DENVER — A day after the Giants lost their left-handed ace, their right-handed ace took his first loss of the season.
Johnny Cueto gave up a six-spot in the fourth and the Giants never quite bounced back, losing 6-5 to the Rockies. They have lost two of three to kick off the road trip and dropped to 6-11 on the season, five games behind the first place Rockies.
Early on, it looked like Cueto would make the Giants temporarily forget about the pain of Madison Bumgarner’s injury. Cueto opened with three scoreless frames and the lineup batted around in the second, getting four singles and an RBI double from Eduardo Nuñez.
It all fell apart in the fourth.
Cueto gave up five straight hits, including a Trevor Story grand slam on a ball that got up in the thin air and kept carrying out to right. Story became the first player to hit a grand slam off Cueto in the big leagues. Two batters later, Charlie Blackmon added an inside-the-park dinger. Blackmon hit a two-out liner to right and Hunter Pence lost it in the lights, slipping as he held his arms up. Blackmon raced all the way home, sliding in just ahead of a relay throw to give the Rockies a six-run inning. The Rockies became the first National League team since 1950 to hit a grand slam and inside-the-parker in the same inning.
In the bottom of seventh and top of eighth, both teams missed out. The Rockies loaded the bases with two outs when Cory Gearrin walked two and hit one, but Story popped out. In the next half-inning, Joe Panik drove a run in but the Giants couldn’t get him in from second with no outs. Gorkys Hernandez failed to get a bunt down and then flied out. Denard Span flied out to center. Belt popped up to third.
Starting pitching report: Before Story knocked one over the out-of-town scoreboard, Cueto had faced 146 hitters with the bases loaded without allowing a homer. He had actually been very efficient in the worst situation, holding opposing hitters to a .167/.247/.230 slash line.
Bullpen report: Ty Blach made what might be his final relief appearance for months. He retired all three batters he faced in the sixth. He'll start Tuesday.
At the plate: Belt’s homer went 456 feet, according to Statcast. His three longest homers have all come at Coors Field: 475 feet, 457 and 456.
In the field: Panik gave a reminder of why he’s the reigning Gold Glove winner. He made a leaping catch of DJ LeMahieu’s liner in the third and a diving stop to rob Blackmon in the sixth.
Attendance: The Rockies didn’t announce a number, but a bunch of gamers stuck it out through the 40-degree weather and relentless drizzle.
Up next: Matt Moore makes his second Coors Field appearance as a Giant. The first one: 2 2/3 innings, six earned runs.