Recap: Lincecum’s Strong Start Overshadowed By Giants’ Ninth Inning Collapse

A strong start from Tim Lincecum was tarnished when a usually strong bullpen allowed a ninth-inning comeback as the San Francisco Giants fell to the Colorado Rockies 7-4 on Friday night.

The fireworks were put on hold as the ninth inning lasted much longer than Sergio Romo had hoped. After two singles and a flyout, Romo intentionally walked Corey Dickerson, a move that Bochy said you can never be certain of.

“I was going to have the other guys beat him, which they did,” said Bochy.

From there, Ryan Wheeler hit a two-run single to tie the game. Romo threw a wild pitch to advance the two runners on base, then a single from DJ LeMahieu scored one more. That would be it for the closer, but the Rockies weren’t done, immediately scoring one more on a single off George Kontos. Michael McKenry was picked off of first base, but that gave LeMahieu enough time to score Colorado’s final run.

“What could go wrong, went wrong, and it hurt us,” said Bochy. “They put us in a tough spot. We gave them the extra base, extra run…it just got away from us.”

The Rockies’ five runs in the ninth were the most they’ve scored in that frame since 2010, and the first time it’s happened on the road since 2009 in Arizona. Meanwhile, the Giants allowed five runs in the ninth inning for the first time since August 2009. Tonight marked the first time all season San Francisco lost when leading after eight innings, breaking their perfect 35-0 run.

Romo’s ERA against the Rockies is 20.25 this season, compared to 1.93 against the rest of the league. He finished the game with five earned runs on four hits and one walk, and his third blown save of the season brings the closer to 20-for-23 in save opportunities. It was an unexpected way to end a game that had started so well for San Francisco.

Lincecum threw his seventh quality start of the season, allowing just two runs on three hits in the third inning. That was the only frame that saw Rockies base runners all night, as Justin Morneau knocked in Jorge De La Rosa and Charlie Blackmon to put two Rockies runs on the board. After one more single from Drew Stubbs, Lincecum faced the minimum through the next three innings, finishing his night with 100 pitches, walking two and striking out six. While he didn’t get the win, Lincecum was able to continue his strong season at home, logging his eighth of nine total outings at AT&T Park while allowing three runs or fewer.

Lincecum’s counterpart lasted just three innings, as Jorge De La Rosa left due to lower back tightness. The Giants’ offense responded to Colorado’s runs with two of their own to tie the game, then Michael Morse also pushed one more run across in the fifth inning, after a misplayed double to center let Buster Posey score from first base. Morse went 2-for-3 with two RBI on the night. He’s 8-for-15 in his last four games and now ranks third in the National League in runs batted in. Hunter Pence scored on a wild pitch in the seventh inning, but that was the last of the Giants offense for the night.

Tomorrow the Giants take on the Rockies for an afternoon game, as Ryan Vogelsong will face Christian Bergman, who will be making his second Major League start and first against the Giants. In his debut, Bergman allowed just two runs on six hits over six innings. Vogelsong is coming off a tough loss to the Nationals, where he allowed season highs of six runs and nine hits through six innings at AT&T Park. While he’s struggled recently against the Rockies, allowing 14 earned runs over 11.1 innings pitched in his last three starts, Vogelsong has pitched well at home against the division rivals. He’s gone 3-0 with a 1.89 ERA in his five starts against Colorado at AT&T Park.

First pitch at 1:05pm.