Ty Wigginton didn’t exactly clobber the ball. He got enough of it to produce the game-winning hit, though.
Wigginton blooped a single with two outs in the 13th inning to score Troy Tulowitzki all the way from first base and lift the Colorado Rockies over the Chicago White Sox 3-2 on Tuesday night.
"You’d never guess that it would end with a blooper and a guy on first base, but that’s a tribute to Tulo running hard and playing the game the right way, and (third base coach) Richie Dauer having the guts to send him there," Wigginton said.
Tulowitzki, who drew a one-out walk from Will Ohman (0-1), took off as Wigginton’s flare dropped in shallow center field among three charging White Sox players. Center fielder Brent Lillibridge was playing especially deep to guard against an extra-base hit.
"When you hit a ball like that, you’re not expecting it to exactly fall in, but when I saw where the outfielder was, and in this park when you’re playing for no doubles, stuff can fall in, and that’s exactly what happened," Wigginton said. "It’s a W, and that’s all that matters. We found a way to scratch it out."
Lillibridge said he had a long run to the ball and couldn’t get there in time.
“We’re playing no doubles at one of the biggest ballparks in this league,” he said. “To see he bloops it right in there behind second base—the first thing I’m doing is sprinting in there but I can’t go on a barehand sprint and miss the ball, so I made sure to get it. It was a good call by the third base coach, because he knew I had to break down and get the ball. He knew where we were playing.
“It’s just a weird, weird play that I’ve never seen or definitely haven’t been a part of.”
It was the Rockies’ first win in five extra-inning games this season.
Rex Brothers (1-0), the Rockies’ seventh pitcher, worked a hitless 13th to pick up his first major league win and help Colorado snap its three-game losing streak.
“We definitely needed a win like that,” said Todd Helton, who played in his 1,999th career game. “Hopefully, it will be a momentum-builder.”
The White Sox, making their first appearance in Colorado since 2005, fell to 4-8 in extra-inning games this season.
“That was the worst game we played all year long, to me,” manager Ozzie Guillen said. “We don’t take opportunities over and over and over and over. When you do that, the baseball gods get you.”
Colorado came close to breaking the deadlock in the bottom of the 12th. Charlie Blackmon blooped a single off Jesse Crain to start the inning and was sacrificed to second by Chris Iannetta. Ohman relieved Crain to face pinch-hitter Jason Giambi, who grounded out to first, with Blackmon taking third. Carlos Gonzalez was intentionally walked before Ohman fanned Chris Nelson to end the threat.
Starting pitchers Gavin Floyd of the White Sox and Jason Hammel of the Rockies each had a solid outing, with both going seven innings and allowing two runs.
Seth Smith, whose RBI single forged the game’s first tie in the fourth, had a sacrifice fly in the sixth to even the score again, 2-all.
The White Sox regained the lead 2-1 in the fifth on Juan Pierre’s run-scoring single but missed a chance to build a bigger cushion. With the bases loaded and one out, Carlos Quentin hit into an inning-ending double play.
Not that the Rockies were able to take advantage in their half of the fifth. Hammel reached second base with two outs when center fielder Alex Rios dropped a tailing flyball for an error. Subsequently, Floyd got Gonzalez to ground out. The White Sox made a defensive change in the bottom of the seventh, replacing Rios with Lillibridge.
Chicago took a 1-0 lead on Alexei Ramirez’s home run in the second inning.