the longest home run in the majors this year, according to Statcast.
“As long as it goes over the fence I don’t care how far it goes,” Desmond said.
The Cubs tied it in the eighth on Javier Baez’s groundout off Scott Oberg (4-0) before the Rockies answered in the bottom of the inning.
“It was there for us, we just could not finish it up,” Chicago manager Joe Maddon said.
Darvish and Rockies starter German Marquez each allowed four runs in six innings.
Chicago outfielder Carlos Gonzalez made his first appearance at Coors Field in a different uniform. Gonzalez played 10 seasons with the Rockies, becoming a free agent after last season. He signed with the Cubs on June 1 after hitting .210 in 30 games with Cleveland.
His return to Colorado was bittersweet for the three-time All-Star and 2010 NL batting champ.
“Obviously, this is home for me,” he said before the game. “I got a lot of memories of this place. It is what it is. I’m now on the other side.”
Colorado honored him with a video before the game and the fans gave him a 30-second standing ovation when he came to the plate in the second inning. Rockies players joined in the ovation.
“Real recognizes real. He’s a heck of a player,” Desmond said.
Gonzalez, who was 0 for 3 with a walk Monday, made his Cubs debut against the Rockies in Chicago last week, two days after signing with the club.
“I was home waiting for a job and the next thing I know I’m playing couple of games in Triple-A and hours later playing against my ex-teammates,” he said. “It was great seeing them competing against each other.”
Colorado rookie right-hander Peter Lambert (1-0, 1.29 ERA) makes his Coors Field debut on Tuesday night, five days after winning his first major league start when he beat the Cubs. Chicago left-hander Jose Quintana (4-5, 3.77) took the loss in that game and is on the mound for his fourth career start at Colorado.
AROUND THE MAJORS MONDAY
–The Tampa Bay Rays are all alone atop the AL East after getting a series-opening victory against Oakland. Charlie Morton stayed unbeaten with the Rays by tossing seven scoreless innings of two-hit ball to lead a 6-2 win over the Athletics. Morton improved to 8-0 this season and extended his career-best winning streak to 11 games dating to Aug. 17 with the Astros. Brandon Lowe snapped a scoreless tie with his third homer in two days, a two-run blast in the sixth. Kevin Kiermaier and Ji-Man Choi also belted two-run shots as the Rays moved a half-game ahead of the Yankees for the division lead.
_ Elvis Andrus singled home the tiebreaking run in the 11th inning to send the Rangers past the Red Sox, 4-3. Danny Santana picked up his fourth hit of the night with an 11th-inning double before scoring the go-ahead run. Texas beat the Red Sox for just the third time in 15 games and snapped a six-game losing streak against Boston.
_ The Diamondbacks opened their 13-8 rout of the Phillies with three straight home runs before finishing with a team-record eight. Jarrod Dyson, Ketel Marte and David Peralta supplied the early round-trippers before Eduardo Escobar became the first Diamondback to homer from each side of the plate in consecutive innings. Ildemaro Vargas also went deep twice as the two teams combined for a major league-record 13 home runs.
_ The Braves rolled to a 13-7 win over the Pirates as Ronald Acuña Jr. hit a grand slam and Ozzie Albies supplied two of Atlanta’s five home runs. Nick Markakis and Freddie Freeman added two-run blasts as the Braves won their fourth in a row to pull into a first-place tie with the Phils in the NL East at 37-29. Pittsburgh starter Joe Musgrove hit Josh Donaldson with a first-inning pitch, leading to a benches-clearing incident and the ejections of both players.
_ Kurt Suzuki launched a grand slam during a six-run ninth and had five RBIs in the Nationals’ 12-1 drubbing of the White Sox. Trea Turner came within a single of the cycle while collecting two RBIs in Washington’s 12th win in 16 games. Anibal Sánchez earned his second straight win since an 0-6 starting, limiting Chicago to one run and four hits over six-plus innings.
_ Shohei Ohtani scored the tiebreaking run on a fielder’s choice in the eighth inning to help the Angels rally past the Dodgers, 5-3. The Dodgers had a 3-1 lead in the seventh until Mike Trout unloaded a two-run homer. Chris Taylor had an early two-run double for the Dodgers, but the Angels chipped away and scored twice in the eighth without a hit.
_ The Cardinals bounced back from a three-game sweep by the Cubs as Michael Wacha threw six scoreless innings in a 4-1 victory at Miami. The former All-Star allowed five hits, struck out four and lowered his ERA to 5.63 in his return to the rotation. St. Louis scored three unearned runs in the sixth as catcher Jorge Alfaro’s wild throw on a sacrifice bunt brought home a pair before Harrison Bader followed with a sacrifice fly.
_ The Mets and Yankees were rained out in the Bronx, creating a day-night doubleheader for Tuesday.