LOS ANGELES -- Inside-the-park homers are rare enough, but a leadoff, inside-the-park homer? That's pretty special.
And that is precisely what the late-arriving members of the notoriously-tardy Dodger Stadium crowd missed Wednesday night, as the Rockies' Eric Young Jr. clubbed the 13th inside-the-parker in Colorado franchise history just four pitches into the game.
Young, starting in left, drove that fourth pitch off the center field wall where Matt Kemp misjudged the hop off the padding and was forced to hustle towards the infield to retrieve the ball.
Fittingly, on a night when the Los Angeles Clippers were honored at Dodger Stadium, it was that long rebound that allowed the speedy Young to scurry around third and reach home well ahead of the relay throw to the plate.
"I didn't see it. I just knew he missed it," Young said of his line drive. "Rounding second, coach waving his arms crazy, I knew we were going for it, and I wanted to make that final stretch for it."
The inside-the-park homer was the first by a Rockie since Clint Barmes hit one in September 2009. It was the tenth hit in the Majors this season.
"It was exciting to me, it was exciting to round the bases," said Young, who was 8-for-14 in the three-game set. "I just put a good swing on it, saw the trajectory and immediately put my head down thinking either he's gonna catch it or it's going to be at least a double."
Instead, it was Young's first big league inside-the-park home run.
"I had [one] once in fall league," Young said. "But that was the last time. This is pretty cool."
Chelsea Janes is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.