Rockies look to bounce back against Giants

SAN FRANCISCO — First place could be on the line when the National League West-leading Colorado Rockies meet the San Francisco Giants on the middle day of a three-game series Saturday night.

Right-hander German Marquez (12-9, 3.94 ERA), unbeaten in his last six starts, will seek to record his first career win at AT&T Park against a rival who has had more than his fair share of success in his career against the Rockies, left-hander Madison Bumgarner (5-6, 3.30).

Colorado’s nine-game trip got off to a rocky start Friday night when Giants righty Chris Stratton threw his first career shutout, a two-hitter that delivered the Rockies a costly 2-0 defeat.

The loss snapped a two-game winning streak for the Rockies (81-66) and allowed the Los Angeles Dodgers (81-67) to move within a half-game of first place in the West.

The Dodgers could get even by the time the Rockies take the field Saturday. Los Angeles plays a day game at St. Louis, where the Dodgers have won the first two contests of a four-game series.

The Rockies and Dodgers meet three last times in Los Angeles starting on Monday. The Dodgers currently lead the season series 9-7.

Marquez allowed two runs in 6 2/3 innings against the Giants on Sept. 4. He did not get a decision but Colorado won the game 6-2.

He’s gone 3-0 with a 1.69 ERA in his last six starts, allowing just eight earned runs in 42 2/3 innings.

That impressive form has never traveled to San Francisco, where the 23-year-old has gone 0-2 with an 8.79 ERA in three starts at AT&T Park. He’s 0-2 with a 6.86 ERA in four career starts against the Giants.

Marquez has never faced Austin Slater, the offensive hero of Friday’s win. His two-run single in the second inning provided Stratton all the offensive support he would need.

Brandon Belt has been the toughest out for Marquez, having recorded two singles, a double, two triples and a walk in eight career head-to-heads.

Bumgarner, meanwhile, will have to deal with the same lineup that rocked him in a 9-8 loss at Colorado last week. He gave up seven runs (six earned) in five innings in that game and allowed 12 runs (11 earned) and 12 hits over 11 innings in his last two starts.

Both those outings, however, were on the road. The former World Series Most Valuable Player has been much tougher at home of late, not having allowed a run in 14 innings over his last two AT&T Park starts.

Bumgarner is 12-8 with a 3.14 ERA in 29 career starts against the Rockies, and he is 0-1 with a 4.00 ERA in three starts against them this season.

The 29-year-old was bombed for three homers — two by Trevor Story — in that 9-8 loss to Colorado. Story had been just 2-for-17 previously against Bumgarner, although one of those hits was a 2017 homer.

Story, a candidate for National League MVP honors this season, went 0-for-2 with a walk in the series opener. He had collected two or more hits in four of his previous six road games.

The third-year pro has totaled 10 RBIs in his first 24 games in San Francisco.