DENVER (AP) – Bud Black received quite a workout strolling to the mound for so many pitching changes.
And yet this was exactly how the Colorado manager envisioned the night going – using plenty of arms and the bats springing to life.
Trevor Story homered, Nolan Arenado picked up his major league lead-tying 112th RBI with a double as part of a four-run sixth and the Rockies beat San Francisco 9-6 on Tuesday for their 10th straight win over the Giants at Coors Field.
Once spot starter Tyler Chatwood left after three innings – he reached his pitch limit – Colorado used eight relievers with Chris Rusin (4-0) earning the win. Greg Holland pitched a perfect ninth for his 37th save as the Rockies increased their lead to 2 1/2 games over Milwaukee for the second NL wild-card spot.
“Is that some kind of record (for pitchers used) in a nine-inning game?” Black joked. “What’s great about it is so many guys contributed.”
A late Giants rally, though, made things interesting.
San Francisco trailed 7-3 in the eighth, when Denard Span lined a two-out, two-run double. Joe Panik followed with an RBI single – his fourth hit of the game. Adam Ottavino was summoned to the mound and struck out Buster Posey on a 3-2 pitch way outside the zone to end the inning.
Colorado added two insurance runs in the bottom of the inning, when pinch-hitter Carlos Gonzalez lined an RBI double. DJ LeMahieu added another run-scoring double.
“This is just about picking each other up,” catcher Jonathan Lucroy said. “Not everyone is going to have a great night every day, so we were able to pick each other up tonight through our offense.”
Denver native Ty Blach (8-12) surrendered five runs over 5 1/3 innings for the Giants. Blach made his major league debut at Coors Field on this day a season ago.
“I felt like I made a lot of really, really good pitches tonight,” Blach said. “I just really didn’t make them when I needed to, I guess.”
Arenado’s 112 RBIs ties him with Miami’s Giancarlo Stanton for most in the majors. The Rockies third baseman has led the league in the category in each of the last two seasons.
Pablo Sandoval went 0 for 4 with a walk and remains hitless in his last 37 at-bats. It’s tied for the longest streak by a Giants player since Johnnie LeMaster went hitless in 37 at-bats in 1984.
Chatwood was limited to 61 pitches in his first start since Aug. 2. He’s recently been working out of the bullpen.
The right-hander escaped damage in the first two innings by getting double plays, and struck out Hunter Pence in the third with the bases loaded to end the threat.
“That was the expectation, go as hard as he can for as long as he can,” Black said. “That’s what he did.”
Giants: Posey left in the eighth after taking a foul ball off his throwing hand. Manager Bruce Bochy said it was a bruised finger and that X-rays were negative. “It swelled up pretty good right when it happened,” Bochy said.
Rockies: C Ryan Hanigan (left groin strain) threw to the bases, fielded bunts and did some running Tuesday. “Went really good,” said Hanigan, who’s been on the DL since Aug. 22.
Yes, Black watches the scoreboard this late in the season, especially with his team in contention. But that’s really nothing new, he explained.
“I’m a baseball fan. I watch baseball,” Black said. “Opening day in April, I watched other games. I saw other scores. May 15, I checked the scores. I’ve been doing it all year.”
THIS & THAT
Giants RHPs Reyes Moronta and Roberto Gomez both made their major league debuts in the seventh inning. Moronta was recalled from Triple-A Sacramento on Tuesday, while Gomez had his contract purchased from Sacramento. … LeMahieu extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a leadoff single in the sixth.
Giants: RHP Johnny Cueto (6-7, 4.54 ERA) makes his second start Wednesday since coming back from the disabled list. He was out 45 games after dealing with blister issues and later a strained flexor tendon. He’s 8-3 with a 2.71 ERA all-time against Colorado.
Rockies: LHP Kyle Freeland (11-9) leads major league rookies with a 3.89 ERA. He’s 2-0 against the Giants at home.