DENVER — The Rockies have spent a decade, dozens of draft draft picks and tens of millions looking for a Jeff Samardzija, a durable, hard-throwing pitcher who can handle Coors Field. Samardzija did look right at home Tuesday night, cruising through eight innings with a fastball that regularly touched 96 and was rarely straight.
Unfortunately for the home team, Samardzija is a Giant.
Samardzija, in his second start in orange and black, pitched eight dominant innings, allowing just two runs on six hits. Trevor Brown took care of most of the offense, hitting two homers and driving in four runs as the Giants pulled away for a 7-2 win.
Samardzija didn’t have any particularly stressful innings, which are practically a given at Coors. He allowed DJ LeMahieu to reach third with one out in the third but struck out red-hot rookie Trevor Story with a diving 96 mph fastball and got Carlos Gonzalez to pound a 94 mph heater into the dirt.
The Rockies scored a run in the second and another in the fifth on Angel Pagan’s fielding mistake, but Samardzija continued to roll. He was at 92 pitches after six and needed just 10 pitches for a 1-2-3 seventh and nine for a clean eighth.
The Giants lineup, meanwhile, continued to crush. Hunter Pence’s two-run homer in the fifth gave Samardzija a lead and Brown — starting for a bruised Buster Posey — padded it with a two-run shot in the sixth. He hit another two-run shot in the eighth. Brown had zero career homers entering Friday.
Starting pitching report: Samardzija sat 94-96 for long stretches of the game. Who was the last Giants starter to do that? Probably 2011 Tim Lincecum, who maxed out at 97 but averaged 92.2 mph for the year.
Bullpen report: Everyday George Kontos pitched the ninth.
At the plate: Pence’s homer went 439 feet and was the longest of the season for the Giants. He had the previous high at 431 feet. The longest Giants homer of 2015 was Belt’s 475-foot blast here at Coors Field.
In the field: Pagan called off Brandon Crawford on a two-out pop-up and the ball dropped just in front of him, allowing a run to score. Pagan saved some face by firing a strike to the plate and getting the trail runner.
Up next: Jake Peavy (0-0, 7.20) makes his first road start of the season. Jordan Lyles (0-1, 13.50) goes for the Rox.