A weekend in Coors Field might be what the San Francisco Giants needed to revive their struggling offense.
Madison Bumgarner looks to continue his recent success against Colorado and help the Giants build on their highest-scoring contest of the season when they try to win consecutive games for the first time in more than two weeks Saturday against the Rockies.
Clinging to a one-half game lead in the NL West, San Francisco (57-49) totaled 19 runs while losing seven of eight before breaking out for a 16-4 win at Colorado on Friday. Buster Posey went 4 for 5 with a three-run homer and Angel Pagan added three hits for the Giants, who have averaged 8.7 runs while winning seven of eight at Coors Field.
Manager Bruce Bochy offered some pregame words of encouragement to help his team end its lengthy slump."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."
The Giants set a season high with 16 hits while scoring 10 or more runs for only the third time. The 16 runs were the most allowed this season by Colorado (38-66), which has lost 14 of 18."We needed somebody to pick us up like that," said Pagan, who was 7 for 44 in his previous 13 games. "We felt like the energy level was down, to be honest. Just go out there and have fun."
Posey has enjoyed himself while batting .465 with five homers and 22 RBIs in his last 19 games.
Bumgarner (11-6, 3.09 ERA) has allowed seven runs - four earned - over 40 1-3 innings while going 3-1 in his last six starts versus Colorado. He's yielded one earned run in 21 1-3 during a three-start winning streak over the Rockies - two of which came in Denver. He gave up that run in 7 1-3 innings of a 4-2 win at Coors Field on April 12.
The left-hander has posted a 2.33 ERA over his last four starts overall but is 1-1 during that stretch. Bumgarner allowed two runs and six hits while striking out nine in each of his last two starts without getting decisions, the most recent Monday over six innings of an 8-7 loss to New York.
The Rockies counter with Jeff Francis (3-3, 5.43), who looks to bounce back after he allowed five runs in four innings of an 11-6 home loss to St. Louis on Tuesday. The left-hander is 1-2 with a 6.17 ERA in five starts at Coors.
Francis is 7-6 with a 4.83 ERA in 16 starts against the Giants, whom he last faced in 2010. He's 4-1 with a 3.40 ERA in seven starts versus San Francisco in Denver, but this will be the first meeting there since 2007.
Colorado's Wilin Rosario hit his 18th homer - his second two-run shot in as many games. Both of the catcher's two hits in 11 at-bats versus San Francisco this season have left the park.
Michael Cuddyer could be back in the Rockies lineup after missing three straight games with a sore oblique. He's 6 for 20 with five doubles against the Giants in 2012.
|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) -- A couple of games at hitter-friendly Coors Field has done wonders for what was a languishing San Francisco Giants offense.
Angel Pagan homered and had four hits to back a solid outing by Madison Bumgarner that sent the Giants past the Colorado Rockies 11-6 on Saturday night.
Buster Posey and Melky Cabrera also homered as the Giants pounded out a season-high 17 hits and beat Colorado for the fifth time in seven games this season, including four of five at Coors Field. It was the Rockies' 10th loss in 12 games.
San Francisco had 16 hits in a 16-4 rout of Colorado on Friday night.
"The guys answered back and did a good job the last couple of days," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "That's an old adage: get on the road and maybe the guys will come together and play better and get some confidence going. That's happened here and this is a park where hitters can get their confidence back. It's good to see some guys enjoying some success."
Bumgarner (12-6) kept the Rockies in check, allowing one run and five hits in six strong innings. He struck out seven and walked one.
Pagan and Posey each had three RBIs to help the Giants win consecutive games after a 1-7 skid. They own a half-game lead over second-place Los Angeles in the NL West.
"We struggled the last homestand, so it's been nice to come out and not only get a lot of hits, but to score some runs, as well," Posey said.
The surge of support didn't go unnoticed by Bumgarner.
"It seems like we always play pretty well here, and it seems like we caught it at the right time. The guys are swinging the bats great," Bumgarner said.
Jeff Francis (3-4) was tagged for six runs and nine hits in 3 2-3 innings in his second-shortest outing since joining the Rockies in early June after beginning the year in Cincinnati's farm system. He struck out three and walked two.
"The tough part was we spotted them six in three and two-thirds innings," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. "What I'm proud of is, the guys out there on the field, they keep busting their rear ends. They moved the ball around a little bit against a tough starting pitcher. We know how tough he is. A tough guy that's been tough on us in the past. We kept battling and got into their bullpen and did some things against their bullpen. What more can you ask them to do?"
Trailing 6-0, the Rockies got on the board when Josh Rutledge hit a solo homer off Bumgarner with one out in the sixth.
The Rockies rallied for a pair of runs off reliever Brad Penny in the seventh, getting an RBI single from Jonathan Herrera and a run-scoring double from rookie Matt McBride, who singled for his first major league hit earlier in the game.
But the Giants came back to tack on four more runs in the eighth. Brandon Belt doubled to start the inning and Pagan drove him in with a single. Ryan Theriot followed with an RBI double and, after Cabrera walked, Posey singled for his third RBI of the night. Gregor Blanco 's pinch-hit sacrifice fly finished the outburst.
Pagan hit a solo shot off Rex Brothers in the ninth after the Rockies scored a pair of runs on Ramon Hernandez 's double and a wild pitch by Sergio Romo that allowed Dexter Fowler to score from third base.
Cabrera put the Giants in front 3-0 in the third when he connected for his 11th homer, a solo shot off Francis that sailed into the left-field bleachers.
San Francisco got three more runs in the fourth on RBI singles by Joaquin Arias and Pagan and a bases-loaded walk to Cabrera, one of four walks he drew on the night.
The Giants broke on top in the first. Cabrera drew a two-out walk, and Posey followed by driving an 85 mph fastball from Francis onto the mezzanine behind the left-field bleachers for his 16th homer of the season and second in two nights.
NOTES: Bochy said he is contemplating using third baseman Pablo Sandoval (hamstring strain) at first base now and then to cut down the risk of re-injury when Sandoval returns from the disabled list. ... The Rockies placed OF Michael Cuddyer (strained right oblique) and LHP Christian Friedrich (stress fracture, lower back) on the 15-day DL and recalled INF-OF Matt McBride and RHP Edgmer Escalona from Triple-A Colorado Springs. ... Pinch-hitter DJ LeMahieu had an RBI single in the ninth for Colorado. ... Posey has six homers and 24 RBIs in 18 games since the All Star break.