Pence powers Giants past Rockies
AT&T PARK — If I were on the Colorado Rockies, even a five-game winning streak couldn’t have kept me from shaking in my cleats the second Johnny Cash’s “God’s Gonna Cut You Down” started blaring over the loud speakers as Madison Bumgarner stalked out to the mound.
The 23-year-old lefty wasn’t as dominant as his previous outing but Bumgarner would get his sixth consecutive win against Colorado.
The Giants got a three-run blast from Hunter Pence in the first inning and hung on to beat the Rockies, 4-2.
Manager Bruce Bochy talked about Bumgarner’s overall performance, 5-2/3 innings, giving up two runs on five hits with five walks and five strikeouts:
Giants Manager Bruce Bochy
“Madison gave us what we needed, great effort by him. … It’s hard to be as sharp as he was his first game. That’s something you probably haven’t seen very often, that’s how good he was. I thought he competed well. … He did walk some guys, but he kept his poise out there and made pitches.”
The home team certainly should have felt confident heading into Monday night’s game, given their recent success over the Rockies.
In three seasons, the Giants have gone 14-4 against Colorado at AT&T Park. Not to mention that Bumgarner had a 5-3 record with a 2.39 ERA in 11 career starts against Colorado, going 5-0 with a 1.91 ERA in his last six outings.
But following a nasty 14-3 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on a weekend overshadowed by World Series festivities, Bochy explained Monday night’s game was also about “getting back to work:”
“It was more of a normal day, a bit more routine for them. … Again, it was a big weekend, but that’s behind us now. We gotta really focus here, we’re playing a team that’s been playing very well. … It was good to have things back to normal.”
San Francisco wasted no time in the bottom of the first when back-to-back singles from Marco Scutaro and Pablo Sandoval put men in scoring position.
Continuing his hot streak, Pence would blast a towering shot more than halfway up the left field bleachers, giving the Orange & Black the early 3-0 lead. Pence currently leads the Giants with three home runs in the early season.
Colorado’s Carlos Gonzalez would put the Rockies on the board in the third inning with a solo homer to right field that would that would bounce off the promenade before taking a dip into McCovey Cove.
It would be Gonzalez’s third career homer off Bumgarner and would put the Rockies on the board trailing 3-1. (Bumgarner would get his revenge in the fifth however, as Gonzalez would strike out, swinging for the fences.)
Bumgarner would be taken out following an RBI single from Rockies third baseman Chris Nelson that cut the Giants’ lead to 3-2. Santiago Casilla and Jeremy Affeldt combined for three strikeouts over the next three innings.
It would be the “Angel Pagan Show” in the eighth inning. After a one-out single, pitcher Chris Volstad would be on his toes trying to pickoff Pagan at first base.
But No.16 would get the jump on catcher Yorvit Torrealba and get a World Series-replicated stolen base with Pablo Sandoval at bat. The extra base would prove important after a double from catcher Buster Posey would bring Pagan home to give the Giants a 4-2 lead.
When asked for his take on Posey’s hit — after a 5-for-24 start at the plate — Bochy contributed it the reigning NL MVP’s “resiliency:”
“That says a lot about Buster, you can’t dwell on what’s happened. You just gotta keep grinding out there. And you know, it wasn’t a good night for him until that base hit. But it’s all about being resilient.”
Sergio Romo closed out the game with a 16-pitch ninth inning, striking out the side for his fourth save.
The Giants will host the Rockies again Tuesday. Tim Lincecum will take the mound for San Francisco, backed by a career 11-7 record and 3.55 ERA vs. Colorado. First pitch is at 7:15 p.m. Due to the Warriors telecast vs. the Timberwolves, the Giants game will be televised on CSN+ (780 on Comcast HD)
The Giants have grounded into ten double plays in seven games. … The Giants were 2-for-6 with runners in scoring position Tuesday night. For the season, they are batting only .194 (7-for-36) with runners in scoring position.