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McMahon hits walk-off grand slam, Rockies rally to beat Rays

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DENVER (AP) — Ryan McMahon hit a walk-off grand slam after committing an error in the ninth inning that allowed the Tampa Bay Rays to score the go-ahead run, and the Colorado Rockies rallied for a 10-7 victory in their home opener Friday.

McMahon sent the first pitch he saw from reliever Jason Adam over the fence in right-center to set off a roar from the sellout crowd at Coors Field.

After leading 6-2 in the ninth, the Rockies let the Rays take a 7-6 lead as Ben Rortvedt scored the tiebreaking run when McMahon made a throw in the dirt from third that first baseman Kris Bryant couldn't scoop.

McMahon made up for that in a big way with his first homer of the season, propelling the Rockies to their second win in front of 48,399 fans on a sun-splashed afternoon. Colorado improved to 17-13 in home openers at Coors Field since the hitter-friendly park opened in 1995.

“Crazy one,” McMahon said. “Not how you draw it up, but all that matters is we won and hopefully this puts us back on the right track.”

Rays reliever Pete Fairbanks (0-1) walked the first three hitters to start the ninth before giving way to Adam, who promptly struck out Bryant. That set the stage for McMahon's second career slam.

“What a way to end opening day here,” Bryant said.

After the game, Fairbanks was critical of the baseballs the Rockies store in the humidor, which is designed to control the temperature and moisture given the thin air of Denver. The humidor as been in use at the stadium since 2002.

“They were horrible. You can mark that down in all caps for me — horrible,” Fairbanks said. “No excuse, though. Didn’t throw strikes and that’s what happens when you don’t throw strikes. You get punished for it. So I’d love to see those come out of the humidor tomorrow in a little better shape before they get rubbed up. But there’s nobody to blame but myself for not being able to adjust to some of the quality issues.”

Jalen Beeks (1-0) earned the win by finishing off the top of the ninth.

Ezequiel Tovar hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the sixth inning and Bryant added some insurance by lining his first homer of the season in the eighth.

But the four-run cushion didn't hold up as the Rays rallied with four straight hits off reliever Justin Lawrence. Rortvedt tied the game with a two-run single, then raced home on McMahon's errant throw.

“I was (upset), man,” McMahon said of his throw. “I think I had a little more time than I thought. I didn’t have a great grip on the ball. I threw a mega-sinker over there. So more just a little frustrated myself. But it worked out.”

And ended in a Powerade bath. McMahon thought it was grape flavor.

“Sticky,” he cracked.

But well worth it.

“I knew it was gone. That one felt good,” McMahon said after his third career walk-off homer. “I turned and looked at the dugout, and started yelling.”

The temperature was 75 degrees at first pitch, making it the warmest April home opener in Rockies history.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Rays: INF Brandon Lowe left Wednesday's game due to tightness in his left side and wasn't in the starting lineup Friday following a day off. He entered as a pinch hitter in the sixth, grounding out, and stayed in the game at second base.

UP NEXT

The Rockies will send right-hander Ryan Feltner (0-1, 5.40 ERA) to the mound Saturday. Tampa Bay is slated to go with lefty Tyler Alexander (0-0, 9.00).

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB