Giants dig too deep of a hole in 6-4 loss to the Astros, fall to 2-6 on road trip

By Morris Phillips

The series opener at Minute Maid Park afforded the struggling Giants one of two scenarios:

A well-placed opportunity against a good club on a bad stretch in the Astros, just off an ugly brawl and getting swept in Oakland, another distraction for the Major League’s most burdened ballclub in recent memory. Add to that Monday’s starter Lance McCullers Jr. sporting an alarming 9.22 ERA after three starts…

Or another sobering example of the marginally talented Giants being dealt too many road games against contending clubs in unforgiving stadiums in the first 20 games of a gone-before-you-know-it, 60-game season.

A 6-4 loss had the Giants firmly relegated to the second rendering with the Astros blasting off to 6-0 lead only to hang on as pinch hitter Evan Longoria lined out to end it with runners at the corners. McCullers was at his best, carrying a no-hitter into the seventh, after he allowed a career-worst eight runs in his last start.

The 26-year old right-hander retired 19 of the first 20 Giants he faced, with the one hiccup a hit-by-pitch facing Austin Slater leading off the third inning. Donovan Solano broke up McCullers’ gem with a sharply-hit grounder that eluded third baseman Alex Bregman and went for a double.

“We needed a win tonight. We needed to start the homestand on a big, positive note and we did that,” said McCullers, who missed the 2019 season due to Tommy John surgery.

While the Giants couldn’t buy a hit, they stacked up the errors, two by Solano filling in at third, and one by catcher Chadwick Tromp, all in the first four innings. Those miscues made life tough for starter Logan Webb, who was charged with five runs, only two of which were earned, before he was lifted in the fourth inning.

“I think he can be proud of going through that lineup and not really giving up on much hard contact,” manager Gabe Kapler said in Webb’s defense. “I think we have better in us behind him that’s for sure.”

Connor Menez steadied the Giants with two plus innings of relief marred only by Martin Maldonado’s solo shot. That homer was the 28th allowed by Giants’ pitching, and it marked the 15th consecutive game they’ve allowed at least one home run, tying an ignominious  franchise record for the second time.

Solano’s double extended his hit streak to 15 games. He doubled again in the ninth, part of the Giants’ three-run rally to make things interesting. The 32-year old Solano is hitting .458, second only to Charlie Blackmon at .484 in the majors.

The Giants are 4-8 on the road, with all 12 road games at Dodgers Stadium, Coors Field and Minute Maid Park, traditionally tough places to play. The Giants’ stretch of 14 of 20 on the road to start the season ends on Wednesday.

Tyler Anderson starts Tuesday for the Giants on a matchup against Houston’s Brandon  Bielak.

 

 

He was A Giant? Former first baseman Mike Laga feature by Tony the Tiger Hayes

Former San Francisco Giants first baseman Mike Laga is the subject interest of Tony The Tiger’s feature “He Was A Giant?” (photo from pinterest.com)

HE WAS A GIANT? Mike Laga

Mike Laga – 1B – 1989-90 – # 21

By Tony The Tiger Hayes

He was a Giant?

Mike Laga, a persevering big lug from New Jersey whose hapless baseball story could have served as inspiration for any number of Bruce Springsteen blue collar anthems, never could catch a break in an itinerant 13-year professional career.

Despite producing Ruthian minor league numbers and receiving gold stars for his determination, Laga never got an opportunity to play a full season in the majors.

Laga would introduce himself to SF fans with a sizzling debut performance in 1989, but like his stops in Detroit and St. Louis, Laga never received much of an opportunity going forward for the Orange & Black.

In parts of two seasons backing up Will Clark with SF, Laga would appear in 40 games, batting .191 with three HRs.

Why Was He A Giant?

Hall of Fame manager Sparky Anderson once championed Mike Laga by saying of his young Detroit Tigers charge: “He will make you forget about every power hitter who ever lived.”

That verbose prediction never materialized, but Giants manager Roger Craig, a former Tigers coach, remembered Laga fondly and recommended the Giants ink the left-handed hitter as backup 1B and pinch hitter for the 1989 season.

Before and After

Creaming minor league pitching was never Laga’s issue. By the time he received his first big league call up in 1982, he had already slammed 77 home runs in three minor league campaigns. He would go on to sock a total of 255 minor league bombs. In parts of nine big league seasons, Laga would muscle 16 balls out of the park.

