DENVER (AP) — Todd Helton received a horse, hit a homer and got a hug from his two daughters as they ran out onto the field in the ninth inning.
Yep, this was definitely more than the Colorado Rockies first baseman could've asked for in his final game at Coors Field.
About the only thing that didn't go Helton's way was the score as the Boston Red Sox routed the Rockies 15-5 on Wednesday night.
This was certainly his evening as he homered in his first at-bat after a stirring pregame tribute to him, doubled later in the game and drove in three runs.
"I hoped I would go out and play well," said Helton, who's retiring after 17 years with the Rockies. "But there was so much going on before the game. My expectations weren't that high. ... To be able to go out and play and be productive, that means a lot to me."
For a night, he was vintage Helton again, the one with power (solo shot to right), the ability to go the opposite way (a double off the wall in left) and knack for taking what the pitcher gives him (lifting a fly to left to bring home a run).
"Sometimes games pretty much sum up careers," Helton said.
"Early in my career, that would've been a homer to left, instead of a double," the 40-year-old Helton said. "I hit that ball pretty good. But it was a lot of fun. It really was."
The highlight was when his daughters, Tierney and Gentry Grace, ran out to kiss and hug him at first base. That was a complete surprise.
So was the horse, a going away present from the Rockies.
"I might have to learn to ride a little bit better," said Helton, who has a ranch up the road from the ball park.
Will Middlebrooks had quite a game, hitting two homers and driving in a career-high seven RBIs. He hit his third career grand slam and a three-run homer as the Red Sox moved two games ahead of Oakland for the best record in the league and home-field advantage throughout the postseason.
David Ortiz hit a two-run double to reach 100 RBIs this season. Jacoby Ellsbury didn't take long to energize the Red Sox lineup as he returned after missing 16 games with a fractured right foot — he singled, walked and scored twice before being replaced in the fourth.
Jake Peavy (12-5) settled down after a shaky start to earn his first win since Aug. 31. He allowed five runs and gave up eight hits in six innings.
The Rockies staged quite a pregame show to honor Helton, complete with highlights of his playing days on the video screen. The team also mowed his number (17) into the outfield grass, along with painting a purple and white "17" along both base lines.
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