You knew it wasn't over when the Rockies gave up five runs in the first inning. You knew it wasn't over when the Rockies trailed, 13-4, after the fourth inning, and knew it wasn't over in the seventh, either, when the Marlins put up four runs to take a 17-13 lead.
And when the Rockies went to bat in the bottom of the ninth, trailing by a run, it was just a question of "how."
The answer came in the form of Chris Iannetta's slow-rolling single through the infield, which drove home Matt Holliday to clinch an 18-17 win over the Marlins on Friday and bring a sellout crowd of 48,691 to its feet in celebration.
"It was a crazy game," Iannetta said. "We score a bunch of runs to get back into the game, and then they score another four that put us even farther away. It was just great to be on top at the end."
The nine-run comeback was the largest in Rockies history. Three times they have come back from eight-run deficits. The most recent time? Independence Day, against the Tigers, in 2004.
It was the Rockies' second walk-off win in as many nights, and their fourth-straight victory, tying a season high.
When the 3-hour, 59-minute slugfest was over, the Rockies and Marlins combined for 35 runs, 43 hits and eight home runs -- six of which were hit by the Rockies. The 35 runs were the second-most scored in Coors Field history, and the 43 hits tied the most in any Rockies game.
"If people were coming just to see the post-game fireworks, they got to see a whole lot more," Holliday said.
The tone was set from the first pitch.
Rockies pitcher Greg Reynolds (2-6) left a sinkerball over the middle of the plate, and Hanley Ramirez belted it over the fence in left-center field for his 21st home run of the season. Mike Jacobs hit an RBI double, and Matt Treanor hit a three-run shot over Holliday's outstretched glove to give the Marlins an early 5-0 lead.
The Rockies scored one run in the first, but the Marlins came back with two runs in the second to knock Reynolds out of the game. His stat line wasn't pretty; he gave up seven runs on seven hits, walked two and hit another in just 1 1/3 innings, his shortest outing of his career.
The Rockies cut the lead to 7-4, but the Marlins kept pounding away, scoring six runs in the fourth inning to stretch the Florida lead to nine.
But no one on the Rockies' bench panicked.
Ryan Spilborghs hit a 435-foot solo home run in the bottom of the fourth, and Holliday led off the fifth with a solo shot of his own. Three batters later, Iannetta hit a three-run home run that didn't drop until it landed on the concourse beyond the left-field seats.
"That felt great," Iannetta said. "One of the best [home runs] I've ever had."
Spilborghs, who had his first career four-hit game, hit his second solo home run in the sixth, and Garrett Atkins hit a two-run shot later in the inning to bring the game to 13-12.
But the Rockies' relievers couldn't keep it that way. Jason Grilli and Manuel Corpas combined to give up four runs in the seventh to extend the Marlins' lead to five.
But on this night, a flashback to the pre-humidor days, no lead was safe.
The Rockies loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh, and Holliday cleared them with a moon shot that landed in the left-center-field seats. It was Holliday's 12th home run of the season and his third career grand slam.
"It was a 3-2 count and [I] was looking fastball," Holliday said. "But he threw me a breaking ball, and I was lucky to get the barrel on it."
Corpas eluded trouble in the eighth, and Taylor Buchholz (3-2) pitched a scoreless ninth to set up the final scene.
Kevin Gregg (6-4), who blew a save opportunity Thursday, yielded singles to Clint Barmes and Holliday to open the inning. Atkins, who had a career-high five hits, hit a line drive to left, bringing home Barmes to tie the game. Jeff Baker then grounded into what should have been a double play, but Ramirez dropped the throw at second, and the bases were loaded.
After all the home runs, it was Iannetta's 'tweener that won it.
"When you're in a game like that, you always know you have a chance, no matter what happens," Iannetta said. "We just kept battling, and eventually we won."
Jeff Birnbaum is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less