Rockies 5, Padres 4, 11 innings
Rockies 5, Padres 4, 11 innings
Sep. 25, 1996
SAN DIEGO (AP) _ Dante Bichette hit a solo home run with one out in the the 11th inning Tuesday night and the Colorado Rockies defeated San Diego 5-4 to drop the Padres 1 1/2 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West.
The Padres lead in the wild-card race was cut to 1 1/2 games over Montreal, which beat Philadelphia 6-2 earlier in the night. San Diego had one last chance in the bottom of the 11th, but Chris Gwynn lined into a double play with the bases loaded.
Bichette hit the first pitch he saw from Trevor Hoffman (9-5) over the left-field fence for his 31st homer, helping the Rockies stop a four-game losing streak.
Hoffman came on with two outs and a runner on second in the top of the 10th and threw one pitch to retire Ellis Burks. The Padres had runners on first and second with two outs in the bottom of the inning, but Padres manager Bruce Bochy allowed Hoffman to hit.
Hoffman, who was 0-for-7 before the at-bat, struck out on three straight pitches.
Bruce Ruffin (7-5) allowed one hit in two scoreless innings for the victory.
Tony Gwynn and Steve Finley hit one-out singles in the bottom half off Bill Swift and Ken Caminiti walked. Gwynn then hit a liner to second baseman Eric Young, who doubled up Finley to end the game. Swift got hit second save.
Caminiti's two-run homer off Mike Munoz in the seventh _ his club-record 39th _ tied the game 4-4 following Tony Gwynn's one-out single off Steve Reed. Caminiti had been tied with Nate Colbert (1970 and '72) for the most homers in Padres' history.
Caminiti and Finley, who hit a two-run shot in the first, each have eight homers in September.
San Diego's Bob Tewksbury, making his second relief appearance since being bumped from the rotation, pitched a perfect sixth before allowing Vinny Castilla's leadoff single in the top half. Tewksbury fielded Steve Decker's bunt and forced Castilla at second. Walt Weiss singled, and left-hander John Vander Wal was announced as the pinch hitter for starter Kevin Ritz.
Padres manager Bruce Bochy brought in left-hander Al Osuna, and the Rockies sent up right-hander Angel Echevarria. Osuna hit Echevarria on the left foot with his first pitch to lad the bases. Doug Bochtler relieved and allowed Eric Young's fly that scored pinch-runner Terry Jones. Bochtler's wild pitch brought in Weiss.
Finley gave the Padres a 2-0 lead with one out in the first against Kevin Ritz with his 29th homer. Rickey Henderson was aboard on a leadoff single.
Finley came up with two out and the bases loaded in the second, but center fielder Quinton McCracken caught his drive on the warning track.
Colorado tied it in the fourth when McCracken doubled, Ellis Burks singled and Andres Galarraga hit a two-run double up the gap in right-center.
Fernando Valenzuela, knocked out of Thursday's 7-0 loss to the Dodgers after just 1 2-3 innings, may have made his last start of the regular season. The left-hander allowed two runs and five hits in five innings, with two strikeouts and no walks.
If the Padres' postseason chances come down to Sunday's season-finale at Los Angeles, the Padres would consider bringing back Joey Hamilton on three days' rest.
Ritz allowed eight hits and two runs in six innings, with two strikeouts and one walk.
Notes: Padres manager Bruce Bochy said catcher John Flaherty's sprained left ankle is much better and he should be available for pinch hitting and maybe for double switches in the Dodgers series. ... Weiss played for only the second time in the last seven games because of a left calf strain. ... Henderson's first inning run was his 1,829th, tying him with Frank Robinson for 10th on the career list.