Arenado, Senzatela give Rox edge in win

April 16th, 2017

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Rockies relied on an early burst of offense and effective late-inning pitching and defense Sunday to outlast the Giants, 4-3, in soggy conditions at AT&T Park.

By taking three of four, the Rockies won a four-game series at San Francisco for the first time in team history.

"It's a big deal; that's pretty cool," said Rockies third baseman , who doubled twice and finished the series 6-for-16 with three doubles, a homer and three RBIs. "We came ready to go, we competed and we didn't shy away from that second game that we lost. The thing about this group is we never lose sight of what we can do."

Colorado broke a 3-3 tie in the second inning on DJ LeMahieu's two-out RBI single off Giants starter Jeff Samardzija (0-3). Rockies rookie starter (2-0), who lasted seven innings, retired 19 of the final 22 batters he faced before turning the game over to the bullpen.

"I gave up three runs in the first inning, then I just woke up and said, 'Keep the game close for my team,'" Senzatela said.

The Giants put their leadoff batter aboard or had a runner in scoring position with one out or fewer in each inning from the fifth through eighth, yet could not score.

"I think we need to figure out a way to scratch one or two [runs] across when we need them to close the gap and stay away from the heart of the other team's bullpen," Samardzija said. "That comes from not letting runs in early, so you can take the lead."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED

Deep sixth: Colorado fended off the Giants with excellent defense in the sixth. opened the inning with a routine grounder to second base that became a little less routine when first baseman slipped en route to covering the bag. After doubled, second baseman LeMahieu dove to smother 's grounder that led to the second out. Belt almost surely would have scored had the ball eluded LeMahieu. Finally, tapped a dribbler in front of the plate that catcher Tony Wolters pounced on before throwing to first base for the out.

"DJ came in with big plays and Tony, that little shovel … that was a big play," Rockies manager Bud Black said. "Every play counts. Every pitch counts. When you do these sorts of things, it doesn't really show up in the box score, but those are the types of things that help you win games."

Shark sharpens stuff: This game might have grown lopsided quickly had Samardzija not established his equilibrium. He and the Giants trailed, 3-0, after he threw only 15 pitches. But following Nolan Arenado's two-run double, Samardzija toughened and stranded him at third base.

Nevertheless, Samardzija was far from satisfied. "To start out that way and put yourself in a hole makes the rest of your day a lot tougher," he said.

QUOTABLE

"I feel like defensively, we were doing everything we could to get outs -- definitely a tough field out there. But we made some really good plays at good times. But Senzatela pitching so well made it easier for us, actually." -- LeMahieu, on the defense excelling amid trying field conditions

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS

Charlie Blackmon led off the game with a homer. It was his first first-inning leadoff homer this year and the 23rd of his career.

ENDING WITH A SPLASH 

Wet field conditions didn't deter right fielder from ending the game in style. He rushed forward for a diving grab of 's line drive and salt away Greg Holland's seventh save of the season.

How good was the catch? Statcast™ tells us it was a 4-Star catch. He needed to cover 37 feet in an opportunity time of 3.1 seconds. The catch probability, which took into account where Gonzalez was playing. Off the bat, the ball had an exit velocity of 89 mph and a launch angle of 13 degrees. Balls hit with those figures have a hit probability of 88 percent.

WHAT'S NEXT

Rockies: Lefty (1-1, 5.91 ERA) will lead the Rockies against the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday at 8:10 p.m. MT on MLB.TV. Freeland earned the win in his Major League debut against them on April 7. (0-2, 5.79) will start for the Dodgers.

Giants: Following Monday's scheduled off-day, the Giants will begin a two-game Interleague series at Kansas City on Tuesday in a 5:15 p.m. PT encounter on MLB.TV. It'll be San Francisco's first visit to Kauffman Stadium since 's pitching sealed the team's memorable Game 7 triumph in the 2014 World Series. is slated to start the opener.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.