SAN FRANCISCO — Johnny Cueto’s final start of his first half as a Giant was exactly like most of the previous 17. Dominant, lengthy, and exactly what Bruce Bochy needed.
A night after the bullpen imploded, Cueto went the distance in a 5-1 win over the Colorado Rockies. He will take a 13-1 record into his second All-Star Game. The team is 16-2 in his 18 starts.
The Giants scored twice in the first to jump ahead. Brandon Belt’s triple off the wall in deep right-center scored Grant Green, and Brandon Crawford hit an RBI single two batters later.
Cueto got through early jams by inducing double plays in the first two innings. He gave up a run after loading the bases in the fourth, but escaped further damage. His catcher, Buster Posey, padded the lead in the sixth with a moonshot into the left field bleachers.
Cueto gave up a leadoff single in the seventh, but two strikeouts and a fly ball to center got him through the inning at 95 total pitches. Bochy pulled back on Madison Bumgarner on Tuesday, lifting him at 96 pitches. But Bumgarner has one more first half start and Cueto — aside from the All-Star Game — won’t pitch again until at least July 15.
Cueto breezed through the eighth, striking out Charlie Blackmon on his 110th pitch. As Cueto pumped his fist a couple of times, the crowd gave him a standing ovation.
The Giants tacked on two runs in the eighth, giving Cueto a bigger cushion, but he wouldn't need it. The Rockies went down 1-2-3 in the ninth, with Cueto throwing his fourth complete game of the season.
Starting pitching report: Cueto became the fifth San Francisco Giants pitcher to reach 13 wins before the All-Star break. Juan Marichal did it five times.
Bullpen report: They got the night off.
At the plate: Belt has 27 doubles, one shy of the franchise record before the All-Star break.
In the field: Solid? They’re generally at least solid.