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Rockies Close In on First Place

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The Colorado Rockies are well into another patented September run, winning 13 of 18 games so far this month, and 20 of the last 27 overall. They’re back in the playoff race and had the chance to finish yesterday just a half-game out of first place in the National League wild-card chase. But that didn’t happen, after pitching failures and a controversial ninth-inning call turned into a 7-6 loss in extra innings to the Los Angeles Dodgers (recap via Purple Row).

As The Denver Post reviews, an 11th-inning double play was incorrectly called by the first-base umpire, but pitching was the real problem yesterday, as the Rockies squandered a five-run lead. Starter Jason Hammel gave up four runs in six innings of work, and closer Huston Street logged his first blown save in a month (box score via MLB.com).

“You have to look at it like it’s just one loss,” Street tells the Post. But “it still hurts.”

Nevertheless, the Rockies are in a great position to make a playoff run, with 13 games left in the season. The 2-1 record in L.A. over the weekend puts the Rox one-and-a-half games out of the division race before hosting the division-leading San Francisco Giants for a three-game set later this week. USA Today isn’t surprised by the Rockies’ recent success, given the last three seasons. The difference this year is that the team is in position to win the franchise’s first-ever division title without coming in the playoff back door via the wild card.

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