From Grocery Store to Grand Slam.
Andrew Toles hit a grand slam with two outs in the ninth and the Los Angeles Dodgers erased a six-run deficit to salvage the series against the Colorado Rockies 10-8, in Game Two of the doubleheader at Coors Field on Wednesday.
Los Angeles trailed 8-5 entering the ninth inning, but after the first RBI in a Dodger uniform for Josh Reddick, Toles hit a bases loaded grand slam off Colorado closer Adam Ottavino to complete the shocking comeback.
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"It's surreal," the soft-spoken Toles told Alanna Rizzo of SporsNetLA after the game. "I didn't think about it, I just wanted to have a good at-bat."
The six-run deficit was the largest lead Los Angeles has overcome this season and according to ESPN Stats & Info, MLB teams were 1-448 entering today when trailing by six runs or more in the 8th inning.
"That was special," Dodgers right-fielder Reddick said of the comeback. "It's a special feeling and he's [Toles] going to be a huge asset for us down the road."
Reddick knocked in the first run of the ninth inning with a two-out RBI single, the first of his career with the Dodgers.
"I was just trying not to get too deep into the count because I've been struggling as of late," added Reddick. "I just wanted to pass the torch on to the next guy."
The game featured two grand slams: one in the first and one in the ninth inning.
Birthday boy Stepehn Cardullo celebrated his 29th birthday in style with his first career grand slam just hours after he hit the first big league home run of his career in the opener earlier in the afternoon.
Overall, it was quite the weekend for Cardullo as the rookie who spent the last four years playing in the Independent League recorded his first big league hit in the opening game of the series on Monday, his first home run in Game 1 of the doubleheader earlier on Wednesday, and his first grand slam in the nightcap.
Chase Utley kicked off the game for the Dodgers with a leadoff home run and Toles added another in the second with an RBI double.
The Rockies responded as they batted around in the first inning, scoring five runs punctuated by Cardullo's slam.
Colorado Rockies rookie, Jeff Hoffman, was denied his first MLB victory after allowing just two runs on three hits with no strikeouts in five innings, easily the best start of his big league career.
Bud Norris made a spot-start on normal rest in replace of left-hander and Rich Hill and did not find the confines of Coors Field rather friendly.
Norris did not factor in the decision, allowing six runs (five earned) on six hits with three walks and one strikeout in just three innings pitched. The right-hander has been inconsistent since he was acquired from the Atlanta Braves on June 30, 2016, posting a record of 3-3 with a 5.42 ERA.
Nolan Arenado hit his National League-leading 36th home run of the season when he clobbered a changeup from Joe Blanton in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Toles went 3-for-4 with a double, grand slam and five RBI as he raised his average to .397 with 13 runs, six doubles, a triple and three home runs since he debuted on July 8.
"Andrew is a beautiful human," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "He's a heck of a ballplayer but his story and treck to get to the big leagues is amazing."
Toles did not play baseball in 2015 after he was released by the Tampa Bay Rays. After struggling with anxiety and working part-time at a grocery store, Toles was given a second chance by Dodgers President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman.
"If I told you when spring training started I had ever heard of the name 'Andrew Toles,' I'd be lying," Roberts said of Toles journey. "To see where he's come from to now helping a contending team win games is remarkable. There's no reason why this ride can't stop for him. He's opened up a lot of eyes."
Toles ascended through the minor league farm system and earned his first MLB hit in his debut off Andrew Cashner. Now, he can add his first career grand slam to his list of keepsakes.
"I thought it was a pop up at first," Toles said of the game-winning grand slam. "But it went over so that's good."
Kenley Jansen closed the door on Colorado in the bottom of the ninth, earning his 40th save of the season, just the seventh time in Dodgers history a pitcher recorded 40+ saves in a single season.
Los Angeles leads the N.L. West by a single game after splitting the doubleheader and the San Francisco Giants 4-2 victory over the Diamondbacks.
Players of the Game:
Andrew Toles: Game-winning grand slam.
Stephen Cardullo: First career grand slam
Nolan Arenado: Two-run home run.
1. The Comeback: Los Angeles became just the second team in all of baseball this season to come back to win after trailing by six or more runs entering the eighth inning. Entering the game, MLB teams were 1-448 when trailing by six or more.
2. Go Shawty, It's Your Birthday: Stephen Cardullo's 29th birthday will be a day he will never forget. After spending four years in the Independent League, he signed a minor league contract with Colorado before the 2016 season. After rising the ranks in the Rockies farm system, Cardullo was called up last week and capped his MLB career of firsts with a home run in Game 1 and a Grand Slam of day 2 in the doubleheader.
3. Make it a Double: The Los Angeles Dodgers played a two-game doubleheader against the Rockies at Coors Field on Wednesday. It was the first time they played a doubleheader since June 2, 2015 also at Coors Field against the Colorado Rockies. It is the fourth doubleheader overall against Colorado and the Dodgers have struggled, losing 7 of 8 in the games.
Dodgers (74-59): Los Angeles will play musical chairs as Bud Norris not Rich Hill starts in the night game at 5:10PM PST.
Rockies (64-69): Right-hander Jeff Hoffman will look to record his first career win as he heads to the mound for Colorado as they look for the sweep.
All quotes courtesy of TWC's SportsNetLA.https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js