DENVER -- Though the Giants officially lost Monday, 6-5, when Colorado's Chris Iannetta rolled a 10th-inning, bases-loaded single up the middle at Coors Field, their lapses on offense in the top of the 10th were a significant factor in precipitating their latest setback.The Giants squandered a promising scoring opportunity in
DENVER -- Though the Giants officially lost Monday, 6-5, when Colorado's Chris Iannetta rolled a 10th-inning, bases-loaded single up the middle at Coors Field, their lapses on offense in the top of the 10th were a significant factor in precipitating their latest setback.
The Giants squandered a promising scoring opportunity in their half of the 10th, which began with solid singles by Evan Longoria and Brandon Crawford off Rockies reliever Bryan Shaw. However, pinch-hitter Austin Jackson couldn't sacrifice the runners ahead and ended up having to swing away, resulting in a grounder that forced Longoria at third. Shaw proceeded to survive the inning and preserve the 5-5 tie by coaxing groundouts from Kelby Tomlinson and Gregor Blanco.
San Francisco also left the bases loaded in the ninth, which ended when Brandon Belt lined out to second base. Overall, the Giants outhit the Rockies, 12-11, but went 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position. Colorado was 4-for-10 in such situations.
"We did what we were hoping to do -- create those situations that you like," said Giants manager Bruce Bochy, who lamented the lack of a conclusive hit for the second day in a row.
Bochy refused to find fault with Jackson, calling Shaw a pitcher who's difficult to bunt against due to the cutting action on his pitches. Bochy also pointed out that he rescinded the order for Jackson to bunt after the first attempt.
"I think he wanted to show that he could get it done," Bochy said.
The end came shortly after Nolan Arenado drew a walk from Hunter Strickland to open the Rockies' 10th. Arenado advanced to second base on Trevor Story's flyout to center. Carlos Gonzalez received an intentional walk before Ian Desmond was credited with a single on a sinking liner to right fielder Andrew McCutchen that appeared catchable. Iannetta then delivered his game-winner.
Strickland criticized himself for violating one of pitching's most sacred laws: Thou shalt not walk batters to lead off an inning.
"That's been an issue," Strickland said. "I've got to get better at that aspect of the game."
It wasn't a totally barren Memorial Day for the Giants. After rain delayed the game's first pitch for 55 minutes, starter Andrew Suarez surrendered Story's three-run homer in the first inning. But Suarez recovered nicely, yielding one unearned run in the next four innings before leaving the game. The rookie left-hander continued to demonstrate potential by striking out seven Rockies.
"He showed some fortitude. I'm proud of the kid," Bochy said. "He settled down and threw the ball very well."
Longoria went 3-for-5 with two doubles and three RBIs. Also, Gorkys Hernandez remained productive at the leadoff spot by hitting his sixth home run of the season and extending his hitting streak to 10 games.
The game's competitive pattern developed quickly. Longoria drilled a two-run, first-inning double, but the Rockies rolled ahead in their half of the first on Story's three-run homer.
Hernandez's homer tied the score in the third inning before Desmond's RBI single in the bottom of the third restored Colorado's lead.
For the first time this season, the Giants lost when leading after seven innings. They had been 21-0.
HE SAID IT
"It kind of reminded me of some places where I pitched in the Pacific Coast League. But I thought my stuff was good today. I simplified my mechanics and shortened my stride a little bit so I could get out in front." -- Suarez, on pitching in Coors Field for the first time and on his performance in general
On Tuesday, Jeff Samardzija (1-3, 6.23 ERA) hopes to build upon his previous outing against the Rockies, when he worked a season-high 6 2/3 innings in a no-decision at San Francisco on May 17. Lifetime, he's 4-5 with 3.84 ERA in 16 games (12 starts) against Colorado, including 2-2, 4.87 in eight games (five starts) at Coors Field. Rockies left-hander Kyle Freeland (4-5, 3.28) will oppose Samardzija.
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.