SAN FRANCISCO -- It may take several weeks or more before the Giants reach their offensive potential, but they will realize it by maintaining consistency at the plate.Meanwhile, the fans were treated to an offensive bonanza, with the Giants looking nothing short of dominant by amassing 17 hits in a
SAN FRANCISCO -- It may take several weeks or more before the Giants reach their offensive potential, but they will realize it by maintaining consistency at the plate.
Meanwhile, the fans were treated to an offensive bonanza, with the Giants looking nothing short of dominant by amassing 17 hits in a 9-4 triumph over the Colorado Rockies at AT&T Park.
Brandon Crawford continued his remarkable May surge, lacking a triple for the cycle, as he went 3-for-5 with four RBIs. Crawford's hitting .449 (31-for-69) in May, hoisting his batting average from .189 to .302.
Brandon Belt, the Giants' resident slugger, went without a homer, but drove in a team-high 26th run with an RBI single in the fourth and was one of six Giants to collect at least two hits.
San Francisco performed most of its handiwork at the expense of Rockies starter Jon Gray, who yielded one run in 20 innings during a recent three-start stretch.
All of this bolstered the Giants' hopes of repeating such competence on a regular basis.
"I've felt this, I've said it -- this offense is going to be better this year," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "I still don't think we've hit our stride."
The Giants never found their stride last year, when they ranked last in the Major Leagues in homers (128) and slugging (.380) and next-to-last in runs (639) and on-base percentage (.309).
Belt believes that this year's offense will continue to avoid such lethargy.
"I think overall, on a day-to-day basis, you're going to see a pretty good showing out of us," he said. Moreover, Belt regards himself as a source of positive change.
"I think this is what I felt like I could always do," said Belt, who also leads the club in batting average (.308) and home runs (10). "When I come to the field every day, I feel like I have a good chance of getting a hit and helping us win a ballgame. That hasn't always been the case. I have a lot of confidence right now, and a small, mediocre stretch isn't going to take that away from me."
Crawford, the Silver Slugger Award winner in 2015 as the National League's top offensive shortstop, has relied largely on mechanical adjustments to help him at the plate. Teammates Gregor Blanco and Pablo Sandoval recommended that he should hold his hands higher, which would enable him to generate a more powerful "load".
Crawford loaded up on a 95.3-mph fastball from Gray in the bottom of the third inning. The shortstop came up with the bases loaded following a walk from Belt and waited for something to hit, laying off a slider on the first pitch. He drilled the second offering to left field, bringing home Andrew McCutchen and Buster Posey, and giving the Giants an early 3-2 lead.
Belt called Crawford "unbelievable," but not surprising.
"He's just doing what everybody knows he can do," Belt said.
Giants starter Chris Stratton (5-3), who lasted five innings and allowed all of Colorado's runs, lamented his erratic curveball. But even he joined San Francisco's offensive parade, recording his first big league RBI with a fielder's-choice grounder in the second inning.
MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
Trevor Story's single to right with two on and two out in the fifth drove in Charlie Blackmon from third. Gerardo Parra tried to go first to third, but McCutchen delivered an accurate throw to Evan Longoria from right field. Parra, who tried a swim move to avoid the tag, was originally ruled safe. Replay review would overturn the call, however.
Stratton is 3-2 in his last five starts despite recording an 8.59 ERA in that span. In his first five starts, he was 2-1 with a 2.32 ERA.
HE SAID IT
"This guy has become a force. He's primed to have a really, really nice year." -- Bochy, on Belt
Giants left-hander Ty Blach will square off against the team he rooted for as a youth in suburban Denver when San Francisco entertains Colorado in Sunday's 1:05 p.m. PT series finale. Opponents are batting .341 off Blach with runners in scoring position, third-highest among NL pitchers. Tyler Anderson will get the ball for the Rockies.
Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.