DENVER -- Their final game of the season Wednesday at Coors Field was a fitting end for the Giants. It was another loss, which was hardly unexpected given their troubles here. But they didn't so much lose 5-3 to the Rockies as fall to Trevor Story.
He hit three solo home runs off starter Andrew Suarez. Two were titanic and one was historic. Story had a chance to tie the Major League record of four home runs in a game when he led off the eighth against Ray Black, who fired five straight fastballs to Story. He wasn't cheated as he got ahead 2-0 and then took three ferocious swings and struck out on five pitches, missing a 99.3 mph fastball, fouling off one clocked at 100.5 mph and missing strike three, a 100.1 mph heater up and in.
"I knew the situation," Black said. "I knew who I was facing coming into the game. Played it out in my head, get ahead with the fastball. Start maybe going with sliders. I bailed on that quick, fell behind. My goal once I got to 2-0 was not to walk him. I was going to try to throw him some strikes. If he tags me, he tags me. It's hard to hit four home runs in one game. Got to tip your hat to the guy. Glad I didn't miss middle-middle."
The Giants lost seven of eight games at Coors Field this season, leaving them with just two wins in their past 20 games there. They have lost five straight games overall, one shy of their season-high six-game skid from May 7-12.
In his impressive rookie season, Suarez had allowed two home runs in a game five times. Three of those games came in succession, the last on Aug. 9. Since then, Suarez had given up one homer in 22 2/3 innings in his past four starts and had strung together 14 scoreless innings in his past two outings. Outside of Story, Suarez gave up three hits to the other Rockies hitters.
"The kid threw well," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "Unfortunately for one hitter, that's the difference in the game. Really, he had good stuff, and Story had quite a night."
Suarez, who pitched into the seventh, gave up a triple to DJ LeMahieu and a sacrifice fly to Nolan Arenado in the first before Story belted a 2-2 slider an estimated 459 feet to left.
In the fourth, Story walloped a 1-1 fastball for his second homer, clearing the left-field concourse and tying the game at 3 with a 505-foot shot, the longest home run since Statcast™ began tracking in 2015 and the longest in the history of the Rockies, who began play in 1993 and opened Coors Field in 1995.
Story drove a first-pitch changeup to left for his third successive homer in the sixth, giving the Rockies a 4-3 lead and giving Story 31 home runs, tying him with Arenado for the Rockies' team lead.
"I thought those were two good pitches," Suarez said of Story's first two home runs. "But that's his spot down and in, and he showed what he could do with it. I thought I made some good pitches; he was on today."
As for his third confrontation with Story, Suarez said, "I just tried to switch it up and went first-pitch changeup. It just stayed up."
Suarez gave up a double and a walk in the seventh before giving way to Mark Melancon and was charged with a fifth run when Melancon yielded a two-out single to LeMahieu.
The Giants tied the game at 2 on Austin Slater's two-out single in the third and went ahead 3-2 when Aramis Garcia hit his second career homer in the fourth. The Giants held the lead in each of their three losses in this series.
"You look at the series, I know it's been a rough time here in Colorado," Bochy said. "But they fought hard, came back a couple times, just couldn't hold the lead."
The Giants hit four singles in the first, but came away with just one run. Alen Hanson, who had one of the four singles, scored on Evan Longoria's double-play grounder. After the double play, Brandon Belt and Slater singled, but Chris Shaw flied to short right.
The Giants had runners on first and second with no outs in the fifth, but couldn't score against Antonio Senzatela. He struck out Slater and Shaw and got Gorkys Hernandez to fly out on his 91st and final pitch. Senzatela and four relievers combined to retire the final 15 Giants batters in order. The Giants finished with nine hits, but Slater's run-scoring single in the third was their only one in nine at-bats with runners in scoring position.
"We had our chances to add on and have a big inning, but it didn't happen," Bochy said. "Three runs here, it could be tough to win a ballgame."
At some point, that will happen for the Giants at Coors Field. The good news for the Giants is they do not have to return to Denver until May 7, 2019.
"We got our hits," Bochy said. "We just didn't do enough damage. That was the difference in the game. Early there, we put up a run, couldn't put up a crooked number."
Hernandez hit no homers in 348 plate appearances last year but has hit 15 homers this season. The last Major League player to hit 15 or more home runs after hitting none with 300 or more plate appearances was Phil Bradley with the Mariners in 1985, who hit 26 homers that season after hitting none in 373 plate appearances in 1984.
HE SAID IT
"I know the crowd was into that. That was good old hardball there." -- Bochy, on Black falling behind to Story 2-0 and then striking him out on three straight fastballs
The Giants are off Thursday and open a three-game series Friday at Milwaukee with left-hander Derek Holland (7-8, 3.56 ERA) scheduled to start the 5:10 p.m. PT game. He has pitched very well lately, giving up one run in six innings in a no-decision Saturday in his last start against the Mets as the Giants lost 2-1 in 11 innings. In his past eight starts, five of which the Giants have won, Holland is 2-0 with a 2.42 ERA while limiting opposing hitters to a .224 average and a .659 OPS and allowing just three home runs in 44 2/3 innings in that stretch. The Brewers will counter with Chase Anderson (9-7, 3.96).