Rockies 2, Giants 1

The San Francisco Giants were in prime position to gain ground

in both the NL West and wild-card races until they got beat on a

strange shattered-bat triple and an uncharacteristically off throw

by their second baseman when he couldn’t grip the ball.

The Colorado Rockies rode that big break a step closer to making

their own postseason push.

Carlos Gonzalez tripled over charging right fielder Cody Ross

with no outs in the ninth and scored on Freddy Sanchez’s second

throwing error of the game, and the Rockies rallied to beat the

Giants 2-1 on Monday night.

”When you see the bat shatter, hear the sound, you’re going to

break in,” said Ross, making just 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. …

That’s kind of a bizarre broken-bat triple. I’ve never seen

anything like that, really.”

The Giants squandered a key chance to gain ground on first-place

San Diego in the division and the Phillies in the wild-card race

after both those teams lost. Instead, San Francisco still sits five

games back in the division and 1 1/2 games behind Philadelphia.

Colorado sits 3 1/2 games behind the Phillies, two behind the

Giants.

Gonzalez, a right fielder himself, felt for Ross.

”It was difficult,” Gonzalez said. ”As an outfielder, you see

the bat broke and your first move is going to be running into the

infield. It was crazy because I hit the ball on the barrel and I

didn’t know how that bat broke. I guess it was meant to be. It was

crazy. That’s how we won the game.”

Giants starter Jonathan Sanchez carried a shutout bid into the

ninth then gave way to All-Star closer Brian Wilson (3-2) after a

leadoff walk to Dexter Fowler. After Ross’ miscue, Freddy Sanchez’s

relay throw skipped past third baseman Pablo Sandoval and

Wilson.

Rafael Betancourt (5-1) pitched the eighth for the win, then

Huston Street finished for his 13th save in 17 chances.

”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.”

Despite getting back-to-back quality outings from Matt Cain and

Sanchez, Giants starters are just 5-13 over their last 27 games.

The once-reliable bullpen blew Cain’s three-run lead in the seventh

inning Sunday against Arizona, then Wilson couldn’t hold it for

Sanchez.

”I could have finished the inning. He wanted to go with the

closer, though,” Sanchez said. ”I was on. I had all my pitches

working for strikes.”

The move wasn’t easy for manager Bruce Bochy, who said Sanchez

got out of his delivery.

Buster Posey put San Francisco ahead on an RBI single in the

fourth. Posey returned to the lineup after missing two games to

rest a mild strain in his left forearm sustained Friday night

against Arizona.

Sanchez left to a rousing standing ovation. His performance had

come at an ideal time as the September stretch run nears with 19

straight games against division opponents. The Giants beat

last-place Arizona 9-7 on Sunday to avoid what would have been an

embarrassing sweep at home.

San Francisco was in the hunt until mid-September last year but

wound up missing the playoffs for a sixth consecutive year.

Jorge De La Rosa struck out nine to match his season high and

avoided losing to the Giants for the first time in 11 career

outings, including seven starts. He is 6-0 – 3-0 at AT&T Park –

with the six wins his most against any opponent. De La Rosa hung

tough with Sanchez, allowing one run on four hits in seven strong

innings.

The Rockies, fresh off a 5-1 homestand, couldn’t capitalize on

the Giants grounding into double plays in the second, fourth and

sixth innings. They did when it mattered.

Freddy Sanchez also committed an error in the first inning – his

third in four games after not having one all year before this

stretch. The throwing error allowed Eric Young Jr. to go from first

to second following a leadoff single. Young was then caught

stealing, the Giants’ first in the last 16 attempts by

opponents.

Colorado’s Clint Barmes came off the bereavement list and was in

the lineup at shortstop in place of Troy Tulowitzki, sidelined for

what could be a few days with a sore left groin. Tulowitzki

extended his hitting streak to 10 games Sunday.

Notes: The Rockies are tweaking their rotation for Thursday and

Friday: Jhoulys Chacin will go in Thursday’s makeup game with the

Phillies at Coors Field and Aaron Cook on Friday in San Diego. …

Rockies pitchers Jeff Francis and Matt Daley, both on the DL, are

set to throw simulated games Tuesday. … Injured Giants INF Mark

DeRosa (wrist surgery) hopes to begin swinging sometime this month

and be ready to return if the Giants make the playoffs, but him

playing again in 2010 is still highly unlikely. ”The Gods are not

for him this year,” Bochy said.