In his first game back from a four-day absence with a hand sprain, Rockies right fielder Carlos Gonzalez was 5-for-5 with a key double in the seventh inning and third baseman Nolan Arenado hit a pair of home runs in an 8-6 win over the Giants in the series opener at AT&T Park.
The game was shaping up to be a pitchers' duel between starters Chad Bettis and Tim Hudson, as it remained scoreless until the bottom of the fifth. With one out in the bottom of the fifth in a scoreless game, Bettis hung a curveball to Giants catcher Andrew Susac, who deposited it into the left-field bleachers to give his team a 1-0 lead.
The Rockies wasted no time in striking back against Hudson, as Gonzalez and shortstop Troy Tulowitzki led off the top of the sixth with back-to-back singles before third baseman Nolan Arenado launched a 1-1 sinker from Hudson deep into the stands in left-center for his first home run of the night and 21st of the season, giving the Rockies a 3-1 lead.
San Francisco tied the game in the bottom of the inning, however, with four straight two-out singles against Bettis to score a pair of runs and tie the game at three. Bettis departed after pitching six innings and allowing three runs, all earned, on six hits with a pair of walks and three strikeouts.
The Rockies put Bettis in position for the win in the top of the seventh, as Hudson gave up a single to center fielder Charlie Blackmon and walked Tulowitzki, putting two on with one out as Giants manager Bruce Bochy went with lefty specialist Javier Lopez to face Gonzalez.
Entering the game, left-handed batters were hitting just .077 against Lopez, but Gonzalez lined a double, scoring Blackmon to give the Rockies a 4-3 lead. After intenionally walking Arenado, another lefty, first baseman Ben Paulsen, singled home Tulowitzki and Gonzalez to expand the lead to 6-3.
It was still 6-3 in the top of the ninth when Gonzalez produced his fifth hit of the game, an opposite-field triple into the left-field corner. He then scored on a wild pitch to make it 7-3. With Arenado at the plate, Giants reliever Mike Broadway threw an 0-2 pitch, well, right down Broadway and Arenado hit a solo home run, his sixth in the last five games, to center to extend the lead to 8-3. The 22 homers are the most for Arenado in any professional season, and there are still 89 games left.
Reliever Tommy Kahnle gave up three runs in the ninth on three walks and two hits, but struck out third baseman Matt Duffy and first baseman Buster Posey, both as the winning run, to close out the win.
The Rockies will look for their third-straight series win at 2:15 p.m. Mountain time tomorrow with Chris Rusin facing Tim Lincecum.
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