DENVER -- The Colorado Rockies kept loading the bases, first in the 10th inning, then in the 13th and again the next inning. And not once did they push a run across.
Todd Helton finally came through, on the fourth try, when his sacrifice fly with the bases loaded in the 15th inning Sunday night gave Colorado a 4-3 win over the San Francisco Giants.Helton's first-pitch fly off Guillermo Mota (0-3) ended a 5-hour, 24-minute marathon -- the longest game by time in Coors Field history and second longest in franchise history. Dexter Fowler led off with a triple and scored the winning run after reaching base for the seventh time in eight plate appearances.Mota issued two intentional walks to load the bases for Helton, who has been mired in a season-long slump and entered the game in the ninth. He grounded into an inning-ending double play in the 11th and struck out with the bases loaded to end the 13th."It was good to get it over with," Helton said. "Get put in that situation enough, bound to come through sooner or later. That was just a result of Dexter hitting a triple. Dexter got on base seven times -- that's pretty amazing."Fowler went 10 for 16 with four triples, seven runs and seven walks in the four-game series that ended with three Rockies victories. Colorado stranded a franchise-record 20 baserunners, including 12 from the eighth through 14th, before winning their longest game this season.Randy Flores (2-0), the seventh Rockies pitcher, worked the 15th after Esmil Rogers gave the Rockies four scoreless innings, allowing two hits with five strikeouts."What a job he did," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. "He was throwing unhittable stuff in there, which is why we weren't going to take him out of the game."Rogers escaped trouble in the 13th when right fielder Seth Smith attempted to backhand Aubrey Huff's sinking liner and the ball went past him for a triple. Rogers struck out pinch hitter Pat Burrell and Eli Whiteside, then intentionally walked Juan Uribe before Edgar Renteria grounded out to end the threat.The Rockies took a 3-0 lead into the eighth behind Jason Hammel, who held the Giants to five singles through seven scoreless innings. He gave up a leadoff homer to pinch hitter Nate Schierholtz followed by a Andres Torres' inside-the-park homer, the ball rattling around the right-field corner and eluding Ryan Spilborghs."That's just an incredible game to win," Tracy said. "It would have been very, very difficult to take to be on the short end of it. I thank God we have a day off tomorrow, I really do, because that is going to be very, very benefical to a lot of people."The Giants have no such luck. After losing for the 10th time in 12 games, they flew to Milwaukee where they play an afternoon game Monday."Tough loss," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "We battled our hearts out and couldn't get a hit when we needed one."The Giants went 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position and left 11 on base, while the Rockies went 2 for 14 with runners in scoring position, leading to a slew of stranded runners.Fowler was left on base four times as he went 3 for 4 with two triples and a career-high four walks. The switch-hitter, recalled Tuesday from Triple-A Colorado Springs after a one-month stay, has been a completely different hitter from the left side after struggling early on."I think I was pressing," said Fowler, who now holds his hands lower batting left-handed than he did before going to the minors. "That whole stance allows me to get my hands up, see the ball better. I'm not swinging at the pitches I was swinging at."Bochy said, "We didn't execute pitches to him the whole series. We had trouble throwing strikes, and he wouldn't expand the strike zone."
With a single in the ninth, Rockies SS Clint Barmes extended his hitting streak to 12 games, one short of his career high. ... Rockies 3B Ian Stewart was not available after bruising his elbow Saturday night when he was hit by a pitch from Barry Zito. ... Hammel is 5-1 with a 2.58 ERA in eight starts since his last loss on May 21.