San Francisco Giants Brandon Belt hurt his hand when hit by a pitch in the seventh inning by Colorado Rockies reliever Lucas Gilbreath at Coors Field in Denver on Sun Sep 26, 2021 (AP News photo)
By Jeremy Kahn
Once again, there was late innings heroics for the San Francisco Giants and this time it was Tommy La Stella who came up with the big hit.
La Stella came off the bench and picked up a pinch-hit single that scored Steven Duggar with the eventual game-winning run in the top of the ninth inning, as the Giants completed a three-game sweep with a 6-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field.
With the victory, the lead for the Giants stayed at two games with six games to go over the Los Angeles Dodgers and the magic number for the Giants to clinch the National League West is five.
This was the second time this season and in the month of September that the Rockies were swept at home, and it is the longest such streak by the Giants at Coors Field since the facility was opened in 1995.
The Giants won seven in a row at old Mile High Stadium, from May 11, 1993 until June 23, 1994 and the Giants ended the season with a 15-4 record against the Rockies in 2021, tying the record for the most wins in a season against an opponent, as they went 15-3 versus the Houston Astros in 1965.
Brandon Belt was forced to leave the game in the top of the seventh inning, when he was on the left thumb on a 93 mile per hour fastball thrown by Rockies reliever Lucas Gilbreath.
After Belt was checked out by Giants trainer Dave Groeschner and manager Gabe Kapler, he went to first base and was eventually replaced by Flores when the Giants returned to the field in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Flores committed a huge fielding error in the bottom of the seventh inning off the bat of Sam Hilliard that sent C.J. Cron to second base. With Cron and Hilliard on bases, Zack Littell committed a balk and then Elias Diaz reached on a ground ball that was overturned on a ball fielded by Donovan Solano that allowed Cron to score the tying run.
Cron scored the Rockies first run of the game in the bottom of the fifth inning, as he hit his 28th home run of the season.
Following the La Stella single, Brandon Crawford broke the game wide open, when he hit an opposite field three-run home run just out of the reach of Raimel Tapia in left field to lengthen the lead up to 6-2.
Crawford gave the Giants an early 1-0 lead in the top of the third inning, as he drove in a run when he grounded out to score La Monte Wade, Jr., from third base.
Denver-area native Kevin Gausman pitched the first six innings for the Giants, as he allowed just one run on three hits, not allowing a walk and struck out 11 and was in line for the win until Cron scored the tying run in the bottom of the seventh inning and ended up with a no-decision.
Jose Alvarez, Littell, Doval and Kervin Castro came on to finish the game for the Giants, who raised their record to 102-54 on the season.
Doval pitched the eighth inning and struck out the side to pick up his fifth win of the season against just one loss.
NOTES: Belt is the first Giants player with at least 29 home runs in a season since Barry Bonds hit 45 in 2004…he’s also the first Giants first baseman to hit at least 29 since Will Clark did so in 1991 and Clark is the last Giants first baseman to hit at least 30 homers (35 in 1987).
The Giants ended the road portion of their schedule with a record of 53-28 (.654), tying the 1993 team for the second-most road wins in team history and only trailing the 1912 New York Giants, who won 54 road games.
UP NEXT: After an off-day on Monday, the Giants begin a three-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday night at Oracle Park.