With starter Chi Chi Gonzalez on the hill, San Francisco jumped out to a 3-0 lead after just two innings.
At that point, pessimists probably figured that the Rox were destined to drop a third straight game in the series to the Giants after Colorado won the opener on Monday night.
But, on this afternoon, that was not the case.
Gonzalez exited the game in the sixth inning with Colorado trailing 3-2. Manager Bud Black then turned to his bullpen, which had been burned the previous two nights by faltering in the late innings as has been the case in more than one instance this season.
But not this time.
After Gonzalez, Black handed the ball to Tyler Kinley. The right-hander was the first of four Rox relievers to see time on the hill the rest of the way.
Kinley, along with Mychal Givens, Daniel Bard, and Jairo Diaz combined to allow just two hits and one run (a solo homer by Brandon Belt to knot the game at 4-4 in the eighth inning off Givens) over the final 5.2 innings.
In particular, Bard turned in a yeoman’s performance. The right-hander tossed a season-high 2.2 innings permitting just one hit, one strikeout, and a pair of walks (both were intentional walks to load the bases in the 10th inning).
He was able to pitch into a third inning by being extremely efficient with his pitch count. In his 2.2 innings, he threw 27 pitches with 21 going for strikes. Is it any wonder why we believe he should be the NL Comeback Player of the Year?
That efficiency helped him escape a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the 10th inning. In addition, Bard was aided by a defensive gem from shortstop Trevor Story. Story backhanded a, one-out, one-hop smash off the bat of Evan Longoria and, while on his knees, fired to home plate to get a force out.
Bard, who picked up the win to improve his record to 4-2, then got the final out to end his stellar afternoon.
After the Rockies had taken the lead in the top of the 11th inning, Colorado needed someone to come in and convert on a save opportunity.