Hunter Pence, taking over where he left off back on May 22nd when he homered, doubled in Andrew Susac in the top of the eighth inning, and the San Francisco Giants went on to defeat the Colorado Rockies, 4-2, today at Coors Field, in a game that was suspended last spring because of rain. The win will be entered into May’s records, giving the Giants a 20-9 record for that month. That being said, it still extends the Giants current winning streak to seven, allowing us to have it both ways, even if we need to attach an asterisk.
Jeremy Affeldt stepped in to pitch at the start of the contest, with the scoreboard registering it as being the bottom of the sixth inning, with two outs and a runner, Charlie Culberson, at first. Affeldt promptly picked off Culberson, the pinch-runner for Michael Cuddyer, who got the single back in May, but who currently resides on the disabled list.
Culberson made it to second just before Buster Posey’s throw. Posey started the game last May behind the plate, but took over at first base for Michael Morse, who had made the last out at the top of the sixth. It all went for naught as Jeff Rutledge, batting for Troy Tulowitzki, also on the DL, struck out swinging to end the sixth. It is all very confusing, with the myriad of possibilities for players, now that the rosters have been expanded to 40.
Affeldt pitched a 1-2-3 seventh, Sergio Romo pitched the eighth, giving up a lone single, and Santiago Casilla closed it out, giving up a lead-off single to Ben Paulsen, but getting defensive help from Brandon Crawford again, as he started a 6-4-3 double play. Crawford then made a fine play to end the inning when he went gathered up a Justin Morneau grounder and threw him out at first.
For the Rockies Christian Friedrich pitched a 1-2-3 seventh, before giving up a lead-off single to Andrew Susac, in the game at catcher. Gregor Blanco, doing the little things, sacrificed Susac to second and Posey hit an infield dribbler which ended up in Nolan Arenado’s hand as he watched the slow-footed Posey reach first base. After Angel Pagan struck out, Walt Weiss brought in Adam Ottavino to face Pence, whose double scored Susac.
Travis Ishikawa, continuing to provide clutch hitting, knocked in Pence with a single to right field to add the fourth and final run, while Posey got caught off second base, ending the inning. Brooks Brown pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning for the Rockies.
This win is key because it allows the Giants to gain another half-game on LA, while still having the opportunity to gain more ground in the regularly scheduled game, due to be played immediately following this one.
Today’s game was a mini-version of the winning streak, with excellent pitching, timely hitting and fine defense. Only two games behind the Dodgers, and leading the wild card race by a game and a half, the Giants need to keep this surge flowing. Tim Hudson gets the first crack at it later today.