SAN FRANCISCO — The Colorado Rockies entered the season as a dark horse to contend for the National League West title. They made a bit of a statement on their first night at AT&T Park.
Playing without their ace for most of the night, the Rockies held on for a 3-1 win on a night Madison Bumgarner made his home debut. The Giants have made a habit of nearly coming back, and they loaded the bases with one out in the ninth. Eduardo Nunez hit into a double-play.
A battle of Opening Day starters didn’t last long, but not because of what hitters were doing. Jon Gray had his usual good stuff and he allowed just one hit through three, but he was pulled one batter into the fourth with a left big toe injury. Gray came out of a spring training start against the Giants with the same injury.
Gray left with a two-run lead thanks to Trevor Story. The shortstop hit 27 homers as a rookie and he got his first of 2017 when Bumgarner grooved a fastball in the top of the fourth. Bumgarner wormed his way through traffic all night, and the Rockies scraped across another run in the sixth on three singles. With two on, Bumgarner ended his night on the mound by striking out Story and getting Stephen Cardullo to fly out.
The Giants did practically nothing to take advantage of Gray’s sudden absence. In 3 1/3 innings, lefty reliever Chris Rusin allowed just two hits and one run.
The Giants fell to 4-7.
Starting pitching report: Bumgarner took the mound to “No Leaf Clover” by Metallica and the SF Symphony. You will be missed, “Fire On The Mountain.”
Bullpen report: Bruce Bochy had been looking for an opportunity to push Ty Blach a bit. The young lefty pitched Tuesday and warmed up Wednesday, and he came in for the top of the ninth Thursday. Blach continues to pass every test; he pitched a perfect frame.
At the plate: Belt snapped a line-drive-filled 0-for-18 when he hit a liner in the seventh that ticked off Story’s glove.
In the field: Belt made the same difficult play twice in the top of the seventh. Both times, he traveled deep into foul territory to snag a pop-up. Check that UZR in the morning.
Attendance: The Giants announced a crowd of 41,915 human beings who gave Brandon Crawford a very warm ovation when he pinch-hit in the eighth.
Up next: Johnny Cueto makes his first home start of the season, which is always a good time. He’ll face lefty Tyler Anderson.