Baggs' Instant Replay: Giants 16, Rockies 4

Baggs' Instant Replay: Giants 16, Rockies 4
August 4, 2012, 4:02 am
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SAN FRANCISCO Giants manager Bruce Bochy laid into his club during a pregame meeting, challenging them to get mentally tough and compete at the plate instead of fixating on personal stats.

His players responded by competing well and then padding those stats.

Buster Posey hit a three-run home run, Angel Pagan took out his frustrations on the baseball while reaching four times in his first start at leadoff since May and the Giants scored a season-high in runs while throttling Jonathan Sanchez and the Colorado Rockies 16-4 Friday night at Coors Field.

The Giants opened up a 3-0 game when they scored four runs in the seventh inning, six in the eighth and three more in the ninth. It was their biggest output since Aug. 25, 2010 vs. Cincinnati.

No need to worry about that run differential, which had slipped to minus-3 for the season entering Fridays game.
Starting pitching report

Ryan Vogelsong (9-5) was pitching as brilliantly as any point this season when he carried a one-hit shutout into the seventh inning.

The right-hander faced the minimum in five of his first six innings and got a bases-loaded double-play grounder to escape his only threat in the fourth. He entered the seventh as the major league leader with a 2.12 ERA.

He was cruising toward history, too. He was well on his way to a 17th consecutive quality start (at least six innings, no more than three earned runs), which would match the San Francisco-era franchise record established by Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry in 1967-68.

But the Giants bullpen hasnt been so reliable lately, so you could understand Bochys desire to squeeze another inning out of Vogelsong. The right-hander couldnt deliver, retiring only one of five batters. Dexter Fowler tripled, Jordan Pacheco and Todd Helton hit consecutive doubles and power-hitting catcher Wilin Rosario followed with a two-run blast as the Rockies trimmed the Giants lead to 7-4.

Just like that, Vogelsongs ERA rose to 2.38 and his streak of quality starts ended. Hes now second in the N.L. in ERA behind the Nationals Jordan Zimmermann.

At least his decision stayed intact.

Bullpen report

George Kontos brought the tourniquet in the seventh inning, Jeremy Affeldt threw a scoreless eighth and Santiago Casilla was able to regain some confidence in a 1-2-3 ninth.

At the plate

The Rockies are trying to survive with a four-man rotation and limit each member to 75 pitches per outing. To which we say good luck with that, especially with Sanchez as a part of the puzzle.

In a sight all too familiar to Giants fans, Sanchez threw 36 pitches in a two-run first inning while walking two and slinging one offering to the backstop. It didnt help when shortstop Josh Rutledge let Melky Cabreras ground ball tick off his glove for an error.

The Giants started the rally when Pagan, leading off for the first time since May 23, laced a double and Ryan Theriot singled him in. Hunter Pence hit into a bases-loaded fielders choice that scored Theriot, but the Giants couldnt break the game open. After Brett Pill walked to load the bases again, Joaquin Arias flied out.

With Arias fly out, the Giants fell to a staggering 1-for-39 with two outs and the bases loaded this season. Their only hit in those situations was a two-run single by Gregor Blanco back in May.

The Giants added a run in the fourth when Pill, who started because the Giants faced a left-hander, belted a home run to greet (wouldnt you know it?) right-hander Adam Ottavino.

But they sustained a rally in the seventh that Vogelsong started with a double for his first extra-base hit of the season. Pagan followed with an RBI triple, marking the first time since July 5 that he reached base three times in a game.

After Theriot walked, Cabrera -- who was acquired for Sanchez from Kansas City -- continued to leave no doubt that the Giants pulled the trade of the offseason. He hit a two-run double for his major league-leading 146th hit of the season as the Giants gave themselves some breathing room.

They got plenty more in a six-run eighth inning, as Buster Posey fouled off a 3-0 pitch before clubbing the next one for a three-run home run.

Pagan contributed an infield single, marking the first occasion since May 18 -- 62 games ago -- that he reached base four times in a game via hit or walk.

In field

The Giants didnt make any tough plays, but they ran the bases well. Pagan aggressively scored on a wild pitch and Theriot showed a good motor while scoring from first base on a double.

There was a bit of late-inning extracurriculars when the Rockies Carlos Torres buzzed Posey with an up-and-in pitch in the ninth. Did we mention he swung 3-0 with a six-run lead in the eighth.

Attendance

The Rockies announced 30,176 paid, and fans cheered loudest when the Rockies showed highlights of Coloradoan Missy Franklin swimming the backstroke to a gold medal. Hey, maybe Franklin would fit in the Rockies rotation. They both go backwards in a hurry.

Up next

The Giants continue their series at Coors Field against the pitching paupers of the N.L. West. Madison Bumgarner (11-6, 3.09) takes the mound against Rockies left-hander Jeff Francis (3-3, 5.43).

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