By Morris Phillips
The Colorado Rockies are crushing opponent’s bullpens, and they made sure the Giants got a reminder before the visitors left town Thursday afternoon.
David Murphy and Charlie Blackmon homered in a five-run, seventh inning as the Rockies overcame a late deficit and a flawless five innings from Giants’ starter Tyler Anderson in a 6-4 win.
Giants’ relievers had allowed just five homers in 56 appearances coming in. But the new rule requiring that each pitcher face at least three batters doesn’t allow managers to always match up–right vs. right, left vs. left–and that favors a power hitting lineup like the Rockies possess. After Thursday’s three homers and two doubles, Colorado is hitting .294 with 11 home runs after the opposing starter is lifted.
“Anything we can do to get to the ‘pen and have someone go through at least three hitters in our lineup, whether it’s lefty or righty, we feel good about that,” Trevor Story said.
Anderson didn’t issue the home team any favors, as the former Rockie dealt for five innings, allowing two hits, two walks and no runs. In his first start of the season, Anderson appeared highly motivated by his fall from grace in 2019. Tabbed as the Rockies’ opening day starter, Anderson suffered a knee injury after making five starts, then was demoted to Triple-A before having season-ending surgery. After being waived by the Rockies, Anderson was claimed by the Giants in October.
“I hadn’t thrown a lot of pitches, and there’s been a lot of injuries going on around baseball,” Anderson answered when asked if should have been allowed to pitch deeper into the ballgame. “I think that was the right move there.”
After the game went scoreless for the first five innings, the bats broke out on both sides with Trevor Story’s solo shot off Wandy Peralta in the sixth, which was topped by Mauricio Dubon’s three-run shot in seventh to give the Giants the lead.
But Rico Garcia failed to hold that lead, allowing consecutive doubles to Garrett Hampson and Chris Owings before Murphy’s two-run shot in a pinch-hitting role. Manager Gabe Kapler then turned to Caleb Baragar but he allowed a David Dahl single ahead of Blackmon’s homer and the Rockies led 6-3.
Jairo Diaz came on for the Rockies in the eighth and got the final, four outs for the save.
Teams were required to reduce their active rosters from 30 to 28 before the game, and the Giants opted to demote Steven Duggar and pitcher Andrew Suarez to their alternative training site in San Jose
The Giants have dropped four of five and open a three-game series at Dodgers Stadium on Friday night.
“I think it’s just, take the step right in front of you. We understand that there’s no architectural blueprint for this season, and we’re just going to fight tomorrow. Be ready and prepared to play the Dodgers in Los Angeles tomorrow.”
Jeff Samardzija is expected to start for the Giants on Friday with Johnny Cueto scheduled for Saturday.