SAN FRANCISCO — The Giants were in need of a slump buster, and through the first two games of this series, the Colorado Rockies have provided just that. So, no different than last year.
Sure, the Giants took the final two games of their previous series with the Cardinals, but they are officially on a roll after two blowout wins in their first two games with the Rockies this season. The 9-2 win Tuesday night extended their unbeaten streak against Colorado to nine games, including the final seven of last season.
After Darin Ruf and Mauricio Dubón continued to thaw their cold bats with big games in Monday’s win, it was slumping catcher Curt Casali who broke out Tuesday night. And he was surrounded by plenty of support, with five different Giants driving in runs and crooked numbers hung in three frames. Starter Alex Wood didn’t allow an earned run over 5⅓ innings.
Casali, who entered the game hitting .189/.250/.243, drove in two runs (tripling his season RBI total, to three) with singles in his first two at-bats and a bases-loaded walk as part of a three -run fifth inning. A second run scored on his second-inning single when Rockies right fielder Charlie Blackmon bobbled Casali’s ball, prompting third-base coach Mark Hallberg to wave home Brandon Crawford, too. His 3-for-3 night his raised his batting average to .250.
LaMonte Wade Jr. matched Casali with two RBIs, driving in the Giants’ fourth run with a fielder’s choice in the fourth inning and their eighth with a sacrifice fly in the fifth.
Between the misplays and free passes, the Rockies put on a clinic of bad baseball. Hopefully there were no impressionable children watching.
Blackmon’s was the only official error — after two the night before — but it was one of many miscues. Colorado has induced the most double plays of any team in the majors this season, but it botched two would-be double plays on ground balls from LaMonte Wade Jr. and Thairo Estrada, who both came around to score after reaching on plays that went down in scorebook as fielder’s choices.
Just before Casali’s second-inning single and Blackmon’s bobble, shortstop Jose Iglesias couldn’t handle a chopper from Luis Gonzalez that should have been the second out of the inning but instead brought home Joc Pederson from third for the Giants’ first run. And don’t forget the five free passes, including one to pinch-hitter Austin Slater that loaded the bases in the fifth before issuing another four balls to Casali the next batter to force in a run.
The Rockies’ only run until the ninth came on a defensive miscue of the Giants’ making, as Wood’s evening was defined by soft contact.
In the first, the Rockies managed two hits, but neither made it out of the infield.
Wood held them hitless for the next two frames, until Ryan McMahon lofted a broken-bat hit into shallow left field. He came around to score Colorado’s only run off Wood when the next batter, Yonathan Daza, poked a ball into left field and Luis Gonzalez let it roll under his glove. Neither ball was hit harder than 86 mph.
Wood pitched into the sixth inning for his second straight start, but it required 104 pitches, and he didn’t make it out of the sixth.
The only other hits Wood allowed were a pair of singles in the fifth, which he erased with a double play, and a single by CJ Cron to start Wood’s final frame. Wood wouldn’t make it out of sixth, but reliever Zack Littell ensured the Giants would escape unscathed with two strikeouts to end the inning.