After trading runs throughout the second game of Tuesday’s doubleheader, the Colorado Rockies led the Los Angeles Dodgers by three runs when the ninth inning began. Rafael Betancourt was on the mound and he quickly found himself in hot water after allowing a trio of singles that loaded the bases with no outs.
Betancourt then struck out Justin Turner and got Joc Pederson to foul out on the first pitch of the at-bat. In stepped Alex Guerrero, who was down to his final strike before hitting a go-ahead grand slam to dead center, just out of Charlie Blackmon’s reach. Guerrero said he thought Blackmon made the catch, via J.P. Hoornstra of the LA Daily News Group:
At first I wasn’t sure” if Blackmon caught it, Guerrero said through a translator. “As I kept running, I thought it was out.”
Pederson, who also hit a home run, shared his assessment of the the improbable comeback:
I think our whole team was in shock for a second,” Pederson said.
As for how close Blackmon came to making a spectacular catch, Patrick Saunders of The Denver Post provides details:
The ball touched my glove. I was pretty close,” Blackmon said from the Rockies somber clubhouse after the game. “It was never in the glove, but I touched it. Off the bat, I didn’t think he got it. It carried farther than I thought it would.”
While the grand slam was the first in Guerrero’s young Major-League career, he hit one in Cuba, according to Hoornstra:
Alex Guerrero said, in Spanish, that he's hit a game-winning grand slam in the ninth inning before in Cuba.
— J.P. Hoornstra (@jphoornstra) June 3, 2015
According to ESPN’s Stats & Info, Guerrero’s two-out grand slam with two strikes was a first since 1996:
Alex Guerrero: 1st to hit a grand slam when down 3 runs with 2 outs and 2 strikes since Chris Hoiles, 1996 Orioles (via @eliassports)
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 3, 2015
Guerrero’s teammate Brandon Beachy, recovering from a second Tommy John surgery, likened the Cuban native to Babe Ruth in a moment of excitement:
Babe freakin Guerrero!!
— Brandon Beachy (@Brandon_Beachy) June 3, 2015
Brett Anderson, ever so quick-witted on Twitter, gave his take on the Dodgers’ win:
That's about as close as you're going to get to a walk-off on the road.
— Brett Anderson (@BrettAnderson35) June 3, 2015
The home run was Guerrero’s 10th this season, and he’s now averaging a home run every 9.3 at-bats, which ranks second in the National League behind Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper.