After dropping seven of eight to conclude a homestand, the San Francisco Giants are looking forward to getting out of town.
What appears to be a favorable matchup against a former teammate could help them get back on track.
San Francisco (56-49) saw its NL West lead cut to one-half game Thursday after a 9-1 loss to the New York Mets . Melky Cabrera had three hits but the rest of the club went 1 for 25 - including an 0-for-2 effort from recently-acquired Hunter Pence . Pence drove in Cabrera on a sacrifice fly for the team's only run but is 0 for 6 in his first two games with the Giants.
"A lot of times when you think you are going into a rut, you try to press and do too much," losing pitcher Barry Zito said. "That's when you get farther in it. As a team, we have to trust ourselves. We've been on top most of the season and we just have to be ourselves."
The Giants have been outscored 45-19 while batting .204 during their 1-7 skid, but might be able to pick up the pace at hitter-friendly Coors Field. San Francisco has hit 15 homers while taking six of its last seven road matchups with Colorado (38-65).
"We've been awful here this last week," manager Bruce Bochy said. " ... We have to get it going. Hopefully we can hit the road and get it going again."
While scheduled starter Ryan Vogelsong (8-5, 2.22 ERA) has been superb against the Rockies, the Giants have to like their chances of regrouping all the more given Sanchez's woes. The left-hander is 0-8 with an 8.74 ERA over 13 starts since winning his season debut.
Sanchez (0-2, 11.88 in NL) spent the first six years of his career with San Francisco before getting shipped to Kansas City in exchange for Cabrera last offseason. The Royals dealt him to Colorado for Jeremy Guthrie on July 19, though the latest change in scenery hasn't made much difference.
Sanchez has allowed 11 runs over 8 1-3 innings in his two starts since joining the Rockies. He's compiled a 12.81 ERA while losing each of his last five outings overall.
"His velocity has backed up two miles an hour from when I last saw him in San Francisco, and I think some of that is attributable to his struggling with command," Colorado manager Jim Tracy said.
Barring a sudden turnaround, Sanchez could have a hard time going toe-to-toe with Vogelsong, who is 4-0 with a 1.07 ERA in five starts versus the Rockies.
Vogelsong has allowed one earned run in each of his last three starts overall but took the loss Sunday in a 4-0 defeat to the second-place Los Angeles Dodgers . The right-hander allowed six hits and three walks over six innings.
Vogelsong now faces a Rockies team that had lost five straight overall and a season-worst seven in a row at home before salvaging Thursday's series finale against St. Louis with an 8-2 victory. Rookie shortstop Josh Rutledge went deep for the fourth consecutive game while Wilin Rosario added a pinch-hit homer.
Rutledge has hit safely in all but three of his 18 games since getting called up July 13, going 27 for 72 (.375) with five homers and 14 RBIs. He has a chance to become the first rookie to homer in five straight games since Minnesota's Marty Cordova from May 16-20, 1995.
"I'm just getting some good pitches to hit, and trying not to overswing and just let my hands work," Rutledge said. "It's getting some extra carry on the ball."
|San Francisco Giants|
|July 31, 2012||Aubrey Huff||15-Day DL||Strained right knee|
|July 25, 2012||Pablo Sandoval||15-Day DL||Strained left hamstring|
|July 18, 2012||Hector Sanchez||15-Day DL||Left knee sprain|
|July 18, 2012||Hector Sanchez||15-Day DL||Left knee sprain|
|July 17, 2012||Hector Sanchez||Day-to-Day||Left knee sprain|
|June 26, 2012||Shane Loux||15-Day DL||Strained neck|
|August 01, 2012||Todd Helton||Day-to-Day||Flu|
|August 01, 2012||Michael Cuddyer||Day-to-Day||Sore oblique|
|August 01, 2012||Dexter Fowler||Day-to-Day||Flu-like symptoms|
|July 31, 2012||Christian Friedrich||Day-to-Day||Back spasms|
|July 21, 2012||Drew Pomeranz||Day-to-Day||Left arm soreness|
|July 21, 2012||Jason Giambi||15-Day DL||Viral syndrome|
DENVER (AP) -- Bruce Bochy gave his players a pep talk before Friday's game at Coors Field, and the San Francisco Giants responded with their biggest offensive night of the season.
Ryan Vogelsong pitched into the seventh inning, Buster Posey homered among his four hits and the Giants broke out of an offensive slump to beat the Colorado Rockies 16-4.
Brett Pill also went deep and Angel Pagan had three hits and scored four runs for the Giants, who had lost seven of their past eight.
Bochy, sensing the team needed a push, spoke to the players before batting practice.
"It was time to talk to them and remind them where we're at here," Bochy said. "The biggest problem is we haven't been hitting, and you've got to create excitement by scoring runs. This game is going to humble you at times and you've got to man up and deal with it. You've got to be tougher."
The meeting was prompted by San Francisco's sudden lack of offense. The Giants were shut out twice and held to one run in two other games during their recent slump, but broke out against Colorado. They had a season high in runs and matched their season best with 16 hits.
"That meeting was very encouraging. We needed somebody to pick us up like that," Pagan said. "We felt like the energy level was down, to be honest. Just go out there and have fun."
San Francisco wasted no time in getting on the board against Jonathan Sanchez (0-3). The first four batters reached as the Giants took a 2-0 lead on their former teammate.
Sanchez, who tossed a no-hitter for the Giants on July 10, 2009, lasted only three innings, walking three and throwing two wild pitches.
Sanchez has struggled in three starts since coming to Colorado for Jeremy Guthrie on July 20. Friday's start was his shortest outing of his three games.
"I was in trouble in the first inning, threw a lot of pitches," Sanchez said. "The next two innings went quick. We have a pitch count here so I couldn't get deeper."
Pill made it 3-0 when he hit a leadoff homer in the fourth off Adam Ottavino .
Wilin Rosario homered for the Rockies, who have lost 9 of 11.
The Giants blew it open against Mike Ekstrom in the seventh. Vogelsong led off with a double and scored on Pagan's double. Ryan Theriot walked and Melky Cabrera doubled down the left-field line to make it 6-0.
Cabrera scored on Marco Scutaro 's groundout to make it 7-0.
"We don't score like that very often, but the guys broke out of it," Bochy said. "We were in a pretty good funk there. It was a matter of time."
Vogelsong (9-5) cruised early. He retired the first nine batters of the game and allowed one hit through six innings.
"I felt pretty good. It's a tough place to pitch, man," he said. "The ball doesn't always do what you want to do. I was trying to keep them off the board as long as I could and give these guys a chance to relax and swing the bats. That was my goal."
The Rockies broke through in the seventh. Dexter Fowler led off with a triple and scored on a sacrifice fly. Jordan Pacheco and Todd Helton hit consecutive doubles, and one out later Rosario hit his 18th homer down the left-field line to make it 7-4.
"They hit some pitches I left up," Vogelsong said.
George Kontos relived Vogelsong and got the last two outs to end the inning.
Vogelsong allowed four runs and five hits, struck out seven and walked two in 6 1-3 innings.
"He was locating really well and the balls that we did hit were right at them," Rockies shortstop Josh Rutledge said. "Couldn't really do much about that, couldn't get guys on base."
The Giants scored six times in the eighth - three on Posey's 15th homer and two on wild pitches by Matt Reynolds . They added three more in the ninth.
Notes: Fowler's triple was the 50th of his career, the most in club history. ... Hunter Pence 's single in the eighth was his first hit as a Giant. He was 0 for 10 since being traded to San Francisco on Tuesday. ... Rockies RF Michael Cuddyer (sore right oblique) was out of the starting lineup for the third straight game. He could start Saturday. ... Rockies RHP Jhoulys Chacin allowed four runs in four innings during a rehab start in Double-A. He will make another start in Double A before another rehab start in Triple-A Colorado Springs. ... The Giants will send Madison Bumgarner (11-6) against Colorado's Jeff Francis (3-3) on Saturday.