At times, Laga was not shy about voicing his big league frustrations. After spending three seasons toiling for Detroit’s Triple-AAA franchise in Evansville, IN, Laga had had enough.

“I hate it in Evansville,” he blurted one spring. “I don’t want to go back!”

He got his wish, but only because unbeknownst to Laga, the Tigers had moved their top minor league affiliation from Evansville to Nashville.

He Never Got His Own Bobblehead. But…

In his debut game with SF, Laga would deliver the kill shot in a remarkable win that was the baseball equivalent of the movie “The Expendables.”

After the Giants fell behind early at Cincinnati (9/4/89), Giants manager Craig began removing most of the starters in favor of backups and September call-ups such as Laga.

In the end, when the Giants had overcome a 8-0 deficit to beat the Reds 9-8, Craig would call the riveting victory: “the biggest game I ever won as a manager.”

“I’ve got a lot of guys. I want to give them a chance to play and boy did they ever play,” crowed Craig. “The Killer B’s (the backups) did a hell of a job, but the Killer C’s (the call-ups) won it.”

Trailing 8-0 heading into the seventh, the Giants were literally situated behind the eight ball when their bats began rumbling to life as Will Clark and Terry Kennedy crashed solo long balls off Reds starter Tim Leary.

But then Craig pulled both Clark and Kennedy, seemingly satisfied that the Giants had at least made a decent effort in what appeared to be an inevitable blow out.

Laga, who subbed for Clark, received his first Giants at bat in the eighth with two outs and infield understudy Ernie Riles on first base.

The burly 1B turned on a Leary fastball and crushed it deep into the Queen City night for a home run to make it an 8-4 game.

The Giants were now officially on a roll and that roll would not be slowed.

Flame -throwing , but wildly erratic reliever Ernie Camacho came on to face the Reds in the eighth and he struck out the side, fanning Mariano Duncan, Ron Oester and Herm Winningham in tidy fashion.

Then the Giants bats went back to work in a furious ninth.

With Norm Charlton now on in relief, super utility-man Greg Litton led off with a pinch single. Pinch hitter Candy Maldonado, scalded a line drive but it was right at Luis Quinones at second for an out.

Next, end-of -the – bench guy, Donnell Nixon slashed a single to center field , with Litton stopping at second. Grizzled pinch hitter Bob Brenly reached first on an error by 3B Chris Sabo to load the bases.

John Franco was then summoned to pitch to gray beard Chris Speier – yet another SF pinch hitter – and the veteran infielder ripped a single to center to make it 8-5.

The Reds flop sweat was now starting to form a puddle on the Riverfront Stadium artificial turf.

Catcher Bill Bathe – baseball’s version of Moses – was next, AND, he singled up the middle to plate two runs – making it 8-7.

Rob Dibble came in to face Riles, and yep, the lithe hitter slapped a knock to center to plate Speier and send pinch runner Scott Garrelts to third.

Down a touchdown and a two point conversion just three innings prior, the surging Giants had boomeranged to tie the flailing Reds 8-8.

It was the star- crossed Laga’s turn next, and with steam virtually pouring from Dibble’s nostrils, the new Giant tattooed a sharp two-hopper between first and second base to plate Garrelts with the go ahead run.

The Reds would go on to load the bases off closer Steve Bedrosian in ninth with one out. But Bedrock would retire Sabo on a pop up and negate Dave Collins on a routine grounder to close out a most miraculous 9-8 victory.

After the game the Giants clubhouse turned into a grand jubilee.

“Everybody was screaming and hollering. I’ve never seen anything like it. I’m hoarse from all the yelling,” said pitcher Jeff Brantley.

“That was just a great win,” said Kennedy. “No matter what happens, this game will have a place in Giants lore.”

Keeping with his untimely history however, the man of the hour was no where to be found when his teammates began the merrymaking with chats of “Lags, Lags, Lags!”

“I was outside doing a radio interview,” a disappointed Laga said. “I don’t know what happened.”

Giant Footprint

Wherever Laga traveled in his Major League career his path was blocked by players with deep Giants ties.

At the time of his first major league call up in 1982, aging ex-Giants Enos Cabell and Mike Ivie we’re sharing the 1B position.

While passing those two veterans was not seemingly insurmountable for 1983. But Cabell repaired his swing and rebounded with a career high .311 campaign in 1983, keeping Laga in the minors.

Cabell soon skipped Motown, signing with his former Houston team.

