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Giants endure painful loss at Coors Field

MLB.com @sfgiantsbeat

DENVER -- As if losing ballgames at Coors Field hadn't inflicted enough misery upon the Giants, they also began losing players Tuesday night.

Injuries forced right-handers Jeff Samardzija (tight throwing shoulder) and Dereck Rodriguez (right leg) from the mound before five innings were complete. The Giants received back-to-back home runs from Buster Posey and Evan Longoria in the sixth inning to bolster their hopes briefly, but they rallied no further as the Rockies captured an 11-4 decision.

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DENVER -- As if losing ballgames at Coors Field hadn't inflicted enough misery upon the Giants, they also began losing players Tuesday night.

Injuries forced right-handers Jeff Samardzija (tight throwing shoulder) and Dereck Rodriguez (right leg) from the mound before five innings were complete. The Giants received back-to-back home runs from Buster Posey and Evan Longoria in the sixth inning to bolster their hopes briefly, but they rallied no further as the Rockies captured an 11-4 decision.

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The Giants, who have lost 12 of their last 13 games at Coors Field, found scattered sources of solace.

Longoria homered twice, recording his 18th career multiple-homer game and his first since July 17, 2016, at Baltimore while playing for Tampa Bay.

Video: SF@COL: Longoria belts two HRs at 430+ feet

"It was good to see us let the bat go a few times," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.

Rodriguez, the son of Hall of Fame catcher Ivan Rodriguez, demonstrated promise while pitching 3 1/3 innings in his Major League debut.

But Rodriguez's departure, necessitated when a fifth-inning line drive struck his right leg, seemed to deflate the Giants, who already lost Samardzija after the first inning.

"He was going to keep going," said Bochy, who was among those wanting to see more of Rodriguez.

Video: Must C Combo: Pudge's son, Dereck, makes MLB debut

The double misfortune accented the Giants' lingering woes on the road, where they are 11-20 after finishing 26-55 away from home last year.

Home and away, sloppy defense has been the Giants' near-constant companion. San Francisco, which entered the game with a National League-high 41 errors, committed four more that were responsible for three unearned runs.

According to Statcast™, the Giants are still subpar on defense. They entered Tuesday tied for second-worst in the Majors at minus-9 outs above average and in ultimate zone rating at minus-10.7.

Video: SF@COL: Freeland scores from 2nd base on an error

Yet the Giants have established themselves as solid up the middle, which historically has been one of the most integral elements of solid defense.

Catcher Posey, shortstop Brandon Crawford and currently sidelined second baseman Joe Panik have won Gold Glove Awards for fielding excellence. Center fielders Gorkys Hernandez and Gregor Blanco are considered above-average defensively.

It was suggested that the absences of Madison Bumgarner and Johnny Cueto place subtle yet real pressure on the remaining Giants. According to this theory, lacking the team's top two pitchers causes excessive effort that leads to mistakes.

Bochy acknowledged this could be true, though he reiterated this year's staff has been vulnerable to a different problem.

"The walks have been an issue, too," Bochy said. "Some of this has been self-induced."

SOUND SMART
Posey's sixth-inning homer ended a streak of 32 consecutive games without a long ball. He missed Sunday's and Monday's games with a sore right hip. He's a .377 lifetime hitter at Coors Field with 13 homers and 46 RBIs.

Video: SF@COL: Posey launches a solo home run to left field

HE SAID IT
"We have made a few more errors than I thought we would at this point. We have to tighten things up." -- Bochy, on his team's NL-leading error total of 45

UP NEXT
The Giants hope that Derek Holland, who's scheduled to pitch Wednesday's finale of this series and their eight-game trip, has a short memory. In his only previous appearance at Coors Field, Holland allowed seven runs (six earned) in four innings last July 7 as the White Sox fell to the Rockies, 12-4. San Francisco owns a 3-7 record in Holland's 10 starts. He'll oppose Jon Gray, who surrendered five runs and nine hits in 3 2/3 innings in a May 19 encounter at AT&T Park.

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.

San Francisco Giants, Evan Longoria, Buster Posey, Dereck Rodriguez, Jeff Samardzija