Giants rally in 8th but can't hold down Rockies

Two back-to-back pinch-hit homers give San Francisco brief lead

September 3rd, 2018

DENVER -- Seemingly destined for more misfortune at Coors Field, the Giants finally showed some offensive might and the ability to come back there. But in the end, it was more of the same Monday as their stunning eighth-inning rally that enabled them to wipe out a five-run deficit went for naught in a 9-8 loss.

"What a great comeback," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "It's a shame we couldn't hold on, because they fought hard and really came on real strong there at the end. We just couldn't finish the job."

Pinch-hitter bounced a two-run single up the middle and through a drawn-in infield to hand the Giants their sixth loss in seven games at Coors Field this season and 16th in the past 18 there. The Giants scored three runs while getting swept in three games at Coors Field and batting .152 (14-for-92) on their last visit in early July.

Cuevas' hit came against left-hander Tony Watson, who gave up a single to to start the inning and a one-out double off the right-field wall to pinch-hitter Chris Iannetta.

The Giants came roaring back from a five-run deficit and made it 7-5 in the seventh on 's two-run triple with two outs, a prelude, as it turned out, to the theatrics in eighth when Bochy went to his bench with win-the-lottery results.

Pinch-hitter hit a two-run homer to tie the game at 7, and pinch-hitter Chris Shaw followed with his first Major League hit, a 468-foot home run to right-center, according to Statcast™. Both homers came off , who ended up the winning pitcher when the Rockies rallied.

"It was incredible," said Shaw, who struck out five times in his first six at-bats. "That's kind of the thing you dream about, your first knock being a home run, a go-ahead home run late in a ballgame. So that was pretty surreal."

So was the 35-pitch first inning when Giants ace was uncharacteristically victimized by the long ball. He gave up a career-high-tying three home runs, including two-run homers to two of the first four batters he faced. Charlie Blackmon led off the first with a soft single up the middle, and DJ LeMahieu followed with a homer. then pulled a double into the left-field corner, ahead of 's two-run homer.

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It was the first time Bumgarner had allowed four runs in the first since July 28, 2014, against Pittsburgh, and the first time he had allowed four runs in the first inning on the road since July 30, 2011, at Cincinnati.

"I didn't feel like my command was very good at all," said Bumgarner, who yielded seven runs (six earned), both season highs in five innings. "Didn't feel like the stuff was super good, either. The curveball felt pretty good but everything else besides that -- I'd like for it to be better, especially here. You make it hard on yourself when you get out there like that."

Bumgarner might have fared better save for second baseman 's error on a potential inning-ending double-play grounder by Arenado that Tomlinson muffed in the fifth with the score, 4-2. Story followed with a three-run homer that boosted the Rockies' lead to 7-2.

"Got a bad break there in the sixth," Bochy said of Bumgarner. "He's out of that, he goes back out there in the sixth. It's a pretty good game after giving up four early."

The Giants have played 77 games decided by two or fewer runs and are 38-39 in those contests.

SOUND SMART

Bumgarner gave up three homers for the seventh time and first since Sept. 3, 2017, against the Cardinals. In his previous 16 starts this season, Bumgarner had allowed nine home runs in 100 2/3 innings and had yielded two homers in a game once. That was on June 16 at the Dodgers in Bumgarner's third start this season, when Matt Kemp hit a solo homer in the second and hit a two-run shot in the fifth.

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS

Shaw's 468-foot pinch-hit home run was the Giants' second longest homer ever recorded by Statcast™. The only one longer was 's 475-foot home run on May 22, 2015, also at Coors Field.

"That's what he's got -- power," Bochy said of Shaw. "He's going to swing and miss, but he's going to run into balls. That's kind of his game, and it's something that's needed here. He needs reps, and he'll get the discipline. But as you saw, when he runs into it, it doesn't matter what park he's at, it's going to go."

HE SAID IT

"Strikeouts don't sit well with me. I don't like just giving an out away if I can avoid it. But it is part of my game, whether I like it or not. I'm trying to drive the ball in the air. So to do that, you got to essentially swing a little harder and be a little more aggressive. I don't like it, but it is what it is. I think I'll get better at it, too, honestly." -- Shaw, on the strikeouts that come with being a power hitter and belting home runs

UP NEXT

, who made his Major League debut at Coors Field this season on May 29, will make his first start there Tuesday. First pitch is at 5:40 p.m. PT. The Giants are 9-5 in his starts and 4-1 on the road. Rodriguez is 2-1 with a 2.03 ERA in his past seven starts, allowing two homers in 44 1/3 innings in that span and limiting opposing hitters to a .158 batting average and .515 OPS. will start for the Rockies.