The San Francisco Giants own the Rockies like the Oregon Ducks own the CU Buffs.
After the teams combined for 20 hits on a summerlike Thursday night at Coors Field, it was the Giants who stood tall with an 8-6 victory.
It was San Francisco's 10th consecutive victory over Colorado. Since the start of the 2011 season, the Giants are an almost unfathomable 31-9 against the Rockies.
What began as a baseball game Thursday quickly turned into a "Rocky" movie, with the Balboa-like Giants getting off the canvas and a 6-0 deficit to notch their latest win. For the reeling Rockies, who are 3-8 over their past 11 games, it could well be the most demoralizing loss of the season.
"We've got to play better. We've got to win games," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "We have to come out tomorrow and have the mind-set we'll win the game tomorrow."
The game's first roundhouse was thrown by Rockies veteran Todd Helton. In the second inning, he hit a moon-shot home run just inside the right-field foul pole off Matt Cain to score Wilin Rosario and give the Rockies a 2-0 lead. Rookie Nolan Arenado, who continues to channel Brooks Robinson with his play at third base, immediately made it 3-0 with a solo homer to right field.
Colorado's lead grew to 6-0 in the third inning on Rosario's three-run homer off Cain, a lightning bolt to right field. The three homers allowed by Cain in the first three innings hiked his season total to 13. Last year, Cain didn't give up his 13th homer until July 21.
Cain retired 13 of his next 15 batters after Rosario's home run and the Rockies (21-20) had only one hit after the third inning.
"When you get six early off a guy like Cain, you have to be able to put him away," Weiss said. "To his credit, he wound up pitching into the seventh inning. ... When you get to him early, you have to put him away. You can't let him hang around."
Cain was certainly on the ropes, but the Giants' offense came to life in the fourth inning, peppering Rockies starter Jhoulys Chacin for five runs and five hits. Chacin, so precise in the first three innings, suddenly lost command. He walked Brandon Belt with the bases loaded, forcing in a run, then threw a fat two-strike pitch that Brandon Crawford feasted on for a three-run, bases-loaded double.
"That was the worst, up by six. It's terrible," said Rockies outfielder Carlos Gon- zalez. "They just came back. Bad luck."
Chacin, Colorado's designated ace, was gone after 5 ⅓ innings. The Giants hit him hard, scoring eight runs on nine hits. Chacin's ERA soared from 2.70 to 4.07.
"It was really tough, not only for me, but especially for the team after we scored six runs in the first three innings," Chacin said. "Then they came all the way back to beat us."
Said Weiss of Chacin: "It looked like he struggled with his command and he had a hard time throwing strikes in the fourth inning. He got into some deep counts and bad counts."
Cain, treated like a heavy bag early in the game, settled down and held the Rockies scoreless from the fourth inning into the seventh. Though his ERA is an un-Cain-like 5.43, he earned his third victory.
SAN FRANCISCO AT COLORADO
Giants' Madison Bumgarner (4-1, 2.18 ERA) vs. Rockies' Jorge De La Rosa (4-3, 2.98),
6:40 p.m. Friday, ROOT; 850 AM
The Giants' best pitcher this season hasn't been Matt Cain or Tim Lincecum. It's been 23-year-old lefty Madison Bumgarner. His crisp ERA tells only part of the story. Opponents are hitting only .198 against him and he's 2-0 (0.83 ERA) on the road. He consistently works ahead in the count and confounds hitters by deftly mixing his pitches like a veteran. The first time through, batters may get a steady diet of fastballs, and then Bumgarner will feed them curveballs or changeups the next time they step in the box. In his last start, he pitched seven innings against the Braves at AT&T Park, allowing one run and four hits and striking out a season-high 11. Patrick Saunders, The Denver Post
Upcoming Pitching Matchups
Saturday: Giants' Tim Lincecum (3-2, 4.07 ERA) at Rockies' Juan Nicasio (3-1, 5.13), 6:10 p.m., ROOT
Sunday: Giants' Barry Zito (3-2, 3.40) at Rockies' Tyler Chatwood (1-0. 3.00), 2:10 p.m., ROOT
Monday: Diamondbacks' Patrick Corbin (6-0, 1.52) at Rockies' Jon Garland (3-4, 4.89), 6:40 p.m., ROOT
Tuesday: Diamondbacks' Ian Kennedy (2-3, 4.88) at Rockies' Jhoulys Chacin (3-2, 2.70 before Thursday), 6:40 p.m., ROOT