Rockies hope to get more from Cargo vs. Giants

DENVER — With his third straight multi-hit game Tuesday, Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez is making a case for more playing time.

The left-handed hitting Gonzalez will be hoping his name is in the lineup Wednesday against San Francisco Giants left-hander Derek Holland as the Rockies try to sweep the three-game series.

Gonzalez is 8-for-13 in his past three games with one homer and three RBIs, raising his average to .256. His single in the seventh was his 700th hit at Coors Field, making him one of three Rockies players to reach that plateau. The others were Todd Helton (1,394) and Larry Walker (812).

Gonzalez has started three straight games for the first time since he was in the lineup for eight in a row from April 11-18. Prior to these three most recent games, Gonzalez, who missed nine games in late April with a hamstring strain, had been in the lineup for only 10 of 22 games in May.

“It’s easy to get frustrated,” Gonzalez said. “It’s easy to get mad. I mean, I’m a human being, I get mad, I get frustrated when I don’t get to play. But at the same (time), I just turn the switch real quick because I know there’s a lot of people watching me, watching every step I do in this clubhouse. And especially the young guys, they’re always looking at me, they’re always trying to see the way I react and in some situations. So I’m just trying to be an example when I’m not playing.”

Jon Gray, who is 5-6 with a 5.40 ERA, will start for the Rockies. Holland is 2-6 with a 4.73 ERA.

The Rockies are 5-6 in Gray’s starts. He broke a two-start losing streak Friday against Cincinnati, allowing four runs and six hits in six innings in Colorado’s 6-5 victory.

Gray had been 0-2, 11.00 in his previous two starts, including a May 19 outing at San Francisco where he lasted a season-low 3 2/3 innings and yielded five runs and nine hits. Gray is 0-2, 4.26 in four starts against the Giants. He has 71 strikeouts and 16 walks in 61 2/3 innings this season, while going 3-3, 6.03 in six starts at Coors Field.

The Giants are 3-7 in starts by Holland, who has lost two straight outings, including May 18 at AT&T Park against the Rockies when he gave up four runs and six hits in six innings in Colorado’s 6-1 win. In his most recent outing Friday at Chicago, Holland lost 6-2 to the Cubs and allowed three runs (two earned) and five hits in six innings.

Holland is 0-2, 9.00 in two starts against the Rockies. One was at Coors Field on July 7, 2017, while Holland was pitching for the Chicago White Sox. He gave up seven runs (six earned) in four innings as the Rockies won 12-4.

Before San Francisco lost 11-4 on Tuesday, Giants manager Bruce Bochy was more definitive when discussing the plan for left-handed ace Madison Bumgarner, who suffered a broken left pinkie March 23 when he was struck with a line drive in his final Cactus League start. Bumgarner, who had three pins placed in his pitching hand, didn’t face hitters for the first time until he threw live batting practice May 22 in Houston.

Bumgarner threw 47 pitches in 3 2/3 scoreless and hitless innings with eight strikeouts Saturday for Triple-A Sacramento and is scheduled to throw 70-75 pitches Thursday for high Class A San Jose.

“It gives him another start to where he can get a little more stretched out where we don’t have to be so careful with him,” Bochy said. “He had one start down there (in the minors). If you go back, we talked about three. So he’s ahead of schedule.

“We don’t expect a third start down there. So hopefully, knock on wood, he feels fine when he comes out of it, and he’ll be pitching for us.”

That timetable would put Bumgarner on course to make his 2018 Giants debut Tuesday against Arizona.