But instead of turning to Laga, the Tigers aggressively pursued SF slugger Darrell Evans who seemingly found the fountain of youth in 1983 – belting 30 HRs while based at Candlestick Park. The Tigers also made a key trade during spring training acquiring star reliever Willie Hernandez AN ex-Giant, the steady and slick fielding 1B Dave Bergman from Philadelphia.

In 1984, a dominant Tigers team would win the World Series with Evans and Bergman, sharing 1B/DH duties. Again Laga would spend most of ‘84 in the minors.

Laga moved on to St. Louis in 1986, but without the DH in play, he was limited to 1B duty. The only problem was, the former Giants slugger Jack Clark was firmly entrenched at 1B. Clark was gone in 1988, but in a 40 game trial with the Cardinals, Laga did not produce.

By the time he reached SF, Laga was pretty much labeled a 4A player. And with Will Clark in front of him, he had no shot of seeing any meaningful action.

It wasn’t until 1991 when Laga received a shot to play in the majors- however it was the major leagues of Japan.

Laga flourished for the Fukuoka Daiei Hawks of the Pacific League, playing in 124 games and batting .236, 32, 81.

At last there were no former Giants blocking his path – not even ex-Yominuri Giants.

 

Pollock and Betts go deep in Dodgers 6-2 win over SF

Los Angeles Dodgers’ A.J. Pollock, left, hits a three-run home run as San Francisco Giants relief pitcher Tyler Rogers, right, watches along with catcher Tyler Heineman, second from right, and home plate umpire Adam Hamari during the seventh inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 9, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

By Jeremy Kahn

Two bad pitches by relievers for the San Francisco Giants gave the game and the series to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

AJ Pollock hit a three-run home run off of Tyler Rogers in the bottom of the seventh inning, as the Dodgers would go on to defeat the Giants 6-2 at Dodger Stadium.

Cody Bellinger hit a single off of starter Kevin Gausman with one out in the inning and then Justin Turner picked up a single off of Rogers. After Rogers struck out max Muncy for the second out of the inning, and then Pollock put a 3-2 offering from Rogers and put it into the left field pavilion.

Just one inning later, Mookie Betts put the game out of reach, as he launched a three-run home run of his own.

Will Smith picked up a leadoff walk and then Enrique Hernandez doubled off of Caleb Baragar, and then Betts picked up his first hit in four at-bats, when took a Baragar pitch and put into the left field pavilion just like Pollocks.

Jake McGee struck out one in his only inning of work to pick up his first win of the season for the Dodgers.

Mike Yastrzemski picked up the Giants first hit of the afternoon, as he singled to center field off of Walker Buehler that scored both Pablo Sandoval and Austin Slater from second and third respectively. Sandoval walked and then Buehler hit Slater, and then after a wild pitch by Buehler, Yastrzemski broke the scoreless tie with a single to centerfield.

Donovan Solano, who leads the major leagues in hitting, extended his hitting streak up to a career-high 14 games, when he singled in the top of the eighth.

Solano is hitting .455 on the season, as he attempts to become the first player since Ted Williams of the Boston Red Sox in 1941 to finish the season with over a .400 batting average. That season, Williams, a native of San Diego finished the season with a .406 batting average and won the American League Most Valuable Player Award over San Francisco native Joe DiMaggio of the New York Yankees, who set a major-league record by hitting in 56 consecutive games.

Gausman went 6.1 innings, allowing just one run on three hits, not walking a batter and struck out six, as he did not fare in the decision.

NOTES: Right-handed pitcher Jordan Humphreys was placed on the restricted list for personal reasons and left-hander pitcher Jarlin Garcia was reinstated 60-day injured list.

The Giants acquired outfielder Luis Basabe and he will report to the teams alternate site in Sacramento. Former Oakland As pitcher Trevor Cahill was called up to the taxi squad, while Andrew Suarez was sent to Sacramento and Abiatal Avelino was designated for assignment.

UP NEXT: Lance McCullers, Jr. will open the three-game series for the Houston Astros on Monday night, while the Giants have yet to announce a starter.

Slater homers twice off of Kershaw in Giants win 5-4

San Francisco Giants’ Austin Slater, left, runs to first base as he hits a solo home run while Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw, center, and catcher Austin Barnes, right, watch during the third inning of a baseball game Saturday, Aug. 8, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

By Jeremy Kahn

Austin Slater joined an exclusive club in Game Two of the three-game series between the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Slater became only the seventh player to hit two home runs in the same game versus Kershaw in the same game, as the Giants hung on to defeat the Dodgers 5-4 at Dodger Stadium.

