Bullpen Blows Lead as Rockies Lose to Giants 9-6
Looking to win their second series in a row, the Colorado Rockies (41-71) entered the eighth inning yesterday with the lead, but the bullpen couldn't hold off the San Francisco Giants (63-52), who ended up winning the the game 9-6. The Rockies return home to host the Milwaukee Brewers (52-61) tonight at 6:40 Coors Field (TV: Root Sports).
A game that seemed headed toward a rousing victory for the Rockies turned the other way after Brandon Crawford's sun-aided leadoff single dropped between Gonzalez and Rutledge. The disintegration was completed with Pence's two-out, three-run homer as the Giants won, 9-6, at AT&T Park to hold onto their National League West lead.
The Rockies entered the inning leading, 6-4. Crawford's sun-assisted single to left came off Matt Belisle, who gave up two more hits, including Melky Cabrera's RBI infield single, and a walk before departing the inning. The Crawford hit was Rutledge's ball, but he never saw it and had no chance.
In the Rockies' eighth, Cabrera in left and Crawford at short lost a Rutledge popup, but that didn't hurt nearly as much as the one the Rockies lost in the bottom of the inning.
"The ball was closer to the shortstop -- I was trying to play 'no doubles,' over the gap -- but it was a tough play for him," Gonzalez said.
Buster Posey added a sacrifice fly against Rafael Betancourt to end a 10-pitch at-bat and tie the game.
Then Pence victimized Betancourt with his 18th homer of the season -- the first since joining the Giants in a trade with the Phillies.
The Giants took two of three from the last-place Rockies and maintained their lead over the Dodgers in the division. Before the Giants' comeback, the Rockies were in position for their first winning road trip of the season. They still went 3-3 against the Giants and Dodgers for their first non-losing road trip since April 20-25, when they went 3-3 at Milwaukee and Pittsburgh.
The big inning made a winner of Clay Hensley, who forced Dexter Fowler to hit a fly ball to end the eighth with two on base, and Sergio Romo earned his sixth save.
Official: Sunday's Box Score.
Rockies starter Alex White faced nine batters in the first inning and gave up three runs. He was especially hurt when the Rockies botched a rundown between third and home. Still White pitched scoreless ball the next three innings and the game was tied, 3-3, when he left.
The Rockies were effective offensively against Giants starter Barry Zito (four runs, seven hits in 5 1/3 innings), with consecutive RBI doubles by Eric Young Jr. and Rutledge in the third, and White's sacrifice fly in the fourth.
Rockies reliever Carlos Torres was shaky at first. He walked two in the fifth and gave up a Ryan Theroit RBI double, but nothing more in his two frames. In the Rockies' sixth, Jordan Pacheco singled to chase Zito with one out and stole second, DJ LeMahieu doubled off George Kontos to tie the score. Then Torres lined a single up the middle to score LeMahieu, and Pacheco added a sacrifice fly in the seventh for a two-run lead until the sun ended up costing the Rockies.
Tickets are available for tonight's game at Coors Field vs. the Milwaukee Brewers, and can be purchased by calling (800) 388-ROCK, or click here.