SAN FRANCISCO -- Having seemingly lapsed into another of their periodic offensive slumbers, the Giants went down quietly Friday night against the Colorado Rockies, 6-1, at AT&T Park.The Giants again fell short of the four-run offensive threshold that traditionally has defined the difference between victory and defeat for them. They're
SAN FRANCISCO -- Having seemingly lapsed into another of their periodic offensive slumbers, the Giants went down quietly Friday night against the Colorado Rockies, 6-1, at AT&T Park.
The Giants again fell short of the four-run offensive threshold that traditionally has defined the difference between victory and defeat for them. They're 20-4 when they score at least four runs. Not surprisingly, they're 2-20 when they tally three or fewer runs.
San Francisco kept the score close until the ninth inning, when Charlie Blackmon yanked a two-run homer off reliever Jose Valdez.
Gorkys Hernandez opened the game in promising fashion for the Giants by lashing his second career leadoff homer.
"You're feeling pretty good about how it's going to go, and their guy [starter Kyle Freeland] settled down and kept us off balance," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.
In fact, San Francisco mustered four hits afterward against Freeland and two relievers.
San Francisco looked out of synch offensively in its third consecutive defeat.
"We have some guys who aren't quite locked in right now," Bochy said.
That group would include Andrew McCutchen, who's 0-for-9 with six strikeouts in his last two games; Gregor Blanco, who has struck out 23 times in his last 16 games; Buster Posey, who has accumulated 101 at-bats without homering; and Kelby Tomlinson, who's 2-for-his-last-14 against left-handed pitching.
The Giants' fluctuating productivity with runners in scoring position wasn't an issue, mainly because they rarely generated such opportunities. They had only four at-bats in that situation.
Giants starter Derek Holland silenced the Rockies until Ian Desmond, who entered the game batting .167, bashed a three-run homer. Desmond drove in another run in the sixth with a ground-rule double.
Desmond happens to own a lifetime .344 batting average at AT&T Park, trailing only teammate DJ LeMahieu among active players with at least 85 at-bats.
"I made a mistake," said Holland, who dangled a fastball over the plate on Desmond's homer. "You can't do those kinds of things on this level and Desmond capitalized on two of them." Holland also criticized himself for the leadoff walk he issued to Nolan Arenado that helped set up Desmond's long ball.
An encouraging development for the Giants was Reyes Moronta's two-inning appearance. Despite a four-game layoff, the rookie right-hander looked sharp while yielding one hit, walking one and striking out two.
There was also Holland's third-inning single, a memorable achievement for a pitcher who bears the unusual trait of switch-hitting.
"That's cool," Holland said wistfully, "but it's more important that we lost the game."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Hopes dashed: Trailing, 4-1, the Giants mounted the semblance of a rally in the seventh inning when they had two runners aboard with two out. With right-hander Bryan Shaw entering the game for Colorado, Bochy wanted a pinch-hitter for right-handed-swinging Austin Jackson and summoned Brandon Belt, who didn't start at first base due to a sore knee. The presence of Belt, who had homered in each of his four previous games, excited the AT&T Park crowd. The fans' enthusiasm subsided when Belt took a called third strike.
HE SAID IT
"Guys aren't swinging like they normally do." -- Bochy, on the Giants' offense in general
The Giants have quickly gained confidence in Chris Stratton, who's scheduled to start Saturday's 1:05 p.m. PT rematch against Colorado. San Francisco has emerged victorious in six of his nine starts this season. However, Stratton has been vulnerable lately, recording a 9.53 ERA and a .351 opponents' batting average in his previous four outings. The Rockies counter with Jon Gray.
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.