Rockies-Giants Preview

Offense was at a premium as the Colorado Rockies beat the San
Francisco Giants in the opener of a key three-game series at
AT&T Park.

The hits came easy the last time Madison Bumgarner and Esmil
Rogers took the mound.

The rookies look to bounce back from dismal starts as the
Rockies seek a fourth straight win Tuesday night in their attempt
to get back in the postseason picture.

Jonathan Sanchez and Jorge De La Rosa delivered fine pitching
performances Monday, but eight-plus scoreless innings from Sanchez
went for naught. Carlos Gonzalez tripled home the tying run in the
ninth – a broken-bat liner misplayed by right fielder Cody Ross –
and scored on Freddy Sanchez’s error to lift the Rockies to a 2-1
win.

Colorado (69-61) pulled to within 3 1/2 games of Philadelphia
for the wild card – and moved two back of the Giants (72-60).

“I don’t think you can understate that win right there,”
Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. “We made them earn the things that
they got.”

San Francisco, meanwhile, wasted a chance to get closer to the
Phillies and the division-leading Padres.

“When you see the bat shatter, hear the sound, you’re going to
break in,” said Ross, making his second start in right field since
joining the Giants last week. “You think you have the right read on
it and the next thing you know it’s over your head.”

There could be a better opportunity for runs Tuesday, when
Bumgarner (5-4, 3.95 ERA) tries to recover from the first truly
poor outing of his brief career. The left-hander gave up eight runs
and seven hits – three homers – in 2 2-3 innings of a wild 12-11,
12-inning loss to Cincinnati on Wednesday.

Bumgarner won’t get any sympathy from Rogers (2-2, 5.66). The
right-hander was even worse that same day against Atlanta,
surrendering seven runs over 1 2-3 innings. His offense also bailed
him out, though, battling back for a 12-10 win.

Rogers has had one forgettable start in San Francisco this
season. He gave up five runs, five hits and four walks over four
innings of a 6-1 defeat May 1.

He was far better in relief July 4 at Coors Field, pitching four
scoreless innings while striking out five.

Bumgarner, still seeking his first home win, has gone 0-2 with a
5.73 ERA in a pair of road starts against Colorado.

Gonzalez took him deep in each outing, and the Rockies
outfielder is red-hot heading into their third meeting. He was
named NL player of the week before Monday’s contest, and his
game-saving triple upped his average to .500 with four homers and
12 RBIs over his past seven games.

“What is it that we’ve seen that he can’t do very well?” Tracy
told the Rockies’ official website. “I don’t see anything he can’t
do. He’s as graceful a baseball player in any facet of the game
(as) I’ve ever seen.”

Colorado needs Gonzalez to stay hot with Troy Tulowitzki out of
the lineup. The shortstop, who has a 10-game hitting streak, missed
Monday’s game with a sore left groin and may be out for a few more
days.