Connor Joe continues to shine in the leadoff position for the Colorado Rockies.
Joe slammed his first career grand slam Wednesday night to help rally the Rockies during a 13-10 victory in 10 innings to give Colorado a split of a day/night doubleheader with the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field and avoid a series sweep by Chicago.
In Game 1 of Wednesday’s twinbill, the Cubs used a three-run home run from Patrick Wisdom to snap a 2-2 tie in the fifth inning on the way to a 5-2 victory.
In the nightcap, the Rox (58-69) fell behind 5-2 after Chicago (56-73) scored five runs off Colorado starting pitcher Germán Márquez in the second inning.
But Connor Joe brought the Colorado Rockies from down and out to in the lead on one swing.
In the fourth inning, with the bases full, Colorado Rockies left fielder Connor Joe sent a pitch from Cubs reliever Trevor Megill over the centerfield fence for his eighth homer of the season and the inaugural grand slam of his career to put the Rockies in front 6-5.
The grand slam was part of a banner game for the San Diego native who reached base on four of his six trips to the plate in the 4-hour, 18-minute contest that was slated for just seven regulation innings as part of a doubleheader.
Joe led off the game with a walk off Cubs starter Justin Steele and scored one batter later on a home run by Brendan Rogers, his 10th of the season. The homer gave Colorado an early 2-0 lead.
In the third inning, Joe notched his second hit of the game with a single to center following a base hit by Márquez to start the frame.
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Then, in the sixth with one run already in, Joe kept the inning going as he was hit by a pitch with two out and a runner on second base. Rodgers, who had five runs batted in for the game, then followed with a run-scoring single to increase Colorado’s lead to 8-5.
That advantage would be wiped out on a three-home run from the Cubs’ Ian Happ in the bottom of the seventh to send the game to extra innings.
Joe’s performance in the nightcap of the doubleheader was his second standout game in the three-game series with the Cubs. In Colorado’s 6-4 loss Monday, he had a double to open the game as part of a 2-for-3 night at the plate while also tallying a run and driving in another. His sacrifice fly in the seventh inning put Colorado in front 4-1 before a collapse by the Rockies bullpen in the final two innings led to the loss.
Joe is now hitting .292 on the season with 33 RBIs. He has plated 19 runs in his last 17 contests. As a starter with Colorado, he has reached base in 31 of 35 games played.
Has Joe learned anything about himself while settling into his role as the Rockies leadoff hitter?
"“I don’t know if I have really learned anything about myself,” Joe said after Wednesday’s series finale with the Cubs.“I am trying to be the same guy every day I show up to the park, wherever I am in the lineup, (or) if I am going to be coming off the bench that day. It has been nice to get in a routine and be in the leadoff spot every night. Really grateful for that opportunity. I think I am just trying to do the same thing I have always done my whole career and that is just get on base and produce runs whether I am scoring them or driving them in.”"
While he has been in the leadoff spot for Colorado, Connor Joe certainly has been doing his part of making things happen to ignite the Rox offense and keep it productive.