Of the eight career home runs Dexter Fowler has hit against the Cardinals, including one in the postseason, the most dramatic helped the Rockies to a second consecutive late-inning comeback.
On July 7, 2010, Fowler crushed a three-run home run in the eighth inning off Cardinals reliever Jason Motte, tying the score at 7-7 and positioning the Rockies for a win in the ninth.
Six years later, on Dec. 9, 2016, Fowler, a free agent, got a five-year contract to play center field and bat leadoff for the Cardinals after helping the Cubs win their first World Series title in 108 years.
Fowler was in his second full season with the Rockies in 2010 when the Cardinals came to Denver for a three-game series.
In the opener, on July 6, 2010, the Rockies erased a 9-3 Cardinals lead when they scored nine runs in the ninth and won, 12-9. Seth Smith broke a 9-9 tie with a three-run walkoff home run off Ryan Franklin. Fowler doubled and scored in that inning. Boxscore
The next night, the Cardinals led 7-4 in the eighth. The Rockies had runners on first and second, one out, when Cardinals manager Tony La Russa brought in Motte to relieve Trever Miller and face Fowler.
A switch hitter, Fowler batted from the left side against the hard-throwing Cardinals right-hander.
After missing the strike zone with his first two pitches, Motte delivered a 97 mph fastball. Fowler swung and missed.
The next pitch was a ball, running the count to 3-and-1.
Motte threw another 97 mph heater. This time, Fowler fouled off the pitch.
“You’re just trying to get a hit and keep the train going,” Fowler said to the Associated Press.
Motte’s payoff pitch was a 98 mph fastball. “That’s his best pitch, so that’s what I was looking for,” Fowler told the Denver Post.
Fowler connected and the ball sailed over the wall for a three-run home run. Audio of home run call at about 3:07 mark
It was Fowler’s first home run since April 28.
“That one to Fowler was right down the middle … and he got the barrel on it,” Motte said to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “You fall behind (in the count) and you’ve got to throw strikes. You throw strikes, they hit the ball.”
Rocky Mountain high
Fowler’s home run set the stage for a Rockies walkoff win in the ninth.
With his bullpen depleted, La Russa chose Evan MacLane, making his major-league debut, to pitch the ninth.
MacLane, a left-hander, worked the count to 3-and-2 against the leadoff batter, Chris Iannetta. MacLane’s next pitch, a changeup, was drilled for a home run, giving the Rockies an 8-7 walkoff win. Boxscore
Previously: Jason Motte ran table on Cardinals saves in 2012