Stephen Ellison

Samardzija, Giants Keep Rockies in Check in 3-2 Win

The Rockies did everything they could to hand the Giants a needed come-from-behind win. For once, the slumping team took advantage.

A series of Rockies miscues in the final two innings led to the tying and go-ahead runs as the Giants won 3-2. It wasn’t a breakout for the offense, but it didn’t matter, not when Kelby Tomlinson roped the game-winning hit into left in the ninth. The win, the second of the road trip, allowed the Giants to stay ahead of the Cardinals atop the Wild Card race.

A day after the rare Coors Field shutout, Eduardo Nuñez got the Giants on the board early. Nuñez, hitting leadoff with Denard Span getting a rest day, smashed a solo homer off Tyler Anderson with two outs in the third. The lead lasted just a few innings.

Speedy center fielder Raimel Tapia drew a walk with two outs in the bottom of the inning and stole second. DJ LeMahieu lined a ball up the middle that was knocked down by Brandon Crawford. As he tried to get up and throw LeMahieu out, Crawford bobbled the ball. Tapia never stopped running and he scored from second. More small ball got the Rockies a lead in the fifth. Tony Wolters doubled and advanced home on two sacrifices. That was the only damage against Jeff Samardzija, who was dominant for long stretches of the night even as the offense sputtered.

Samardzija had a leadoff single in the sixth but was erased by a double play. Buster Posey hit a leadoff single in the seventh, but Hunter Pence struck out, Brandon Crawford flied out to the track in center, and Tomlinson struck out.

The Giants have been talking about bad luck for several weeks, and in the eighth they caught a break. With a runner on first, Nolan Arenado stabbed Trevor Brown’s liner to third, but his throw to second pulled LeMahieu off the bag. Instead of a double play, the Giants had two runners on. A bunt and groundout to short tied the game.

The Rockies continued to be helpful in the top of the ninth. Daniel Descalso’s two-base throwing error put Posey on second, and the shortstop was slow getting to a grounder from Pence, putting runners on the corners. Two batters later, Tomlinson lined an RBI single to left.

Starting pitching report: Samardzija had allowed three earned runs in two previous starts at Coors Field and he was excellent once again. Samardzija was charged with two runs on four hits. He struck out nine and walked just one. The Rockies have spent two decades looking for a guy who throws like that at Coors Field.

Bullpen report: Bruce Bochy used three relievers to face four batters in the eighth. September baseball is weird, but to be fair, Bochy probably would have done that in a spring training game, too.

At the plate: Samardzija’s sixth-inning single was his ninth hit of the year. His previous career-high was seven.

In the field: Posey and Tomlinson collided on a pop-up down the right field line in the sixth. Tomlinson recovered to make an athletic catch.

Attendance: The Rockies announced a crowd of 22,437 human beings who think the toothbrush race is the dumbest between-innings race in baseball.

Up next: Albert Suarez faces Jorge De La Rosa.

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