But, as is usually the case in San Francisco, a string of mind-blowing events led to yet another Colorado loss by the Bay.
Madison Bumgarner hit a grand slam off of Rockies starter Jorge De La Rosa and drove in five runs in all to lead the Giants to a 6-5 win at AT&T Park on Friday. It was Bumgarner's second career homer, both of which have come against Colorado pitching.
De La Rosa cruised through the first couple of innings and his breaking ball looked downright unhittable. The Rockies did their best on offense to support their No. 1 starter, scoring a run on a double steal in the first and getting a couple more in the third on Carlos Gonzalez's fourth home run of the season -- and second career splash hit in San Francisco.
But then De La Rosa began to lose control. First, he allowed a leadoff triple to Brandon Crawford in the bottom of the third and barely escaped a home run off the bat of the opposing pitcher, who settled for a sac fly to get his team on the board. An inning later, the real trouble began to surface. With the Rockies holding a two-run lead, De La Rosa issued a leadoff single to Pablo Sandoval and followed that up with a four-pitch walk to Michael Morse to get himself into hot water. He bounced back to retire the next two batters, including a second strikeout of Brandon Belt, but inexplicably lost Brandon Hicks by hitting him with a pitch to load the bases.
That gave him nowhere to put Crawford, the No. 8 hitter in front of the pitcher Bumgarner, but De La Rosa walked him on four pitches anyway, cutting the Rockies' lead to 3-2. After struggling with control for much of the inning, JDLR decided to throw a get-me-over fastball to Bumgarner, and that proved to be a terrible idea, as the Giants' starter hit a no-doubter to left field to send the home crowd into a frenzy.
Colorado continued to put together tough at-bats against Bumgarner and added another run off of him in the sixth on Charlie Culberson's pinch-hit double to cut the deficit to 6-4. Rockies hitters continued to show well against Giants reliever Santiago Casilla two innings later. Nolan Arenado led off the inning with a bunt single and advanced to second on a throwing error by Sandoval. Charlie Blackmon pinch hit for Drew Stubbs a batter later and laced a single into center to plate Arenado.
With two outs and a runner on second, the Rockies seemed primed to at least tie the game. Instead, Blackmon made a foolish decision on Jordan Pacheco's comebacker and was tagged out at second, then Pacheco wandered a bit too far off the bag on DJ LeMahieu's lineout and was doubled off of first. Just like that, the Rockies' rally was over.
The Rox had another chance to score the tying run in the ninth after Boone Logan's excellent work upon inheriting a two-on, nobody-out jam in the bottom of the eighth, but Sergio Romo struck out all three batters he faced to preserve the win. Romo got Justin Morneau, Brandon Barnes and Troy Tulowitzki looking, though one of those (Morneau) was an absolutely awful call by home plate umpire Dan Iassogna while another (Tulo) was questionable at the very least.
At the end of the day, the Rockies played a pretty good game, De La Rosa's performance and the two ridiculous TOOTBLANs notwithstanding. But a loss is a loss, and those are getting harder and harder to take in this fashion, in that ballpark and against that team.
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