Colorado got off to a nice start getting out to a 3-1 lead after three innings. Brandon Barnes scored the first run when he dashed home on a run down between first and second base on Josh Rutledge for the second out. CarGo added a two-run splash home run in the third inning. In the bottom of the inning, Madison Bumgarner hit a warning track sac fly after Brandon Crawford’s triple. Then in the fourth inning DeaLeR forgot to do some dealing and went into another meltdown for the third time in his three starts. With the runners on first and second and two outs, he got ahead of Brandon Hicks 0-2. Then he suddenly turned the switch off. HBP, four-pitch walk, and a grand slam by Bumgarner did in the Rockies. A huge hole was poked in the sail and the Rockies fell behind by an insurmountable 6-3 count.
The Rockies had to go to the bullpen early in the fifth inning with the runner on 3rd base and only one out. Tommy Kahnle put out the fire by inducing a grounder to a drawn in infield and a harmless fly out to strand Hunter Pence at third base. The Rockies scratched out another run in the top of the sixth inning on a run scoring double by pinch hitter Charlie Culberson. After the strikeout to Barnes to finish six innings on 112 pitches, San Francisco went to the bullpen. Chad Bettis, a weak link in the bullpen gave up a leadoff double to Brandon Belt and worked out of a pickle to keep the deficit at 6-4 after six innings. Then he came back out and threw a clean inning in the seventh. Rockies wanted to use Bettis as much as they can before he likely gets optioned on Sunday when Tyler Chatwood comes off the DL. At least Bettis can go to Colorado Springs on a positive note.
The Rockies manufactured another run in the eighth inning to close within one 6-5. NoDo made a surprise bunt and Fatso Sandoval threw the ball into the dugout to put him on 2B. Weiss very wisely pinch hit Nazty for ineffective Drew Stubbs. He came through with a run-scoring single and advanced to second on the throw home that had no chance. But the inning ended when Nazty was out at 2B on a fielder’s choice comebacker to the mound. Then Jordan Pacheco was on the move with a full count to DJ LeMahieu and he lined to center for an inning ending double play.
The last weak link of the bullpen, Matt Belisle, put the first two batters on with a single and a HBP. Boone Logan came in for his first real test of the season. He justified his contract by putting out a three-alarm fire with ease on three strikeouts. The bullpen as a whole threw 3.2 shutout innings to keep the game within reach.
Justin Morneau led off the ninth with what should have been a 9-pitch at-bat for a walk. Home plate umpire Dan Iassogna rung up Morneau on a pitch that was a foot off and below the knees according to the computerized strike zone. The normally stoic Walt Weiss yapped at Iassogna in tandem with Morneau. Then Iassogna rang up pinch hitter Tulo to end the game on a pitch that was not close to borderline pitch. Tulo gave him a stern lecture on ball-strike calling.
The Rockies fell to 5-6 and two games back of the Giants (7-4) and the Dodgers (7-4). Brett Anderson will attempt to reverse the Rockies road fortunes Saturday afternoon at 2:15 pm MT against Matt Cain.