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Chatwood's dominant start topples Giants

May 27, 2016

DENVER -- Tyler Chatwood gave up one unearned run in seven innings as the Rockies handed the Giants their second loss in the last 15 games, 5-2, at Coors Field on Friday night.Chatwood, who entered with a 6.65 home ERA in four starts, surrendered four hits and struck out three

DENVER -- Tyler Chatwood gave up one unearned run in seven innings as the Rockies handed the Giants their second loss in the last 15 games, 5-2, at Coors Field on Friday night.
Chatwood, who entered with a 6.65 home ERA in four starts, surrendered four hits and struck out three against no walks and became the first Rockies pitcher since Juan Nicasio on July 15, 2011, to throw seven innings with no earned runs and no walks in a start at Coors Field. Chatwood picked up on an aggressive offensive plan by the Giants' lineup and pitched accordingly.
"Quite a few of them swung at the first pitch of the first at-bat, so I figured they'd be aggressive, so I tried to execute early strikes and get quick outs," Chatwood said.
Rockies manager Walt Weiss took into account that Chatwood missed last year and much of the previous year because of Tommy John surgery and removed him after an efficient 56 strikes on 84 pitches. Jake McGee, the last of three relievers, earned his 14th save.
"[Chatwood's] cutter was real good -- he commanded it tonight," Weiss said. "He was able to avoid barrels with the cutter."

The Giants, who lost starting pitcher Matt Cain in the second inning to a right hamstring strain, took a 1-0 lead in the third, courtesy of second baseman DJ LeMahieu's first error of the season. But the Rockies took the lead with two runs in the third on doubles by Tony Wolters, Charlie Blackmon and Nolan Arenado off injury replacement Albert Suarez.
The Rockies -- in a stretch of 27 straight days of action through June 13 -- improved to 5-3 against the National League West-leading Giants, whose seven-game road winning streak was snapped. San Francisco's stretch of 10 consecutive victories against NL West clubs also ended.
No rally here: The Giants' Jarrett Parker beat a shift with a double to left field in the fifth, seemingly the start of a rally with his team down two runs. But seven pitches later, Chatwood worked his way out of the inning without the ball leaving the infield. He forced a Trevor Brown lineout, then grounders to Arenado at third by Suarez and Denard Span.
"[Parker] hit a good pitch -- a sinker down and inside -- and he shot it the other way," Chatwood said. "I was just trying to keep executing my pitches. I didn't let the guy on second affect how I was going to work."
Cain's pain: For the second time in three seasons, Cain strained his right hamstring, which is likely to put him on the 15-day disabled list. That was his destination when he sustained the same injury in late May 2014. This time, Cain felt a twinge after he threw his next-to-last pitch of the evening while facing Gerardo Parra. Thinking that whatever was ailing him might loosen, Cain stayed in for one more pitch. He retired Parra but that was it for his night.

Cain will undergo an MRI on Saturday and hope for the best.
"I can't sit here and dwell on it," he said. "I have to try to get this thing right and get back out there."
Igniting a rally: Wolters, a defensive whiz of a catcher who entered with a .179 batting average, ignited the third-inning rally with a double that caromed hard off the left calf of Suarez. It was the first of the Rockies' five doubles.
"I feel bad for him -- I made sure he was OK, but it was good, felt good," said Wolters, who added an RBI single in the eighth.

Prince Albert: Rookie right-hander Suarez handled the long-relief role admirably by relieving Cain and pitching a career-high five innings. He yielded three runs and absorbed the decision, but the length of his stint was welcome, since the Giants need to keep their bullpen arms fresh. This was the opener of a 10-game trip, and for that reason, along with two more Coors Field games staring them in the face, the Giants needed Suarez to eat innings.

"He's getting better and better every time he starts. He's a guy where he knows there was three pitches where he's like, 'I need to execute those ones better.' Next game it's going to be two pitches. Next game it's going to be one, then it's going to be perfect. He's nasty, and he's going to keep working harder and harder and harder to get where he wants to be." -- Wolters on catching Chatwood
Blackmon set a career-high 22-game on-base streak with his RBI double in the third inning to tie the game at 1. During this stretch, he is hitting .352/.388/.549 with seven doubles, one triple, three home runs, 11 runs, 14 RBIs and six walks.
"I've been trying for five years to be consistent," Blackmon said. "Maybe I'm getting a little better at it. I just think my good's not as good, and my bad's not as bad. I'm somewhere in the middle more frequently, figuring out how to get my body ready to play."

The Giants challenged a third-inning call on which Parker was declared out at home plate as he tried to score from third base on Suarez's comebacker. It would have been a 1-6-2 double play for Colorado, but after a replay review, umpires ruled that Parker had slid under catcher Wolters' tag, and the call was overturned.

The Rockies challenged a ninth-inning call on which Brandon Crawford was initially ruled safe at first, as Mark Reynolds appeared to be pulled off first by an errant throw from Miguel Castro. Umpires ruled in 36 seconds that Crawford was out, leaving the Rockies one out away from victory.

Giants:Madison Bumgarner will test his glittering record in the pitchers' graveyard known as Coors Field when the Giants and Rockies reconvene at 1:10 p.m. PT. Not only are the Giants 7-3 in Bumgarner's starts, but he's also on a personal five-decision winning streak that features 48 strikeouts and 12 walks in six starts spanning 43 1/3 innings.
Rockies: Right-hander Eddie Butler will make his fifth start of the season Saturday at 2:10 p.m. MT against the Giants. He was excellent against San Francisco in a May 8 start, tossing six shutout innings with a career-high six strikeouts to earn his first win of 2016, while allowing four hits and two walks.
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Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.

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**.