Rockies, Giants get together often in next nine days
The National League West contenders also will square off three times in Denver next week.
The Rockies (38-40) and Giants (40-39) begin the sequence separated by just one game in the loss column. Each would like to head north in the National League West standings while sending the other south at the same time.
“We obviously need to make a run before the All-Star break,” Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez proclaimed after Sunday’s 8-5 home loss to Miami. “We need to finish the first half strong, just the way we started the season. We have a good group, but it just seems like we are going through a rough time.”
That surely can be said of Colorado’s starting pitcher in the series opener, right-hander Chad Bettis (5-1, 5.23 ERA). He has allowed 28 earned runs in 26 innings in his last five starts, yet has somehow managed to go 1-0 during that span.
He had a similar dynamic earlier this season in a matchup with the Giants. He did not pitch particularly well, allowing five runs and 10 hits in six innings, but the Rockies found a way to pull out a 6-5 win.
Bettis has faced the Giants 13 times in his career, nine times as a starter. He has gone 3-4 with a 4.79 ERA in those games.
The 29-year-old right-hander is 1-1 with a 4.71 ERA in five career games, including three starts, in San Francisco.
He has been stung by the long ball this season, allowing 14 home runs in his 15 starts, and has given up homers in his career to six current Giants, including outfielder Gorkys Hernandez, who had a home run and three doubles in his last three games against the San Diego Padres.
Hernandez had a nice week — eight hits, including four doubles and two home runs — but nothing like the one experienced by Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado, who smacked five homers among 11 hits last week.
Arenado was rewarded with National League Player of the Week honors.
He has a homer in nine career plate appearances against left-hander Derek Holland (5-7, 4.48), who will open the series for the Giants. Arenado also has a double, a single and two walks in those nine head-to-heads, giving him a .556 on-base percentage in the matchup.
Holland has struggled in general in his career against the Rockies, going 1-2 with an 8.40 ERA in three starts.
Two of those three starts came earlier this season, including the lone win in his most recent meeting, when he allowed four runs in five innings in a 7-4 victory last month.
He had earlier given up four runs in six innings in a 6-1 loss.
The 31-year-old has pitched well in June, going 2-1 in four starts, allowing just seven earned runs in 20 innings.
The Giants enter the series having won five of six. The Rockies are coming off a 4-3 homestand during which they suffered consecutive weekend losses to the Marlins.