The Giants hoped for a different result at Coors Field as Madison Bumgarner, their lefty ace, toed the mound. Despite a tremendous effort from Bumgarner, the Giants offense continued to struggle, leading the Rockies to a 2-1 victory.
Home runs continued to be a storyline, carrying in from the five dingers the Rockies put in the box score last night. Troy Tulowitzki rocketed a home run to center field in the fourth, allowing Colorado to draw first blood.
The Giants showed a glimmer of hope in the top of the fifth as Hunter Pence answered back and hit one out of the ballpark to tie up the game. Pence, who went 2-for-4 last night, seems to be finally finding his stride after a slow start to the season. In addition to the home run, Pence also added some hard hit outs to the right side of the field and added a single to his series tally.
The Giants didn’t get much time to celebrate as Nolan Arenado went deep in the bottom half of the inning and regained the lead for the Rockies, putting them up 2-1.
Runners in scoring position remains to be one of the biggest woes for the Giants as of late. San Francisco went 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position, leaving nine men on base tonight. In key situations, the Giants were unable to cash in for runs, their problems ranging from strike outs to grounding into double plays. As reported earlier by Hank Schulman, we could be seeing Brandon Belt more regularly in the three-hole and some potential line-up reshuffling that may help keep the line moving and solve the Giants’ offensive slump.
If you’re looking for a silver lining, Madison Bumgarner can deliver. The southpaw looked sharp tonight and managed his pitch count to go the distance finishing up with eight innings pitched, nine hits, two runs, one walk, and six strike outs.
Also in the “positive” column, Pablo Sandoval picked up a hit as he roped a sharp line drive double and drew a walk. In less good Sandoval-related news, he grounded into a double play on a first-pitch with two runners on base. It’s the little things, right?
Also of note, Angel Pagan seemed a little run-down today as he let a bloop off the bat of Brandon Barnes fall in front of him in the third. It wouldn’t be a surprise if Bruce Bochy let Pagan rest tomorrow, especially with the knee trouble he’s been experiencing lately.
The Giants look to avoid the sweep tomorrow at Coors Field as righties Matt Cain (0-3, 2.88 ERA) and Tyler Chatwood (1-0, 2.77 ERA) face-off in the final game of the series.