SAN FRANCISCO — Two teams having different types of issues meet again Tuesday night when the Colorado Rockies and San Francisco Giants continue their three-game series.
The Giants put their problems in the rearview mirror for one night when they used a 14-hit attack and strong pitching by Jeff Samardzija to thump the struggling Rockies 9-2 in the series opener Monday.
The top four hitters in the Giants’ lineup — Denard Span, Joe Panik, Hunter Pence and Buster Posey — combined for 10 hits and six RBIs in San Francisco’s most potent home output since June 11.
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“We haven’t forgotten how to hit,” said Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford, who contributed a run-scoring hit to the attack. “We know what we’re capable of. It’s been a while since we all came together in the same game.”
The assault on Rockies pitching came shortly after the Giants held a team meeting to clear the air on an issue brought to light in a Fox Sports report.
The story claimed some Giants players were unhappy with reliever Mark Melancon’s refusal to adjust his game preparations to those that members of the San Francisco bullpen had been using since 2012.
Melancon admitted he has stuck with his traditional pregame routine, saying that nobody informed him there was a problem with it.
Asked if he thought the reported riff had played any sort of a role in his club’s dismal season, Giants manager Bruce Bochy dismissed the notion, calling it “pole vaulting over mouse turds.”
In an effort to capitalize on a rare positive vibe, the Giants will hand the ball to Matt Cain on Tuesday night as they look to record back-to-back wins for the first time since May 27-28.
You have to go back much further than that to find the last time Cain beat the Rockies. That hasn’t happened since May 26, 2013, a four-year stretch during which the veteran right-hander has gone 0-4 with a 4.47 ERA against Colorado in nine starts.
Cain has started more games against the Rockies in their history than any other pitcher. He owns a 17-11 record and a 3.48 ERA in 39 career outings vs. Colorado.
Cain (3-7, 5.54 ERA) will be facing a Rockies team that is 19 games ahead of the Giants in the standings but floundering nonetheless.
The Rockies had hoped seeing the Giants, whom they had beaten nine straight times, would cure the ills they absorbed in a three-game thumping by the Los Angeles Dodgers over the weekend.
Instead, they got another poor effort by a starting pitcher and little offensive support in a blowout loss to a club that had entered the Monday game on a five-game losing streak of its own.
“This is a team game,” Rockies left fielder Ian Desmond said. “It’s not pitching. It’s not hitting. It’s all of it.
“Pitching’s a lot easier when you have run support. And hitting’s a lot easier when you have the pitchers shutting them down, having quick innings. It goes hand in hand. We just have to tighten it up as a team. Everybody.”
The task of ending Colorado’s season-worst, six-game losing streak will fall upon right-hander Jeff Hoffman, who has gone 3-0 with a 1.33 ERA in three road starts this season.
Hoffman (4-1, 4.29 ERA) didn’t get a decision when he allowed seven hits and three walks, but just one run, in five innings in Colorado’s 10-9 home win over the Giants earlier this month. It was his first career outing against San Francisco.