Rockies can’t last in extra innings marathon

8B2NewGiantsphotocolor20p-772x1024.jpgAP Photo/Jeff Chiu

In what was a four hour and twenty minute, 13-inning game, the Rockies could not outlast the Giants as they walked off with a 2-1 win. Both starters were terrific and held the other team scoreless through their starts, but the Giants bullpen got the outs when they needed them most where the Rockies couldn’t.

Jon Gray took the mound against Johnny Cueto and both pitchers dominated from the very start of the game. For Cueto, he was able to go 8.1 innings pitched while giving up 8 hits, scattered, and striking out three. It was a game where he managed to get the timely outs and keep the Rockies hitters timing off. Cueto faced the minimum through the first four with the help of a double play ball and a challenged pickoff play that went in favor of the Giants. Only two real threats came against Cueto; one in the fifth inning where the first three batters reached, and another in the ninth. Unfortunately for the Rockies, the fifth inning rally was slowed by a caught stealing from Nolan Arenado on a hit-and-run and then an inning ending double play. The ninth inning saw the Rockies have two men on with one out before the bullpen came in and got the final two outs of the inning.

Jon Gray pitched his best start of his career, but failed to get any run support again. Gray went seven terrific innings while allowing only one hit, a Denard Span single in the fourth. Gray struck out five and walked two on 89 pitches. With even a sliver on run support, Gray probably would have earned his first Major League win, but the Rockies offense just couldn’t get anything going.

The offense only began once both teams were in extra innings. In the top of the tenth with one out, DJ LeMahieu hit a ball to center field that Span tried to dive for, but missed and the ball rolled to the track. This allowed DJ to trot into third for a triple. The next batter up, Tony Wolters, got a ball in play just hard enough down the line to get past the drawn in infield for a run scoring double to give the Rockies the 1-0 lead.

In the bottom of the tenth the Giants retaliated. With closer Jake McGee on the hill, Brandon Belt smashed a ball to right-center field. In most other parks this ball would’ve been a homer, but at AT&T it was an easy triple for Belt and a prime opportunity to tie the game. A batter later Brandon Crawford hit a single that got over the glove of Trevor Story and scored the tying run. It was a blown save for McGee and a tough hit for the Rockies who traded for McGee in hopes of getting a consistent closer while Adam Ottavino is out. It has not been pretty for McGee and the Rockies can only hope he straightens out in the coming games.

The game went to 13 innings without the Rockies scoring, and in the bottom of the 13th with two men on, Matt Duffy hit a ball to left field that Gerrardo Parra misread and it got down for the walk off winner. It was a ball that probably should’ve been caught, but it wasn’t and the Giants earned the win.

The Rockies will look to win on Sunday to tie the series and go .500 on their road trip. Eddie Butler takes the mound opposite Jeff Samardzija and will look to build off a strong first half of his last outing against the Padres.

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