DENVER (AP) — Nolan Arenado has won games with his big swing, so getting a walk-off victory with the bat sitting on his shoulder was a first.
Arenado walked with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning and the Colorado Rockies beat the New York Mets 5-4 on Thursday.
It was the third time this season Arenado has given the Rockies a walk-off win, but it didn’t hold the same drama as his Father’s Day grand slam to complete a cycle and give the Rockies a win.
“I don’t walk, so it was a little different,” he said. “Guys were a little thrown off. What do we do here? Do we jump? But it was a great win.”
Charlie Blackmon and Mark Reynolds homered for the Rockies, who maintained a 5 1/2 game lead over Milwaukee for the NL’s second wild card slot.
Mets reliever Hansel Robles, who got through the eighth in order, said through an interpreter that he felt numbness in his pitching hand during the first at-bat of the ninth inning.
“I felt good at the beginning as the pitches started coming out,” he said. “Then later on as I kept throwing more, I didn’t feel one hundred percent any more, I felt that my hand wasn’t feeling quite right, I was feeling some pain.
“I feel like a little bit of numbness; I couldn’t really feel the ball.”
Robles said he didn’t consider asking out of the game.
“I was already there, so I just wanted to get out of the inning,” he said.
He began the inning by hitting Jonathan Lucroy. After a sacrifice by Pat Valaika, Blackmon was intentionally walked and DJ LeMahieu loaded the bases with another walk.
“After he drilled me he kind of lost it,” Lucroy said. “When you see a guy going like that you’ve got to be patient in the box and a lot of times they beat themselves, and that’s what he did.”
Robles (6-3) got Arenado down 0-2 but the All-Star third baseman worked the count full. Robles’ sent his last pitch to the wall behind home plate, bringing in Lucroy with the winning run.
“I’ve never seen that before,” Mets catcher Travis d’Arnaud said. “I’ve never seen a walk off like that. I didn’t even go after it because the game is over.”
Arenado went to the plate looking to drive a ball but was happy to settle for a win.
“Anyone would want to hit a grand slam but at the same time I missed my pitch, the first pitch, and after that it was get the ball to the outfield,” he said.
Greg Holland (2-1) pitched the ninth for Colorado. Holland returned after missing two games after cutting his right index finger in his kitchen.
Colorado took a 2-0 lead in the third but Yoenis Cespedes homered and starter Rafael Montero’s run-scoring single in the fifth – his first career RBI – tied it at 2-2.
Blackmon hit his 25th homer in the fifth and Reynolds his 23rd in the sixth to give Colorado leads, but the Mets rallied after each home run to tie the game at 4-4.
Rockies: LHP Jake McGee (back) played catch in the outfield before the game. … Manager Bud Black said OF/INF Ian Desmond (calf) won’t be ready to come off the disabled list when he is eligible on Saturday.
Lucroy made his Rockies debut Thursday after missing the past two games with an illness. Lucroy, acquired from Texas on Sunday, had two singles and threw out Jose Reyes trying to steal second in the eighth inning. Reyes was called safe but it was overturned after a long review.
Lucroy said he caught a stomach bug that was going around the Rangers clubhouse before joining Colorado.
“A little going-away present,” he said.
Umpire Kerwin Danley did not work Thursday’s game after suffering a broken finger on a pitched ball Wednesday night. Danley, the crew chief, was behind home plate when he was hit with a Tyler Chatwood pitch that bounced before the plate and over the shoulder of catcher Ryan Hanigan in the top of the fourth inning.
He left and didn’t return and the game was completed with three umpires. Nick Mahrley took Danley’s place in the rotation Thursday and worked third base in his first major league game.
Mets: RHP Jacob de Grom (12-4, 3.29 ERA) opposes Yu Darvish when the Los Angeles Dodgers visit Citi Field for a three-game series starting Friday. The Dodgers acquired Darvish from Texas at the trading deadline.
Rockies: RHP Kyle Freeland (11-7, 3.71 ERA) opens a three-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday night. Freeland has won his last three starts, starting with his near no-hitter against the Chicago White Sox on July 9.