Rockies try to avoid sweep versus Giants

SAN FRANCISCO — One day after knocking Colorado out of first place, the San Francisco Giants go for a three-game sweep Sunday afternoon in a game that could drop the Rockies out of playoff position.

Giants rookie Dereck Rodriguez (6-3, 2.35 ERA) and Rockies sophomore Antonio Senzatela (4-6, 5.01) are the scheduled starters in a game that will begin with the Rockies (81-67) a half-game behind the Los Angeles Dodgers (82-67) in the National League West but a half-game ahead of the St. Louis Cardinals (81-68) in the race for the second NL wild-card spot.

The Dodgers and Cardinals will go head-to-head Sunday night.

On the eve of a showdown series in Los Angeles that begins Monday, the Rockies have been shut out in consecutive games by a Giants team that was riding an 11-game losing streak when Colorado came to town.

After a solo effort by Chris Stratton in a 2-0 Giants victory Friday night, Madison Bumgarner went the first six innings of a 3-0 whitewashing Saturday. He also doubled and scored.

The Rockies, who were shut out in back-to-back games for the first time this season, hope to have better luck against Rodriguez, whom they have seen twice this season — including in his major league debut in May. They’ve touched the rookie for five runs (two earned) and 11 hits in 9 1/3 innings.

Outfielder David Dahl provided the only run the Rockies scored against Rodriguez in six innings last week with a home run. Rodriguez did not get a decision in a game Colorado wound up winning 6-2.

Rodriguez’s debut came in relief at Coors Field on May 29, when he was called upon in the second inning of a game the Giants already trailed 2-0. He was pounded for doubles by Kyle Freeland, Gerardo Parra and Nolan Arenado among the five hits he allowed in 3 1/3 innings.

Arenado doubled in Saturday’s loss and now has at least one extra-base hit in four of his last five games.

He has only three hits in his last 22 at-bats against the Giants.

Senzatela, winless on the road since April 27 — he is 0-3 in five starts — also did not get a decision in a start against the Giants last week. That came in the 5-3 Rockies win Sept. 5, during which he allowed three runs and nine hits in five innings.

He has faced the Giants seven times (five starts) in his career and never lost, going 4-0 with a 3.57 ERA.

He’s 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA in two games (one start) in San Francisco.

After Nick Hundley has gone 3-for-7 with two doubles in the first two games of the series, chances are Senzatela will see Giants backup catcher Aramis Garcia on Sunday.

Garcia homered off Senzatela in their head-to-head matchup on Sept. 5 in Colorado.

The Rockies, who lead the season series 11-7, have lost 11 of their last 14 games in San Francisco.