Thanks to injuries to pitchers expected to be in the starting rotation, the SF Giants have had to use their bullpen to fill a bulk of the innings on occasion lately.
Sometimes it works, sometimes the 'pen gets blown up. Wednesday night it was the former, with five pitchers combining to shut down the Colorado Rockies as the Giants won, 6-3, in the second game of their three-game series at Oracle Park.
It was San Francisco's eighth win in their last nine games as the team inches closer to a .500 record and keeps slim playoff hopes alive.
Towering right-hander Sean Hjelle earned the victory, the first of his Major League career, with four innings of relief after John Brebbia opened with a scoreless first inning. Hjelle allowed two hits and two walks, with two runs scoring - though just one run was earned. He struck out two batters before handing it off to Shelby Miller, who retired five of the six batters he faced by strikeout.
Tyler Rogers tossed a scoreless eighth and Yunior Marte had a rocky start to the ninth before settling down to close things out.
Offensively, the Orange and Black got going immediately in the bottom of the first. Joc Pederson, who homered and tripled in Tuesday's series-opening win, singled to lead off and went to third on a J.D. Davis base hit. Mike Yastrzemski singled to center to plate Pederson, and thanks to an errant throw that went out of play Davis was able to score while Yastrzemski motored around to third base. Two batters later, Brandon Crawford's sacrifice fly made it 3-0 as Yastrzemski came across.
Pederson triples again to plate two
The Giants doubled their total in the sixth. David Villar, Jason Vosler and Joey Bart all singled to load the bases, and rookie Ford Proctor's sacrifice fly brought in Villar. Pederson then stepped in and hit his second triple in as many games, this scoring Vosler and Bart for a 6-2 lead.
In the ninth, Marte had some difficulty with a hit and walk allowed, but he induced a pair of groundouts and a strikeout to make sure Colorado didn't draw too close with their rally.
With the win, the Giants improved to 77-78 on the season. They have one more game with Colorado before hosting Arizona for three games, and they'll finish the season with three at San Diego. While still mathematically in contention for a Wild Card spot, it's not promising - any combination of two GIants losses and/or Philadelphia Phillies wins will eliminate the Orange and Black.