What started out as a textbook display of small ball turned ended in a demonstration of opportunities squandered.
Colorado third baseman Nolan Arenado hit his third home run in three games Wednesday, but the Rockies came up short, 4-3, against the Giants in the third game of the four-game series that concludes Thursday.
With the loss, the Rockies’ record dropped to 8-3 and snapped a four-game winning streak. All three losses this season have been by one run.
“We just couldn’t quite solve them,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “Their guys at the back end of the game did a nice job.”
Giants starter Logan Webb stymied the Rockies’ offense for five innings. Four Giants relievers made the lead stick. Still, Colorado almost manufactured a win.
“I felt like as a team we were working together trying to get on base trying to make things happen,” said Wolters, who finished 2-for-3. “We collected our first couple runs by good, quality baseball. We grinded. We tried to get them, but they did a good job.”
Gray faced only nine hitters after three innings, but his defense stung him again in the fourth. A leadoff error by Story on a ground ball by Mike Yastrzemski proved costly when Donovan Solano singled and Brandon Belt followed with a three-run homer on a 1-2 pitch to put the Giants ahead, 3-2.
“Those guys field almost 10 out of 10 every time, so I don't think it's an issue or anything like that,” Gray said. “It was just an opportunity for me to pick up the team, and we got a few ground balls, but that home run cost us.”
The homer was only the third allowed by a Rockies starter at Coors Field this season. Belt made his presence felt again when he doubled in the sixth with two outs. He scored the Giants’ fourth run on a single by Wilmer Flores. The Giants’ first baseman has 10 hits, including four doubles and two home runs, in 24 at-bats against Gray in his career.
“I just felt like when I work up in the zone, I have always been successful,” Gray said. “When I miss down, he usually makes us pay and that’s kind of what it was. It was a pitch in his wheelhouse. A little bit more down or a little bit more away, we would have been fine.”
In the end, Gray was charged with four runs, three earned, on five hits in six innings. He was replaced by Tyler Kinley to start the seventh.
“It was good to see us fight back like that,” Gray said. “I just wish I could somehow take away one of those runs, so we could still be in it, but it’s always fun to see our team battle back like that. They always battle to the last out.”
On Wednesday, it just wasn’t enough.