Leading off the top of the third inning, Slater hit a solo home run over the center field wall to give the Giants a 1-0 lead and then two batters later, Mike Yastrzemski made it 2-0, as he hit a home run into the right field bleachers.

Just two innings later in the top of the fifth inning, Slater did it again, as he launched his second home run of the game and the season to give the Giants a 3-0 lead.

After Donovan Solano doubled to left field, Yastrzemski made it 4-0, as he doubled off of Kershaw and that was the end of the night for Kershaw.

Johnny Cueto was cruising into the bottom of the sixth inning, as he was throwing a no-hiter; however, he it was gone after the first batter of the inning after a weird play in the outfield.

Enrique Hernandez hit a fly ball to left field that should have been an easy out for Hunter Pence, but Pence lost the ball in the lights and Hernandez ended up on third base with a triple. Immediately after the Hernandez triple, Austin Barnes grounded to shortstop that allowed Hernandez to score from third base.

Both Joc Pederson and Cody Bellinger walked, but inside of pulling Cueto, who was limping from an apparent leg injury, Giants manager Gabe Kapler allowed Cueto to stay in the game and face nemesis Justin Turner, who took the right-hander deep to cut the Giants down to 5-4 and that was the end of the line for Cueto, who was replaced by Tony Watson, who got Max Muncy to pop out to Chadwick Tromp.

In all, Cueto was fantastic, as he went five and two-thirds innings, allowing four runs on just two hits, walking three and striking out three to pick up his first win of the season.

On the other side of things, Kershaw went 4.1 innings, allowing four runs on seven hits, walking one and striking out six.

This was the second shortest start in Kershaws career against the Giants, a team that he was 23-12 with a 1.74 earned run average in his career. It was also the first time that he ever allowed three home runs to the Giants in the same game in 49 starts.

Trevor Gott walked one in the bottom of the ninth inning, but was able to get the final out for his fourth save of the season.

The quartet of Slater, Solano, Yastrzemski and Evan Longoria, the first four batters of the Giants lineup went a combined 9-for-19 with three home runs and four batted in.

Once again, the Giants bullpen was outstanding, as Watson, Trevor Rogers and Gott went the final 3.1 innings, allowing just a walk and strikeout, as the Giants put an end to their two-game losing streak.

NOTES: Cueto was forced to leave the game with blister on his toe, and Jeff Samardzija will not throw for seven to 10 days due to inflammation to his rotator cuff and will return to the Bay Area, when the Giants head to Houston.

With the two home runs versus Kershaw, Slater joined Adam Dunn of the Washington Nationals on (August 6, 2010), Carlos Gonzalez of the Colorado Rockies (May 2, 2012), Jayson Werth (July 21, 2013), for the Nationals, Jay Bruce (September 8, 2013) of the Cincinnati Reds, Jose Reyes of the New York Mets (June 19, 2017) and Bo Bichette of the Toronto Blue Jays (August 20, 2019).

UP NEXT: Kevin Gausman will start the finale for the Giants, as he looks for his first win of the season, while Walker Buehler will take the ball for the Dodgers.

BaseballReference.Com contributed to this report

San Francisco Giants podcast with Michael Duca: Giants hoping to have a better go of it in LA after struggles in Colorado

The San Francisco Giants Mauricio Dubon shooshes the empty stands at Coors Field in Denver after belting a three run homer in the seventh inning but it wasn’t enough as the Giants lost by two runs to the Colorado Rockies on Thursday 6-4 (AP photo)

On the San Francisco Giants podcast with Michael Duca:

#1 The Giants have lost three out of four the the Rockies before heading to LA on Friday. The way you saw that series in Denver was it a matter of just a lot of good hitting for the Rockies or the Giants bullpen couldn’t get tracked?

#2 It’s a shame that Tyler Anderson couldn’t complete a game we know about the pitch count 66 for Anderson five innings, two hits, two walks, and three strike outs a decent start for Anderson.

#3 Talk about Brandon Belt he helped the Giants from getting swept in Colorado with a big fly to edge the Rockies on Wednesday 4-3. Belt’s been hitting .182 talk about how effective he could be in the line up?

#4 There were times that people just gave up on Pablo Sandoval in the past but he’s still durable on Wednesday he got two hits and right now Sandoval is hitting .206, no homers an RBI.

