Suarez twirls gem, but Giants blanked by Rox

July 4th, 2018

DENVER -- The Giants will return to Coors Field on Labor Day to begin a three-game series. By then, they hope they'll have solved their offense's split personality.

The team that plays in a pitchers' park, yet generates noticeably more offense at home than on the road, ended its two-city, six-game road trip in fitting fashion Wednesday. San Francisco collected three hits and lost to Colorado, 1-0, concluding a three-game series sweep for the Rockies at Coors Field -- where many Major League hitters tend to get healthy.

Not the Giants. After scoring 18 runs and batting .306 in a three-game series sweep at Arizona, they came to Colorado and mustered three runs while hitting .152 (14-for-92). San Francisco's three-run total was its lowest for a series at Coors Field, and its worst output in a three-game series since they scored two runs at Arizona from June 12-14, 2015.

"There's some sort of adjustment when we come back here that we have to make. I'm not sure what it is yet," Giants catcher said after a brisk game that went 2 hours, 15 minutes. "We're better than that."

Fortunately for the Giants, they begin a 10-game homestand on Monday that will lead them into the All-Star break. They're averaging 4.8 runs per game at AT&T Park, compared to 3.5 per game elsewhere.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy couldn't fathom why his club thrived in Arizona yet slumped at Colorado. 

"We played so well in Arizona," Bochy said. "We swung the bats well. Coming in here, you're feeling pretty good about where we were offensively."

The Giants felt bad about squandering another promising performance by rookie left-hander , whose only blemish was yielding Chris Iannetta's one-out homer in the seventh inning.

Iannetta connected with Suarez's 3-2 pitch and drove it onto the left-field concourse a Statcast-projected 453 feet, right inside the foul pole. After a replay review, the call stood. And that made a winner of Colorado starter (6-3), who allowed two hits in eight innings.

Posey had one of the best views of Iannetta's homer's path.

"It's hard to tell," Posey said. "It's so close, I could see it going either way."

The same could be said of Suarez's immediate future. With a 2.10 ERA over his last five starts, he typically would be entrenching himself in the starting rotation. But with and Jeff Samardzija returning from injuries this week, the Giants must ponder how to accommodate their arms.

"I'm not focused on any of that," Suarez said. "I just do my work and whatever happens, happens."

Posey has caught every important Giants pitcher since the club's rise to World Series-winning prominence in 2010 -- , Ryan Vogelsong, The "Core Four" of relievers. Posey agreed with the suggestion that Suarez might possess enough skill to join that group.

"I think he's really starting to gain a lot of confidence, moving the ball around with four pitches now," Posey said, referring to Suarez's slider, fastball, curveball and changeup. "To go through the lineup here against guys who have had a lot of [at-bats] in this ballpark as efficiently as he did was about as good as it gets."

SOUND SMART

How good was Suarez? He retired Rockies slugger three times, each with a different method. He struck out Arenado with a 78-mph curveball in the first, then got him to pop up on a 93-mph fastball in the third. Arenado struck out again in the sixth, this time on a slider.

UP NEXT

Having avoided Tommy John surgery, Giants right-hander will come off the disabled list to make his sixth start of the season in a 7:15 p.m. PT contest against the Cardinals on Thursday to open a 10-game homestand. San Francisco is 4-1 in games started by Cueto, who hasn't pitched since April 28. will start for the Cardinals.