DENVER (AP) — San Francisco’s playoff chances were damaged Saturday when the Colorado Rockies swept the Giants 9-5 and 5-2 in a day-night doubleheader, taking advantage of seven walks in the opener and two errors and a pair of wild pitches in the nightcap.
Ezequiel Tovar finished with five hits and five RBIs on the day, including a career-high four RBIs in the opener for the Rockies.
The Giants (75-74) fell 2 1/2 games behind Cincinnati for the last NL wild card, also trailing Arizona and Miami. San Francisco, which wasted a 3-0 lead in the opener, had won 16 of 17 against Colorado dating to Aug. 21 last year but dropped the first three of a four-game series.
Victor Vodnik (1-0) won in his first big league decision in the second game, allowing one run and two hits over two innings in of relief of Kyle Freeland, who left after three innings due to a mild right oblique strain.
Colorado has won five straight and captured its first series from an NL West opponent this season.
Thairo Estrada tied a career high with four hits in the first game and added a single and a run in the nightcap.
San Francisco loaded the bases in the ninth inning of the second game before pinch-hitter Blake Sabol popped out off Tyler Kinley, who got his fourth save in six chances.
Giants starter Scott Alexander (7-3) allowed a pair of unearned runs in two-thirds of an inning, After a two-out fielding error by shortstop Paul DeJong on Tovar's grounder, Kris Bryant hit an RBI double and scored on Elehuris Montero's single.
Mike Yastrzemski's RBI single cut the deficit to 2-1 in the second, but Charlie Blackmon tripled in the third and scored on single by Tovar, who advanced on a Jakob Junis wild pitch and took third on catcher Patrick Bailey's throwing error, then scored on another wild pitch.
Michael Conforto hit a sacrifice fly in the fourth, and Bryant singled in a run in the seventh.
In the opener Keaton Winn, Ryan Walker (4-3) and Ross Stripling combined for the seven walks, and Rockies pitchers also walked seven. LaMonte Wade Jr. homered for San Francisco.
“One of the calling cards for our pitchers all year is we avoid the walk,” Giants manager Gabe Kapler said. “It’s a big part of our structure and what we preach, and our pitchers have done a great job of executing it all year. You can’t walk anybody in this ballpark. It’s almost always going to come back to bite you.”
Tovar had three hits for the Rockies, starting the comeback from a 3-0 deficit with a bases-loaded triple in the third.
Bryant hit an RBI single in the fifth for a 4-3 lead, Walker forced in a run with a walk to Hunter Goodman, his third of the inning. and Stripling walked Castro for a 6-3 advantage. Tovar added an RBI single in the seventh that included Austin Wynns’ two-run single.
Stripling made his first appearance for the Giants since missing 25 games with a mid-back strain. He walked his first batter, ending a streak of 169 batters without a walk.
“A little bit of rust and cobwebs definitely needed to be shaken off,” Stripling said. “A big situation to be brought into after a month so I tried to slow it down and made some good pitches, but not enough and ended up walking him there.”
Karl Kauffman (2-4) allowed an unearned run and two hits in four innings and Gavin Hollowell got an eight-out save, his first save for Colorado.
“The biggest issue we have right now is we’re having opportunities with runners in scoring position, we’re getting runners on base with no outs, sometimes first and second with no outs, and we’re just not able to come up with the big blow,” Kapler said.
San Francisco took a 2-0 lead on Sabol’s two-run double in the second inning and added another run in the third when Estrada singled, advanced on a wild pitch and scored on two passed balls by Austin Wynns.
Wade didn’t have a hit in first five plate appearances of the series but his on-base percentage is rising. Wade walked three times in Friday’s loss and drew another in his first at-bat Saturday. Wade leads the Giants with 72 walks this season.
Rockies: RHP Peter Lambert (right biceps tendinitis) was placed on the 15-day injured list, effectively ending his season. Kauffmann was recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque to take Lambert’s roster spot. Kauffmann was optioned to Albuquerque after the first game.
LHP Sean Manaea (5-6, 4.80) starts Sunday for the Giants and RHP Chris Flexen (1-7, 7.22) for the Rockies.
AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB
Michael Kelly, The Associated Press