For many years, Coors Field in Denver, Colorado, has been known as a stadium in which no lead is safe: when the ball starts carrying in the thin mountain air, any lead can evaporate in a hurry. Tuesday night, that's almost what happened to the SF Giants.
Coming off a rough end to their series at the St. Louis Cardinals over the weekend, the Giants came out on top of a back-and-forth battle with the division-rival Colorado Rockies Monday night thanks to Mike Yastrzemski's two-out, ninth-inning solo home run.
La Stella set the tone early for the SF Giants
In Tuesday's game two of the three-game set in the Rocky Mountains, the Giants wasted no time going out in front as Tommy La Stella, just activated from the Injured List following his recovery from offseason Achilles surgery, launched the second pitch of the game into the second deck of right-field stands for a home run.
The Giants added another run in the second inning as Brandon Crawford tripled and then trotted home when the throw trying to retire him at third base went out of play.
After Alex Cobb allowed his first run in the home half of the second, the Orange and Black put up a crooked number in the third. Yastrzemski drove in a pair with a double before crossing on a Darin Ruf base hit, and a few batters later Ruf was plated by Thairo Estrada's bloop single to right-center.
A Ruf two-run double in the fourth and run-scoring singles by Crawford and Estrada in the sixth increased the visitors' advantage, and almost all of it was needed.
Entering the bottom of the sixth, the Giants held a 10-2 lead. That's when the Rockies' bats woke up against Cobb, as two RBI singles preceded a Randal Grichuk three-run homer.
Luckily for the Giants, a parade of relievers was able to hold the tenuous 10-7 advantage for the final 11 outs. John Brebbia finished up the sixth inning for Cobb, Tyler Rogers pitched the seventh and Dominic Leone the eighth before manager Gabe Kapler called on young Camilo Doval to nail it down.
Doval, as has been his norm in 2022, didn't fail to make things interesting. After a pair of quick outs on a strikeout and groundout, he issued a pair of walks to bring slugging C.J. Cron to the plate as the potential tying run. Cron put up a battle, fouling off two pitches with two strikes, before flipping a soft fly ball to shallow center field. Austin Slater, in the game as a defensive replacement in center, rushed in for a diving catch to put the game away.
The Giants, now two games back of first place in the National League West, go for a sweep of the Rockies Wednesday afternoon with Logan Webb expected to start on the mound.