The San Francisco Giants got a much-needed breather in the midst of a playoff push that has slowed of late.
One day after a rainout, the Giants continue their quest for a spot in the postseason Monday when they open a three-game series with the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field.
The finale of the Giants’ three-game series with St. Louis was rained out Sunday and will not be made up unless it’s needed to determine a playoff spot. San Francisco (74-74), 3 1/2 games behind wild card-leading Los Angeles and four behind NL West-leading San Diego, lost the first two games of the series and has dropped four of six overall.
Giants manager Felipe Alou said that he welcomed the day off because it gave his players some time to deal with nagging injuries.
“I’m not upset about the rain,” he said. “We caught a break. Ray (Durham) was not in the lineup, Barry (Bonds) wasn’t, and (Omar) Vizquel had an off-day and Moises (Alou), too. Hard to tell, but I’m not mad about the rain.”
The Rockies (69-80) have won just two of their last six games, but are coming off Sunday’s 6-1 victory over Arizona. Jeff Baker, a late-season call-up, hit his second career homer.
“That was a big game for Jeff, big swing of the bat to drive a ball that way,” manager Clint Hurdle said.
Colorado, mired in last place in the NL West, is opening a 10-game homestand. They’ll give Justin Hampson (0-0, 1.80 ERA), another September call-up, his first career start in the opener.
Hampson allowed one run in five innings in two relief appearances and threw 3 1-3 scoreless innings against the Giants on Tuesday. He went 8-4 with a 3.33 ERA in 31 appearances for Triple-A Colorado Springs, including 6-3 with a 3.61 ERA in 13 starts.
“We’re just going to see what he can do with it,” Hurdle said. “This (Giants) lineup is a good lineup, a good challenge at our park. It’ll give us an opportunity also to evaluate him in some different areas, not just out of the bullpen.”
San Francisco will counter with Noah Lowry (7-9, 4.19), who allowed five runs in 4 1-3 innings of Wednesday’s 9-8 loss to the Rockies. Lowry, who skipped his previous start because of elbow irritation, was coming off a 6-2 defeat to Chicago on Sept. 1 in which he allowed six runs in five innings.
“He is much better now,” Alou said.
Lowry dropped to 1-3 with a 6.05 ERA in seven starts against Colorado, including 0-1 with a 4.05 ERA in three this season. He is 1-2 with an 8.06 ERA in four starts at Coors.