#5 Michael talk a little about catcher Chad Tromp hitting .318 and Mauricio Dubon hitting .258 with a homer on Thursday and they can help the Giants.

Michael joins Sports Talk every other Saturday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

 

Defensive miscue costs Giants in 7-2 loss to LA

Fresh Prince of Home Run: The Los Angeles Dodgers Will Smith hits one deep that eludes San Francisco Giants left fielder Darrin Ruf’s glove over the Dodgers bullpen in the fourth inning at Dodger Stadium (AP photo)

By Jeremy Kahn

It seems that the San Francisco Giants defense is not getting any better and once again it cost them a game in the long run.

Justin Turner singled to left field immediately following a fielding error by Darrin Ruf in left field that Cody Bellinger to advance to second in the bottom of the third inning, and then scored on the Turner and the Los Angeles Dodgers took a 2-1 lead on their way to a 7-2 victory over the Giants at Dodger Stadium.

The error by Ruf was their major league leading 18th error of the season in 15 games this season.

Mookie Betts continues to get better as the shortened season continues, as he hit a solo home run off of Jeff Samardzija that tied up the game. It was the first home run for Betts at Dodger Stadium.

Donovan Solano gave the Giants a 1-0 lead in the top of the third inning, as he singled in Mike Yastrzemski, who doubled to left-center field with one out in the inning.

The Dodgers broke the game open in the bottom of the fourth inning, as Max Muncy hit a solo home run into the right field pavilion and then three batters later, Will Smith launched a two-run home run into the left field pavilion that gave the Dodgers a 5-1 lead over their longtime rivals.

Samardzija did not make it out of the fifth inning, as the Dodgers loaded the bases with nobody out after Samardzija walked Bellinger and then hit Turner and Enrique Hernandez before being replaced by Sam Selman, who was able to get Muncy; however, the Dodgers added another run, when Chris Taylor grounded into a fielders choice to score Bellinger.

The right-handed throwing Samardzija went four innings, allowing six runs (five earned) on seven hits, walking two and striking out three, as his record fell to 0-2 on the season.

Wilmer Flores homered off of Dennis Santana in the top of the sixth inning for the Giants final run of the evening, and are now 1-4 on their road trip.

Dylan Floro picked up the win for the Dodgers, his first of the season after he replaced starter Julio Urias, who gave up one run in four innings of work.

UP NEXT: Johnny Cueto will take the mound for the Giants on Saturday evening, while Clayton Kershaw takes the mound for the Dodgers.

Giants’ bullpen no match for Colorado’s bats in 6-4 loss on getaway day

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.

 

 

 

Giants edge Rox 4-3

San Francisco Giants’ Brandon Belt rounds the bases after hitting a three run home run against the Colorado Rockies during the fourth inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

By Jeremy Harness

There are not a lot of expectations for the Giants for this traveling fiasco otherwise known as the 2020 baseball season, but at least for one night, the team had a reason to feel good.

For one thing, someone other than Donovan Solano or Mike Yastrzemski got a meaningful hit, which is certainly noteworthy.

After Solano and Yastrzemski reached base in the fourth, Brandon Belt pounced on a hanging slider from Colorado starter Jon Gray and flew it over the right-field wall for a three-run homer that gave the Giants a one-run lead.

Belt wasn’t done with Gray just yet. He added a double into the gap in right-center, and second baseman Wilmer Flores scored him with an insurance RBI single in the sixth, and the bullpen held on to nail down the Giants’ 4-3 win over the Rockies at Coors Field Wednesday night, before a crowd of about 50 cut-outs of former Rockies players directly behind home plate.

For his part, young righty Logan Webb kept his team in the game and was rewarded with his first win of the season, giving up a pair of runs – one of them earned – on four hits. He struck out four hitters on the process and did not walk anyone.

However, the defense remains an adventure. The Giants spotted the Rockies a run in the first inning, when Solano booted a grounder at shortstop to allow leadoff man David Dahl to reach base. Two batters later, Charlie Blackmon singled in Dahl to give Colorado a 1-0 lead.

Dahl knocked in Sam Hilliard two innings later to double that lead.

Homecoming spoiled for Gausman; Four runs over five innings cost Giants 5-2

San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Kevin Gausman (34) throws against the Colorado Rockies during the first inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020, in Denver. Jack Dempsey/AP

By Jeremy Kahn

Coming back home is always a great thing as a major leaguer, and now Kevin Gausman knows how it feels to pitch in the area where you grew up; however, it was not a happy decision.

