Giants break out bats, put brakes on skid
DENVER -- Nolan Arenado homered for a sixth straight game, but Giants pitchers didn't surrender much else in San Francisco's 7-3 win on Saturday night at Coors Field.
With the win, the Giants stayed eight games behind the Cubs in the National League Wild Card race and 7 1/2 games behind the Dodgers in the NL West race. Chicago beat Arizona, 2-0, and Los Angeles upended San Diego, 2-0.
With San Francisco leading, 5-1, in the sixth, Arenado crushed a two-run homer to right off Giants starter Jake Peavy (5-6), who yielded four hits and three runs over 5 2/3 innings. San Francisco, meanwhile, maintained its lead throughout, receiving solo homers from Angel Pagan in the third and Gregor Blanco in the seventh, as well as a key two-run double from Matt Duffy in the fifth. Peavy chimed in on the offensive end as well, recording two doubles.
"You certainly know the situation your team's in and want to go out there and get a solid effort," Peavy said. "This ballpark's always crazy. You can never be sure of anything here. Fortunately, we were making a lot of quality pitches for the most part and getting some outs.
"[At the plate] I just got some pitches, and I was able to help the cause there. Just got some good hitters' counts and saw the ball better than I normally see it and was able to put some good swings on it."
Most of the Giants' damage came off Rockies starter Chad Bettis (7-10), who surrendered eight hits and four runs in just 4 1/3 innings.
"The only pitch I really wanted back was the cutter to Duffy," Bettis said. "I felt like I had pretty decent command of my fastballs all game, just the offspeed was kind of lacking. Changeup was harder than normal."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Welcome home: Nick Noonan doubled to right in his first at-bat of the season for the Giants, plating Hector Sanchez, who doubled with two outs to start the run-scoring rally. Noonan was drafted by the Giants in 2007 and made his big league debut with them in 2013. After spending all of 2014 and 2015 in the Minors, he was signed to a Minor League contract in August after the Yankees released him and called up on Tuesday.
"That was huge," Noonan said of giving the Giants their first lead in five games. "I was ready to go. I thought to myself, 'Be aggressive. Whatever happens, happens. Be ready to hit.' I just got a good pitch, kind of up in the zone, a little in, and I was just being aggressive. I got a swing off, and it fell in there. To go ahead, 1-0, early in the game, it's huge."
Welcome homer: Pagan led off the third inning with a homer off Bettis into the right-field seats. It was his first home run since May 2, 2014, in Atlanta, and it ended a drought of 698 at-bats without a homer -- the most of any active National League player.
"I've been having some issues with my body during the year," Pagan said. "It doesn't mean I can't hit a home run. I've been battling some stuff that prevented me from getting to that. ... If I finished the year with zero home runs, it wouldn't make a difference. I wouldn't feel bad." More >
Bettis not at his best: Since returning from a bout of inflammation in his right elbow, Bettis hasn't exactly been sharp. Over his last three starts, he has a 5.28 ERA and has surrendered 19 hits and eight runs over 10 1/3 innings. This outing was his second shortest of the season; he's thrown 80-plus pitches without going past the sixth in all three starts since being activated.
Bettis was also battling a severe sore throat and took a comebacker off his left knee, but he said neither of those things affected his pitching.
"I didn't do my job today," Bettis said. "It's pretty frustrating, because we had an opportunity to take a series in the third game here. It should have been better."
"Just like riding a bike. Except maybe backwards. ... The only time I can think of is maybe in Little League. I had a sprained thumb, and I think I played first. That was when I was 12 years old." -- Noonan, who played in his first big league game since 2013 and manned first base for the first time in his professional career
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Peavy recorded the 12th multihit game of his career and first since April 19, 2007. He's the first Giants pitcher to have two doubles in a game since Russ Ortiz on Sept. 13, 2002, against San Diego.
The Giants lost a challenge on a double play in the first inning, when Carlos Gonzalez made a diving catch and fired back to second to barely double up Pagan. After video evidence was reviewed, Gonzalez's catch stood, and the out at second was confirmed.
"I knew he was out at second -- I wasn't challenging both, but they wnet ahead and looked at it," Giants manager Bochy said. "I know they couldn't see the ball probably hit the ground, but the glove was open. I don't know how that ball is not on the ground, but you need some evidence there, and with the ball being hidden by the glove, the way he had it turned, they wouldn't overturn it. But there's no way the ball wasn't smashing against the ground."
Giants: Madison Bumgarner will seek his 17th win and try to build momentum for the Giants as they close their Coors Field series on Sunday at 1:10 p.m. PT. Bumgarner has had his share of success against the Rockies, posting a 10-6 record with a 3.09 ERA, but he doesn't fare as well in Colorado, where he is 4-5 with a 4.05 ERA in 11 starts. He faced the Rockies once this season, pitching 7 2/3 innings and allowing two runs on five hits for the win.
Rockies: In the series finale, the Rockies will give the ball to left-hander Yohan Flande, who gave up five hits and two runs over five innings in his last outing, against Arizona on Tuesday. In five day-game appearances this season (three starts), Flande is 1-0 with a 5.60 ERA. Sunday's first pitch is slated for 2:10 p.m. MT.
Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.