Much of the pregame banter was over Giants broadcaster Mike Krukow's accusation, which he later said was tongue in cheek and actually was complimentary, that Troy Tulowitzki is hitting so well at Coors Field this year because he is somehow being tipped off on pitches.
But the Rockies' offense spent much of the game searching for a clue. After winning the first game Tuesday in comeback fashion, 5-4, the Rockies need to win Thursday afternoon's series finale to stay undefeated in their nine series at Coors Field. The National League West-leading Giants (29-18) lead the second-place Rockies (26-21) by three games. It's early, but the Rockies are trying to prove their fast early start is not a fluke.
Matt Cain threw three hitless innings before leaving the game with a right hamstring strain. Yusmeiro Petit (3-1) held the Rockies to two hits, a Wilin Rosario single in the fifth and a Michael Cuddyer double in the sixth. That was nowhere near enough to ignite the offense.
"Cain and Petit pitched to the edges of the plate really well, ran the ball really well," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "That was the biggest thing. They didn't throw many pitches in the middle of the plate."
The Giants had four hits and struck out four times against Jhoulys Chacin (0-3) in 5 2/3 innings. But two of the hits were solo homers, by Pence on the first pitch of the fourth and by Sandoval on an opposite-way shot to left with two down in the sixth.
It was the first time in 43 starts that Chacin had given up more than one homer in a game. It was the longest active such streak in the Majors before Wednesday night.
Michael Morse doubled to chase Chacin, then Hector Sanchez doubled off Nick Masset for a 3-0 lead.
Weiss said the 98-pitch performance was a positive for Chacin, who was making his fourth start after missing the first month with a right shoulder strain.
"I thought his stuff was sharper tonight, velocity was up a couple ticks, and his command was better -- all around, it was a step forward for him," Weiss said.
Chacin was visibly disappointed that he was not allowed to finish the sixth. He said his secondary pitches improved.
"I feel fine," Chacin said. "My breaking ball was good today and my sinker was a little bit better. I think I'm getting better."
Crawford added to the lead in the seventh with a solo shot into the second deck in right off Matt Belisle.
The Rockies didn't score until the eighth. Singles against Juan Gutierrez by DJ LeMahieu and Brandon Barnes, who entered after left fielder Carlos Gonzalez left with recurrence of left index finger inflammation, and an infield single by Charlie Blackmon against Javier Lopez loaded the bases.
But Giants reliever Santiago Casilla forced Cuddyer into a run-scoring double-play grounder and worked Tulowitzki into a fly ball to left.
"It was a bounce-back win after a tough loss," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.
However, Casilla suffered a right hamstring strain on a ground ball to end the top of the ninth and needed athletic trainers' assistance to leave the field. The Giants could find themselves without two key pitchers for a period of time.
"It's a huge blow to lose Cain and Casilla," Pence said. "Casilla, I think his value to this team is very underrated. He's huge, he's big for us, especially with how many tight ballgames we play. To see him go down in a situation like that is tough."