Gausman went 5.1 innings, allowing four runs on five hits, walking just one and striking out seven and the Colorado Rockies defeated the San Francisco Giants 5-2 at Coors Field.

This was the longest start of the season for Gausman and the second-longest for a Giants starter, after Jeff Samardzija went 5.2 innings in Sundays 9-5 loss to the Texas Rangers at Oracle Park.

It was the third straight loss for the Giants, who committed three more errors on the evening in the thin air of Denver.

The three errors by the Giants bring their total up to 16 and have committed multiple errors in six of the 12 games played this season, including one on Tyler Heineman, who was called for catchers interference.

German Marquez went 7.1 innings, striking out nine and the Rockies improved to 8-2 on the season, tying the 2011 team for the best start thru 10 games in team history.

Nolan Arenado hit his second home run as many nights for the Rockies, while Charlie Blackmon went 2-for-3 on the night.

Instant replay played a big deal in this game, as what was originally ruled a three-run home run for Steven Duggar was later overturned to a two-run double that was the third consecutive hit by the Giants.

By not hitting a home run in the game, it broke a string of 13 straight that the Giants hit a home run at Coors Field that dated back to September 3, 2018.

NOTES: Pablo Sandoval broke out of a 0-for-14 slump, as he hit a single in the top of the second inning.

Drew Smyly, who is currently on the 10-day injured list with a sprained left finger will remain in the Bay Area for his physical therapy.

UP NEXT: Logan Webb will take the mound for the Giants on Wednesday, while Jon Gray will take the mound for the Rockies.

Giants’ rally in the ninth comes up just short in 7-6 loss to the Rockies

By Morris Phillips

The Giants offense has gone from feeble to fantastic in less than a week, led by early MVP candidates Donovan Solano and Mike Yastrzemski. 

Now if only the Giants’ pitching and defense could make the same dramatic leap.

Currently, the Colorado Rockies are serving up the NL West’s best combination of the critical, baseball elements, the latest example their come-from-behind, 7-6 win over the Giants at Coors Field on Monday.

The Giants jumped out to 4-1 lead in the fifth inning behind Johnny Cueto only to see the Rockies explode for five runs in the sixth to seize control. Colorado added a run in the eighth, then held on when the Giants rallied for a pair of runs in the ninth, leaving the tying run stranded at third base.

In the end, the Giants could only blame themselves and their inability to record big outs, along with less than stellar defense.

“It’s really important we tighten up our play, we play catch and make the plays, particularly in one-run games at a Coors Field,” manager Gabe Kapler said.

Nolan Arenado homered with Charlie Blackmon aboard to cut the Giants lead to 4-3 which ended Cueto’s evening two batters into the sixth. Despite the hiccup, Cueto proved again to be the master of the huge park and its mile high elevation. At that point, Cueto had done his part in a potential sixth team win in his seven starts as a Giant at Coors.

Reliever Wandy Peralta allowed Ryan McMahon’s drive to right that Alex Dickerson bobbled and dropped on the warning track for a triple. Matt Kemp’s single tied it, and subsequent base hits by Chris Owings and David Dahl gave the Rockies a two-run cushion.

Dickerson again contributed to the Rockies’ rally with an errant throw that forced catcher Chadwick Tromp to vacate his position as Kemp and Owings crossed the plate on Dahl’s hit. Kapler penciled in Dickerson for only his second start as a right fielder only to see the decision backfire with the miscues.

“Honestly I bet Dick makes that (catch) 19 out of 20 times,” Kapler said. “The throw, I bet he makes almost every time. There’s no question.”

Home runs by Tromp, Yastrzemski and Dickerson were squandered in the loss. The Giants have hit 10 home runs in their last six ballgames, a stretch in which the team has gone 3-3.

Pitcher Andrew Suarez was recalled before the game, and Andrew Triggs, who had a rough outing on Sunday, was optioned. The Giants have not announced a starter for any of the three, remaining games in Denver, the start of a 10-game, three-city, road trip that continues to Los Angeles and Houston.

Longtime KNBR talk host Ralph Barbieri passed away Monday after a long battle with Parkinson’s. The 74-year old Barbieri spent 28 years at KNBR, the last 15 with co-host Tom Tolbert, and was well known for his razor-sharp wit.