The Giants win streak reached eight games as they beat the Rockies 10-8 in a another wild, offensive slugfest in the first game of a day-night doubleheader yesterday. The Giants last won eight straight games in September of 2011.
In the second game, Colorado starter David Hale was able to finally subdue the Giants bats, ending their win streak while holding them to just three runs in 6 ⅔ innings. Hale earned his first victory of the season in his first start.
In the first game, the G-men continued their remarkable streak of success with runners in scoring position, especially with two outs. The Giants were 6 for 14 with runners in scoring position in this one, leaving just five men on base. They scored all 10 of their runs in the fourth through six innings, as every starter contributed with at least one hit, including fortunate starting pitcher Chris Heston.
Although Heston gave up six runs on eight hits (including three home runs) with two walks in 5 ⅔ innings, he benefited from the Giants’ offensive prowess, in gaining the victory, his fourth of the season. “It’s a sparring match,” Heston said, speaking of the launching pad also known as Coors Field.
After a long rain delay in the ninth inning on Friday night, this one got off to a late start with the first pitch finally taking place after a two hour and 15 minute rain delay. And with Giants’ leadoff hitter, Gregor Blanco, reaching third base after striking out, the stage was set for another wild game in Denver.
Leading the offensive charge was Brandon Belt, Hunter Pence, and Brandon Crawford, who collectively drove in seven runs. Belt continued to absolutely destroy opposing pitching, going 2 for 5 with a double, two RBIs and a run scored. Pence went 2 for 5, scoring two runs while knocking in two, and Crawford also went two for five, with a triple, 3 RBIs and two runs scored. Craw increased his team leading RBI count to 31. “I love RBIs,” Crawford said after the game.
In the second game of the day, the Giants’ offense ran out of steam against Rockies’ starter Hale. The G-men were just 1 for 6 with runners in scoring position, managing 10 hits (just two for extra bases). Blanco went 2 for 4, raising his average to .270 and starting 3B Casey McGehee also went 2 for 4, once again raising his average above the Mendoza line (to .202). He also was thrown out on a close play at home when he failed to get his leg down on the slide into home plate.
Giants’ starter Yusmeiro Petit battled for six innings in taking the loss, and nearly got out of the sixth inning without giving up a run in a 2-2 game. However, Brandon Barnes beat out a potential double play ground ball that would have ended the inning and then Daniel Descalso homered to put the Rockies ahead for good, 4-2. Petit would allow four runs on seven hits and a walk, while striking out two.
In losing for the first time in nine games, the Giants lost a half game in the standings to the Dodgers who won, and now trail them by two games. But it was truly an amazing eight game ride, which included three consecutive shutouts over their arch rivals, and 61 runs scored offensively (7.6 runs per game).”It was a good run,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.
Today’s series finale (1:10 PT) features Giants’ starter Tim Hudson (2-3, 4.01) against Colorado’s Chad Bettis (0-0, 5.73). Huddy is coming off of 6 ⅓ innings of shutout ball against the Dodgers on Tuesday. Hudson has pitched pretty well overall against the Rockies in his career, going 5-3 with a 4.26 ERA. However, he’s 0-2 with a 6.80 ERA at Coors Field. Bettis will be making his third start of the season, and 11th big league start overall.
The Giants will look to start another long win streak this afternoon. A victory will ensure a series win and increase their record on the season to 26-19. Buckle up Giants’ fans, I’m suggesting an over and under at 13 runs for this game.