DENVER (AP) — Nolan Arenado was intentionally walked twice by Miami to face the cleanup hitter, Trevor Story .
On both occasions, Story delivered. He relishes having the big moment in his hands.
Next up, an even bigger moment for Story and the Rockies — trying to lock up their first postseason spot since 2009.
Ian Desmond hit a three-run homer as part of a six-run second inning and the playoff-chasing Rockies beat Miami 15-9 on Wednesday, setting up a weekend to remember at Coors Field.
The Rockies have three games left and cling to a 1 1/2-game lead over Milwaukee, which played Cincinnati later in the evening. St. Louis trailed by 2½ games heading into its contest against Chicago.
“This is what we signed up for,” said Story, who followed with a two-run single in the second and a two-run double in the fourth when the Marlins worked around Arenado. “We believe we can do it.”
The Rockies had things well under control Wednesday, before the ninth got a little sideways. Down 15-5, Miami began the inning with four straight doubles and later added two more singles before being shut down. Hours earlier, Major League Baseball approved the sale of the Marlins to an investment group featuring Derek Jeter. The former New York Yankees captain plans to be a limited partner in charge of the business and baseball operations.
“I didn’t know — been kind of working,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said of the news. “We talked about this series, pushing, pushing, and haven’t thought much about it. I just assumed that was going to happen. See where it goes.”
Jon Gray (10-4) lasted six innings and allowed three runs. The ace of the staff has now allowed three or fewer runs in 13 straight starts.
“The problem here in the past is we never had a shut-down guy,” Arenado said. “The Dodgers could lose three or four in a row and they know Clayton Kershaw is going to the bump. We have Gray. We know Gray can do that for us and be that guy for us. It’s a good feeling.”
Adam Conley (7-8) gave up six runs in 1 1/3 innings during the Marlins’ final road game of the season. This was his second straight start where he didn’t make it out of the second inning.
“He runs into a couple of good teams,” Mattingly said. “It didn’t seem to matter who we got out there today, they just kind of keep banging it up.”
The Rockies showed poise at the plate by accumulating nearly as many walks (10) as hits (14). Blackmon contributed three RBI singles in recording his 66th multihit game this season to tie Dante Bichette’s 1998 mark for most in franchise history. He also drove in his 100th run this season.
Desmond ignited the offense in the second with a homer that barely cleared the wall in right field. It was just Desmond’s second homer at Coors this season. He later added an RBI single.
“I like the walks. I like the hits. I like the number of baserunners we had,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “It was a very good offensive game if you looked at our at-bats.”
Rockies: Manager Bud Black insisted OF Gerardo Parra was fine despite missing a second straight game. Parra is 1 for 21 over the last five games. “G.P. is good,” Black said.
THIS & THAT
Marlins catcher A.J. Ellis had a two-run homer and an RBI double. … OF Carlos Gonzalez had three hits, including two doubles, and two RBIs.
Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton went 0 for 3 with three strikeouts and remained at a major league-leading 57 homers.
Stanton finished 1 for 12 in the three-game series at Coors Field. He has 20 career homers against Colorado.
Blackmon drew a huge ovation from the crowd diving into first base on an infield single in the second. It’s simply the way the outfielder with the bushy beard and mullet plays.
“I don’t think guys that don’t try hard end up on as many good teams,” Blackmon said.
Marlins: Open four-game series with Atlanta on Thursday to close out the season. LHP Dillon Peters (0-2, 6.31 ERA) has never faced the Braves.
Rockies: Off Thursday before starting a three-game series with the Los Angeles Dodgers. RHP Chad Bettis (1-4, 5.72 ERA) will take the mound Friday looking for his second win since returning from testicular cancer.
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