Rockies hope to cool off Giants’ Crawford in series finale

SAN FRANCISCO — The Colorado Rockies must figure out a way to cool down hot-hitting San Francisco Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford when the clubs wrap up a four-game series on Sunday afternoon.

Crawford had three hits, including a two-run double and two-run home run, in the Giants’ 9-4 win on Saturday, which came on the heels of two straight Colorado wins.

Crawford went a harmless 2-for-8 in the two series-opening games, as the Colorado pitchers held the Giants to four runs and 12 hits in 21 innings.

With Crawford and Andrew McCutchen banging out three hits apiece Saturday, the Giants put up nine runs on 17 hits.

Crawford’s three-hit game was his fifth this month, including a 4-for-4 outing in Tuesday’s win over Cincinnati during the current homestand.

He’s now 31-for-69 in May, a .449 average that’s the best in baseball among all players with 30 or more at-bats.

The hot streak came in the wake of an awful April, during which Crawford had two more hits in a game just three times. He hit just .190 (15-for-79) in the season-opening month.

One of the Giants left gushing after Saturday’s powerful performance was Brandon Belt, who has been pretty hot himself of late, homering in the first four games of the homestand.

“He’s pretty unbelievable right now,” Belt observed. “He’s just doing what everybody knows he can do. He just got some confidence, made a few adjustments at the plate and he looks great up there. He’s a big reason we are where we are right now.”

Where the Giants are still a game away from splitting the four-game series with the Rockies. San Francisco hasn’t lost a series at home since April 9-11 against Arizona.

Crawford will look to continue his May rampage Sunday against Rockies left-hander Tyler Anderson (3-1, 4.30), against whom he homered when they last met in San Francisco in 2017.

Anderson has never beaten the Giants, going 0-2 with a 4.67 ERA in three career starts. That includes two losses in two starts in San Francisco.

The Giants will counter with a left-hander of their own, Ty Blach (3-4, 4.05), who won his only previous home start against the Rockies last season.

He’s 1-1 with a 3.33 ERA in seven games, including three starts, against Colorado in his career.

The 27-year-old has never had much luck with Rockies slugger Nolan Arenado, who has gone 7-for-11 (.636) against Blach in his career with two doubles and a triple.

That said, few Giants pitchers ever have had success against the star third baseman.

Arenado had five hits in this series, driving in two runs and scoring two others.

Saturday’s relatively quiet 1-for-4 outing produced his 51st career hit at AT&T Park in 171 at-bats. His .921 OPS at the 19-year-old San Francisco ballpark is the second-highest among active players behind Paul Goldschmidt’s .976.

Arenado’s 51 hits at AT&T Park include 16 doubles, one triple and nine home runs.