Rockies-Giants Preview

Offense was at a premium as the Colorado Rockies beat the San

Francisco Giants in the opener of a key three-game series at

AT&T Park.

The hits came easy the last time Madison Bumgarner and Esmil

Rogers took the mound.

The rookies look to bounce back from dismal starts as the

Rockies seek a fourth straight win Tuesday night in their attempt

to get back in the postseason picture.

Jonathan Sanchez and Jorge De La Rosa delivered fine pitching

performances Monday, but eight-plus scoreless innings from Sanchez

went for naught. Carlos Gonzalez tripled home the tying run in the

ninth – a broken-bat liner misplayed by right fielder Cody Ross –

and scored on Freddy Sanchez’s error to lift the Rockies to a 2-1

win.

Colorado (69-61) pulled to within 3 1/2 games of Philadelphia

for the wild card – and moved two back of the Giants (72-60).

“I don’t think you can understate that win right there,”

Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. “We made them earn the things that

they got.”

San Francisco, meanwhile, wasted a chance to get closer to the

Phillies and the division-leading Padres.

“When you see the bat shatter, hear the sound, you’re going to

break in,” said Ross, making his second start in right field since

joining the Giants last week. “You think you have the right read on

it and the next thing you know it’s over your head.”

There could be a better opportunity for runs Tuesday, when

Bumgarner (5-4, 3.95 ERA) tries to recover from the first truly

poor outing of his brief career. The left-hander gave up eight runs

and seven hits – three homers – in 2 2-3 innings of a wild 12-11,

12-inning loss to Cincinnati on Wednesday.

Bumgarner won’t get any sympathy from Rogers (2-2, 5.66). The

right-hander was even worse that same day against Atlanta,

surrendering seven runs over 1 2-3 innings. His offense also bailed

him out, though, battling back for a 12-10 win.

Rogers has had one forgettable start in San Francisco this

season. He gave up five runs, five hits and four walks over four

innings of a 6-1 defeat May 1.

He was far better in relief July 4 at Coors Field, pitching four

scoreless innings while striking out five.

Bumgarner, still seeking his first home win, has gone 0-2 with a

5.73 ERA in a pair of road starts against Colorado.

Gonzalez took him deep in each outing, and the Rockies

outfielder is red-hot heading into their third meeting. He was

named NL player of the week before Monday’s contest, and his

game-saving triple upped his average to .500 with four homers and

12 RBIs over his past seven games.

“What is it that we’ve seen that he can’t do very well?” Tracy

told the Rockies’ official website. “I don’t see anything he can’t

do. He’s as graceful a baseball player in any facet of the game

(as) I’ve ever seen.”

Colorado needs Gonzalez to stay hot with Troy Tulowitzki out of

the lineup. The shortstop, who has a 10-game hitting streak, missed

Monday’s game with a sore left groin and may be out for a few more

days.