Rockies win in a walk-off after a bases-loaded pitch-clock violation

Rockies win in a walk-off after a bases-loaded pitch-clock violation

DENVER — Ryan McMahon received a bases-loaded walk on a full-count, pitch-clock violation by Kyle Finnegan as the Colorado Rockies scored two runs in the ninth inning for an 8-7 victory over the Washington Nationals on Saturday night.

This was the first game in Major League history to be decided by a pitch-clock violation. Nationals closer Finnegan leads the league with nine pitch-clock violations this season.

“I'm just trying to focus on the pitch and then the location,” Finnegan said. “I thought I had the timing right. I think by the time I saw the catcher and delivered the pitch, I was too late. Circumstances like that, it just can't happen. We deserved to win, and I didn't do my job.”

Colorado hit four straight singles off Finnegan (2-4) in the ninth, giving McMahon, who fell behind 0-2, a chance. Hunter Goodman and Jake Cave singled to lead off the inning, and Brenton Doyle singled to tie it after fouling off two bunt attempts. Ezequiel Tovar hit a line single to right to load the bases. Finnegan had cashed in on 21 of his previous 23 save opportunities.

“You hate to see a game decided that way, but I'm glad it went our way,” McMahon said. “I'm never going to see it go our way or not. [at the clock]I'm letting the umpire do his job. I didn't know what was going on until the umpire said something.”

The pitch clock was adopted in 2023, but the time between pitches with runners on base was reduced from 20 seconds to 18 seconds this season.

“Kyle has had some trouble with the clock lately,” Washington manager Dave Martinez said. “It hasn't really hurt him, but we feel like it's something that could bother him at some point. He could be out of the game, but it's a tough situation.”

“It's something he has to take care of. He's just slow. That's why it bothered him today. Usually it doesn't bother him.”

Luis Garcia hit a two-run homer that gave Washington a 7-5 lead in the eighth inning, and C.J. Abrams had three hits, including his 12th home run. The Nationals had won 10 of 13 games.

Abrams fell one triple short of the cycle, while extending his hitting streak to 13 games. He had two RBIs and scored twice.

Brendan Rodgers, Goodman and McMahon hit home runs for the Rockies, who tied the score with Goodman's homer in the seventh off Jacob Barnes. Goodman has hit five homers in the past eight games. McMahon had three hits, and his bases-empty homer in the eighth inning brought the Rockies within a run at 7-6.

“The Rockies and the Nationals are part of history,” Colorado manager Bud Black said. “What do you think about that?”

Tovar had two hits, two walks and two runs scored. He scored on catcher Jacob Stallings' single in the first inning and Rodgers' three-run homer in the third inning, putting the team ahead 4-2. Rodgers played his first game since June 7, when he suffered a hamstring injury. He hit cleanup for the eighth time this season.

Abrams and Lane Thomas singled for a 5-4 lead in the seventh inning, but the Nationals had no more runs when Abrams and Thomas were thrown out trying to steal second. Thomas had two hits.

The Nationals are third in the majors with 104 stolen bases, but have been shut out the most times in the Major Leagues with 38. Stallings threw out three of the Nationals' four runners trying to steal, all on second.

“Getting thrown out isn't going to stop us from being aggressive on the base paths,” Abrams said. “We're going to keep doing what we're doing.”

Nationals starter Mitchell Parker gave up four runs and six hits while striking out eight, including the last five strikeouts. He had not given up more than three earned runs in any of his previous 12 starts.

Colorado starter Cal Quantrill allowed three runs and seven hits in six innings for his ninth perfect start. He exited with a 4-3 lead.

Washington left fielder Jesse Winker was ejected by plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt after taking a third strike for the second out in the fifth inning. Winker briefly argued with Wendelstedt at the plate and was ejected after going to the dugout, the sixth ejection of his career.

Instructor Room

Rockies: RHP Jake Bird (groin tightness) was removed from the game in the seventh inning after facing three batters. … RF Sean Bouchard (back soreness) was replaced after three innings. … RHP German Marquez (Tommy John surgery) gave up one hit in four scoreless innings in a rehab start for Class A Spokane on Saturday. He had three strikeouts, two walks and threw 50 pitches.


LHP Kyle Freeland (0-3, 13.21 ERA) of Colorado is expected to be activated from the injured list to make his fifth start on Sunday, and first since April 14, after missing nine weeks because of a left elbow strain. He will face RHP Jake Irvin (5-6, 3.24) of the Nationals.

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