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Rockies lose Gray but get win vs. Bumgarner

April 13, 2017

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Rockies absorbed losing starting pitcher Jon Gray when he aggravated a left big toe injury in the third inning and overcame eight strikeouts by Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner en route to a 3-1 victory at AT&T Park on Thursday night.Gray appeared to tweak the toe --

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Rockies absorbed losing starting pitcher Jon Gray when he aggravated a left big toe injury in the third inning and overcame eight strikeouts by Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner en route to a 3-1 victory at AT&T Park on Thursday night.
Gray appeared to tweak the toe -- originally injured during a March 19 Spring Training game -- when making a leaping grab of an Eduardo Nunez chopper in the third. Gray left after walking the leadoff man in the fourth and his next start is in jeopardy. But lefty Chris Rusin rescued the Rockies by holding the Giants to two hits and a run in 3 1/3 innings.
"He was the key to the game," Rockies manager Bud Black said of Rusin, who has had three stellar performances when replacing an injured Rockies starter over the last three seasons. "Jon gave us three zeros up there. Chris gave us good middle-to-long relief and was very efficient on a cool night."

Bumgarner yielded Trevor Story's first home run of the season with two out in the fourth. The Rockies added three hits and a run, on Mark Reynolds' one-out, two-on single in the sixth -- Bumgarner's final inning of six-hit pitching.
"I didn't make a whole lot of great pitches tonight," Bumgarner said. "I did OK to keep us in the ballgame but obviously I would like to be a little better for us than that. I thought my stuff was there. Just maybe not as sharp with the command as I wanted to be."

Before coming to The City by the Bay, the Rockies went 15-for-90 while losing two of three at home against the Padres. But they've also beaten two heavyweight lefties -- the Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw in Friday's home opener and Bumgarner -- and are 7-4.
"Pretty much any guy you face is going to be tough, but we have a very confident team and take that attitude out on the field with us," Story said.
The challenge, and the answer: Rockies right fielder Carlos Gonzalez entered with a .321 batting average and five homers against Bumgarner -- a hard-to-explain run of left-on-left success. Gonzalez fanned with two on in the first. With bases empty in the fourth, Bumgarner's first pitch buzzed near the chin of Gonzalez, who dropped to his back. But Gonzalez lined the next pitch past Bumgarner for a single, and Story homered two batters later for a 2-0 lead.
Ottavino puts up a Big 0: The Giants scored on a Nunez sacrifice fly in the seventh and had lefty hitter Jarrett Parker up against Rockies righty Adam Ottavino with two out. Lefties had hit .250 with a homer against Ottavino going into the game. However, Ottavino's stuff has sharpened with each appearance, and it took him five pitches to fan Parker. Ottavino struck out two in 1 1/3 innings to run his season total to 10 in six innings.
"Today I had more fun out there than usual," Ottavino said. "I'm usually like, 'Have fun after the fact.'"
• Giants' woes cashing in runners continue
"Just be loose and be ready. Always be ready for something like that." -- Rusin on the secret to replacing an injured starter. On three such occasions over the last three years, Rusin has replaced an injured starter and yielded just one run in 10 2/3 innings on those occasions.
Bumgarner is winless after three starts for the first time since 2011, when he went 0-6 in his first eight starts.
Ottavino, lefty Mike Dunn and closer Greg Holland (sixth save) combined for 2 2/3 scoreless innings. When pitching with a lead, Rockies relievers have a 1.18 ERA with 12.9 strikeouts per nine innings.

The Giants lost their challenge on a close play at first base in the fifth. Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado grabbed Nunez's bouncer and was uncharacteristically lackadaisical while short-hopping his throw to first baseman Reynolds, who couldn't glove the ball. As Reynolds fell, he grabbed the ball with his bare hand. Umpire Mike Everitt ruled that Reynolds possessed the ball with his foot in contact with the bag, and replay officials ruled the play stands.
A sliding catch by Giants center fielder Denard Span, on a soft Story liner in the eighth, was ruled it would stand after a challenge from the Rockies. Replay showed that Span skimmed his glove under the ball before it hit the turf.

Rockies: Lefty Tyler Anderson is usually a strike-thrower, but he had an out-of-character four walks in five innings and gave up five runs and five hits while losing to the Padres in his last start. He'll try to return to the strike zone and regain his groove against the Giants at AT&T Park on Friday at 8:15 p.m. MT.
Giants: Right-hander Johnny Cueto, who opposes Anderson at 7:15 p.m. PT, has also had some minor control issues this season, though it hasn't hurt him. Cueto walked two or more in each of his first two starts this year. He had more than one walk in back-to-back games only three times in all of 2016.
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Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and** like his Facebook page**.

Michael Wagaman is a contributor to and covered the Giants on Thursday.