DENVER – Trevor Story entered the game with 99 career home runs and history on the horizon. In consecutive at bats, he’d have his record then add one more for a walk-off winner that brought the 32,397 in attendance to their collective feet.
Friday’s starting pitcher Jeff Hoffman, recalled from AAA before the game, was asked to help bolster a rotation with a 5.62 ERA, highest in the National League.
Though he did not help reduce that number even against a team in the midst of a six-game losing streak and owners of the worst record in baseball, the offense found a way to get the win in the ninth.
Hoffman threw 93 pitches during his five innings of work, but was plagued by hard hit balls that went for six extra base hits.
Colorado got on the board first with Nolan Arenado’s 12th home run of the season, a 412 ft solo blast to left field.
But Hoffman would give away the Rockies 1-0 lead, and then some, in the top of the second. After walking the first batter on five pitches, he served up a first-pitch home run to Keon Broxton in his first at bat as an Orioles uniform.
Back-to-back doubles from Hanser Alberto and Pedro Severino pushed across another run for the O’s and Baltimore led 3-1 after two.
In the third, Hoffman gave up his second homer of the night, a solo shot to Dwight Smith, Jr.
The fourth inning also featured another Orioles run to put them up 5-1 and though the damage could have been worse were it not for some poor base running, the Rockies escaped the threat relatively unscathed.
In the bottom of the fourth, Colorado’s offense came alive with two outs. David Dahl doubled for his second hit of the game in as many at bats and Brendan Rodgers quickly drove him in with a single to center for his first RBI at home.
Tony Wolters followed that up with a double down the first base line to score Rodgers and make it a 5-3 ballgame.
Jairo Díaz looked sharp in the sixth, striking out two looking, but was unable to go multiple innings in the seventh when he caught too much of the plate on an 0-2 slider against pinch hitter Renato Nuñez who tagged his 11th home run of the season.
The bats responded in the bottom of the frame against Baltimore once again. Raimel Tapia, batting in the leadoff spot for the first time this season, singled up the middle.
Story sent a 2-0 slider into the left field stands for his 12th homer of the season and for the 100th time in his 448th game career, the fastest of any shortstop all-time, including Alex Rodriguez (470 games) and Ernie Banks (500 games).
Arenado immediately followed that up by sending the first pitch from Orioles reliever Shawn Armstrong into the left field stands to tie the score at six for his second home run of the game and 17th multi-homer game of his seven year career.
Bryan Shaw and Scott Oberg, subbing for injured closer Wade Davis, put up scoreless innings in the eighth and ninth, respectively.
With the stage set for another late victory, Ryan McMahon singled up the middle to leadoff the bottom of the ninth. Then, the maker of history stepped to the plate and swatted one just over the out-of-town scoreboard for the walk-off, two-run homer.
Story’s two blasts was his second multi-home game of the season and 12th of his young career.
The two runs each for Arenado and Story was the 11th in franchise history for two or more players recording multi-homer games and the first since Charlie Blackmon and Arenado teamed up against the Reds on May 31, 2016.