Rockies finally get first road win of the season in eighth attempt
When Garrett Hampson hit a go-ahead homer in the ninth, the solo shot wasn’t enough for the Rockies to beat the Giants. So, Ryan McMahon and C.J. Cron made sure to add some extra cushion in the 10th inning, with McMahon crushing a two-run shot — his eighth of the year which is tied for the best the MLB — and Cron adding a solo homer for insurance to give the Rockies a 7-4 lead. It turned out to be enough to deliver Colorado’s first road win of the 2021 season on their eighth try.
When Carlos Estévez gave up an RBI single to Buster Posey in the bottom of the 10th, it cut the Rockies lead to 7-5 and it looked like the insurance runs could be in reach for San Francisco. Estévez followed up by striking out Darin Ruf and then got Austin Slater to ground into a game-ending double play.
Ninth inning drama
With the game tied 3-3, Garrett Hampson came into pinch hit to lead off the ninth inning. Facing former Rockie Jake McGee, Hampson teed off on a homer to center, giving the Rockies a 4-3 lead. It lasted just a few minutes after the next three Rockies went down and Daniel Bard was greeted with a solo homer from Brandon Crawford to tie the game again. The homer was the 20th of Crawford’s career against the Rockies.
The Giants were hitting Bard hard with Wilmer Flores and Brandon Belt both hitting balls as far as homers, but they were foul. Flores also ripped a line drive to left, but Yonathan Daza made a great jumping catch near the track for the second out. Tommy La Stella then hit a soft grounder to Bard that should have ended the inning, but Bard couldn’t find the handle to put runners on first and second. Luckily, Belt grounded out to send it to extras.
Through eight, offense still MIA
After being shut out and held to three hits by Anthony DeSclafani on Monday night, the Rockies only had three hits through eight innings on Tuesday. Charlie Blackmon, who was bumped out of the cleanup spot to the five hole in a move that seemed to work well, hit two of them, including a two-run double to left-center field in the first inning. C.J. Cron added a harmless single in the eighth. The Rockies also struck out eight times in eight innings with three of those coming from Sam Hilliard. Hilliard did make a great catch in the sixth to rob Posey, who is 7-for-10 with three runs and four RBI on Monday and Tuesday against the Rockies, of another hit.
All the Rockies needed was two more innings to get four more hits, including three homers and a single from Hampson in the 10th.
Entering the game, the Rockies ranked worst in the MLB in walk rate at 6.6 percent and 29th in total walks at 52 for an average of 2.36 walks per game. On Tuesday, the Rockies drew seven walks and three of those came around to score. McMahon and Cron both walked with two outs in the first when Blackmon doubled them in to take a 2-0 lead. With the Rockies trailing 3-2 in the sixth, Cron walked again and Blackmon singled to send him to third. The Rockies got lucky when Dom Nuñez hit into what should have been a double play, but Crawford made his first error of the year with a throw that was way over Brandon Belt’s glove, allowing Cron to score.
In the fifth inning, Nuñez, Raimel Tapia, and Trevor Story all walked to load the bases to end starter Aaron Sanchez’s night after 82 pitches in 4 2/3 innings with six strikeouts, five walks, and only one hit. The Giants put in José Álvarez, who got McMahon to ground out and waste the scoring opportunity.
Strange and unusual
The Rockies got some serious luck on an odd play in this one. In the fourth inning, with two outs, Brandon Crawford and Mauricio Dubón hit back-to-back singles to put runners on the corners. Jason Vosler followed with a shot down the first base line that could have been a double, but after Crawford came in to score to tie the game at 2-all, Dubón ran into third base coach Ron Wotus to end the inning. Giants and Rockies fans collectively said, “Well, I’ve never seen that before” and the Giants didn’t take the lead.
González goes five again; middle relief solid
Filling in as the fifth starter, Chi Chi González pitched five solid innings for the third time in as many starts this season. He gave up seven hits, including a solo homer to Brandon Belt, and struck out four with zero walks on 58 pitches. The first run surrendered came in the first when Belt scored on a sacrifice grounder and the second came in the fourth when Vosler drove in a run on a single.
Middle relief then entered to keep the game tied, only giving up two hits without any walks in three innings. Ben Bowden relieved González, and despite giving up one single, he got two key outs before handing the reins over to Robert Stephenson, who pitched a hitless 1 1/3 innings with one strikeout. Mychal Givens took over in the eighth, giving up one hit, but striking out two.
The Rockies and Giants will play the final game of the three-game series on Wednesday when Colorado righty Germán Márquez (1-1, 3.45 ERA) will face off against San Francisco lefty Alex Wood (2-0, 0.75 ERA).