Rockies win on ninth-inning rally; rookie Colton Welker has big game in first career start – The Denver Post

One out from losing its fifth consecutive game Thursday, Rockies pinch hitter Ryan McMahon launched a two-run home run and Sam Hilliard followed with a solo shot in a ninth-inning rally that led to a 4-3 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.

Colorado rookie third basemen Colton Welker, making his first MLB start and second appearance, scored the tying run after connecting for his second single with two outs in the ninth and the Phillies leading 2-1. McMahon brought him home with a big blast to right field, and Hilliard followed with a similar long ball as the next batter.

The Phillies threatened in the bottom of the ninth, advancing runners to second and third with one out. But reliever Carlos Estevez got the final two outs, the latter on a swinging strikeout.

Welker delivered the Rockies’ first RBI on his first career major-league hit in the fifth inning.

Welker, who was issued an 80-game suspension on May 6 following a positive test of a banned substance, singled on his second at-bat against the Phillies and his third trip to an MLB plate. He finished 2-for-4.

“It’s just been a perfect storm,” Welker told MLB.com after taking batting practice before the game. “From probably one of the lowest points of my life to this, now, probably one of the best moments of my life. It’s all kind of God’s timing, and I trusted that. So I’m grateful I kept my head up during those dark times, and now, I’m here.”

Colorado received six strong innings from starting pitcher Antonio Senzatela, who allowed just four hits and two runs. The Phillies took a 2-1 lead in the sixth when Rockies second baseman Brendan Rodgers muffed a double-play attempt, and only got the lead runner.

Trailing 1-0 in the fourth inning, Welker delivered a sharp two-out, RBI single to center field, scoring shortstop Trevor Story, who opened the inning with a triple. Welker, 23, who made his major-league debut as a late-inning pinch hitter in Wednesday’s loss to San Francisco, attended Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., where 17 students and staff died in a horrific 2018 shooting.

Welker, who has participated in the Rockies’ last three spring training camps, was selected by Colorado in the fourth round of the 2016 draft. He is the club’s No. 20-ranked prospect.

“We have an understanding of who he is as a player, where he’s come from as a minor leaguer to where he is now,” Colorado manager Bud Black said pregame. “There’s a maturity that has taken place, there’s a skill level that has improved. I think the bat has sort of been the trademark of Colton.”

On Deck

Rockies RHP Germán Márquez (11-10, 4.08 ERA) at Phillies TBA

5:05 p.m., Friday, Citizens Bank Park

TV: ATTRM

Radio: KOA 850 AM/94.1 FM

Marquez, the 2021 All-Star at Coors Field, will make his 29th start of the season and sixth career start against Philadelphia. He has struggled of late, with a 7.77 ERA in his last five starts. Before that stretch, he had a 1.94 ERA in nine appearances. Marquez has been far more successful at home (3.16 ERA) than on the road (5.37 ERA).

Trending: The Rockies have 16 wins against the Phillies since 2017, their most wins against an opponent outside of the NL West.

At issue: Colorado is 4-5 in September after finishing .500 or better in June (14-13), July (12-12) and August (14-13).

Pitching probables

Saturday: Rockies LHP Kyle Freeland (5-7, 4.69) at Phillies RHP Zack Wheeler (12-9, 3.93), 4:05 p.m., ATTRM

Sunday: Rockies RHP Ryan Feltner (0-1, 20.25) at Phillies RHP Aaron Nola (7-8 5.57), 11:05 p.m., ATTRM

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