SAN FRANCISCO -- The circling seagulls at AT&T Park squawked a message to Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez: It was time to finally deliver a big hit.Gonzalez's two-run, two-out single in the 12th inning gave the Rockies their first runs since the third, and more importantly delivered a 5-3 victory over
SAN FRANCISCO -- The circling seagulls at AT&T Park squawked a message to Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez: It was time to finally deliver a big hit.
Gonzalez's two-run, two-out single in the 12th inning gave the Rockies their first runs since the third, and more importantly delivered a 5-3 victory over the Giants at AT&T Park.
Well, maybe it was more important to the seagulls, whose late meal was delayed by the four-hour contest. "It's time for them to take over the stadium ... It's part of the show, right?" said Gonzalez, who reached 700 RBIs with the Rockies -- the fifth player in franchise history to reach that plateau.
Thanks mainly to stingy pitching -- especially a bullpen that gave up two hits and fanned eight in six innings -- the result wasn't for the birds as far as the Rockies were concerned. Even though they won for just the third time in the last eight games and have struggled mightily offensively at times (including Thursday), the Rockies are 1 1/2 games behind the D-backs in a National League West in which all the teams seem in various levels of struggling at this early stage.
"Anytime you open a four-game series against the division, you want to start off on the right foot," said Jake McGee (1-2), who went two innings -- his longest outing since joining the Rockies in 2016 after a trade with the Rays -- and escaped the 11th after Brandon Belt's two-out double.
Before McGee, Bryan Shaw struck out all three hitters in the seventh, and Adam Ottavino fanned three in two innings. Wade Davis followed McGee by earning his 16th save in 18 opportunities, even though it required shaking off two walks in the 12th.
"That was yeoman's work, for sure," Rockies manager Bud Black said.
The Rockies scored three second-inning runs, then managed just two hits the rest of the nine innings and didn't score with two on base in the 10th. But after Giants reliever Cory Gearrin walked the bases loaded, Gonzalez -- who at that point was 0-for-4 with a strikeout and a walk -- delivered the eventual game-winner.
It has been rough for the Rockies' offense.
In the last four games alone, Brewers debuting righty Freddy Peralta held them without a hit for 5 1/3 innings on Sunday at Coors Field, ex-teammate Jordan Lyles chased a perfect game and the Rockies managed just one hit at San Diego on Tuesday, and on Thursday, they went scoreless after managing three second-inning runs.
Yet, because Chris Iannetta, Charlie Blackmon and Nolan Arenado drew 12th-inning walks from Pierce Johnson (2-2) and Gearrin walked Arenado before giving up Gonzalez's big hit, the Rockies have actually gone 2-2 in their last four.
"We've gotta get wins -- it doesn't matter if it's pitching, if it's hitting, whatever it is," Gonzalez said.
Chad Bettis struck out five in six innings, but his effort turned into a three-run no-decision when Belt's fly to deep right became a two-run homer that tied the game at 3 after a replay review. Bettis also notched his first RBI of the season in the second inning after Daniel Castro's two-run double.
It was a special performance for Bettis, who on Wednesday celebrated the one-year mark since his final treatment for testicular cancer, which caused many scary moments and kept him off the Major League mound last year until August.
"You've got to tip your cap to him there, but at the same time you're one pitch away from a really great outing," Bettis said.
Left-hander Kyle Freeland has a 1.65 ERA and has limited opponents to a .175 batting average over his last four starts. Freeland will face off with Giants lefty Derek Holland on Friday night at AT&T Park, with first pitch set for 8:15 p.m. MT.
Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter and like his Facebook page.