DENVER | Nolan Arenado broke for home the moment Brandon Morrow’s bases-loaded pitch bounced to the backstop. Arenado wound up causing an unusual ending that left the Colorado Rockies with a painful loss.
Arenado was initially called safe and then was ruled out on a video review that ended a 9-7 win for the Chicago Cubs on Sunday. The game included diving catches in the outfield, sign stealing, a fan getting tackled on the infield and Cubs star Kris Bryant getting hit on the head by a pitch.
“It was a bizarre game,” Chicago manager Joe Maddon said. “I don’t think I’ve been out on the field that often without getting kicked off, ever. Fortunately nobody got hurt.”
Bryant left in the first inning after he was hit by a 96 mph pitch from German Marquez. The ball made a loud sound as it hit off the underside of the flap of Bryant’s helmet. Cubs spokesman Peter Chase said Bryant passed tests and had no sign of a concussion but had a cut over his left eye.
“I think KB’s fine,” Maddon said. “I have no idea until I’m spoken to by the doctors. I hope that’s the case.”
More than three hours later after Bryant was helped off the field, David Dahl’s two-out walk against Brandon Morrow loaded the bases with two outs in the ninth, and Morrow bounced an 0-2 slider that ricocheted off the mitt of catcher Willson Contreras.
The ball bounced to the third-base side of the plate, Contreras grabbed it after a rebound off the low, brick wall and threw a perfect strike to Morrow, who tagged Arenado on the right ankle as Arenado’s foot crossed the plate.
Umpire Cory Blaser signaled safe, but the call was reversed about 90 seconds later.
“Obviously, you got to be a hundred percent (sure) there,” Arenado said. “I didn’t think it was going to bounce off the wall that hard, but it did. Just kind of a bad play.”
An announced crowd of 40,137 that included many Cubs fans waited patiently for the ruling, and half of Coors Field erupted in cheers when the play was upheld.
“I knew he was out. It was almost like in slow motion,” said Morrow, who got his fourth save. “I set my glove right in front of the bag and watched him slide right into it.”
Tommy La Stella, Kyle Schwarber and Victor Caratini hit RBI singles later in the first off Marquez (1-2). Javier Baez’s seventh homer made it 4-0 in the second and Jason Heyward had a two-run single in the third for a 6-0 lead. Baez had three RBIs.
Jose Quintana (2-1) allowed four runs and eight hits in 5 1/3 innings. He struck out seven, raising his big league total to 1,004.
Trevor Story hit a two-run triple in the third on a fly ball Heyward loss in the sun, and home runs on consecutive pitches by Charlie Blackmon and Arenado cut the Rockies’ deficit to 6-4 in the fifth. Each team scored three runs in the seventh.
OLD SCHOOL THEFT
Baez took exception to Colorado’s DJ LeMahieu trying to steal signs from second base in the third inning, so he blocked his view of the catcher.
“We’re always talking about this technological method of stealing signs — that was old school,” Maddon said. “They’re trying to give location or signs and Javy was blocking. I loved it. I’ve never seen that before.”
Rockies outfielder Gerardo Parra dropped his appeal and began serving a four-game suspension from his part in a bench-clearing brawl against San Diego on April 11. The Rockies cannot fill his active roster spot during the suspension but they did recalled outfielders David Dahl and Noel Cuevas from Triple-A Albuquerque and optioned outfielder Michael Tauchman to the Isotopes.
Cubs: CF Albert Almora Jr. was briefly down after making a diving catch on Arenado’s drive in the first inning. He was attended to by trainers but stayed in the game. He crashed into the wall after making a running catch of Blackmon starting the bottom of the ninth.
Rockies: OF Carlos Gonzalez was placed on the 10-day DL with a right hamstring strain, retroactive to Thursday.
Cubs: LHP Tyler Chatwood (0-3, 4.60) is to open a three-game series in Cleveland on Tuesday night.
Rockies: RHP Chad Bettis (3-0, 1.44) is on the mound when the Rockies start a three-game home series against San Diego on Monday night.
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