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Bumgarner hits grand slam in Giants' win

The SportsXchange

SAN FRANCISCO -- Left-hander Madison Bumgarner is known around the San Francisco Giants clubhouse as a "5 o'clock hitter," a reference to his propensity for putting on a show in pregame batting practice.

Friday night, the slugging pitcher saved one of his best shots for prime time.

Bumgarner hit a grand slam and tied a franchise record for RBIs by a pitcher with five, powering the Giants to a 6-5 victory over the Colorado Rockies in the opener of a three-game series.

Snapping a two-game losing streak, the Giants (7-4) trailed 3-1 in the bottom of the fourth inning before Rockies left-hander Jorge De La Rosa (0-2) walked shortstop Brandon Crawford with the bases loaded to force in a run that narrowed the gap to one.

Bumgarner, a right-handed batter, then turned on De La Rosa's next offering, belting it 10 rows into the left-field bleachers for his third career home run and a 6-3 lead.

"I'm always trying to swing hard and try to run into something," admitted Bumgarner, who became just the second Giants pitcher to hit a grand slam since the club moved west in 1958. "I was lucky enough to run into something."

Watching De La Rosa issue a four-pitch walk to Crawford from the on-deck circle had Bumgarner primed to take one of his 5 o'clock whacks at the lefty's first fastball.

"I wanted to be ready," he said. "You don't want to get behind anybody with the bases loaded, especially the pitcher."

Bumgarner also had a sacrifice fly in the third, beginning a two-inning flurry that saw him become just the fifth Giants pitcher ever to have five RBIs in a game.

The staff ace wasn't as dominant on the mound, but was good enough to earn the win. Bumgarner (2-0) allowed four runs on nine hits and two walks in six innings, striking out seven.

"It couldn't have happened at a better time for me," he said of the grand slam, "with me not really having it out there (on the mound)."

One of the hits Bumgarner allowed was a two-run home run into McCovey Cove by Rockies left fielder Carlos Gonzalez in the third inning. The "splash hit" was the second of Gonzalez's career -- he also had one off left-hander Barry Zito last May -- and just the 29th by a Giants opponent in the history of AT&T Park.

Gonzalez's home run was the fifth of his career against Bumgarner, the most he has hit off any pitcher.

Pinch-hitters Charlie Culberson and Charlie Blackmon drove in Colorado runs in the sixth and eighth innings, respectively, to get the Rockies back within 6-5. But right-hander Santiago Casilla pitched out of a jam in the eighth and right-hander Sergio Romo struck out the side in the ninth for his third save to protect the San Francisco lead.

"We're going to battle every night," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "Tough game. That's what they all look like here."

Shortstop Josh Rutledge (three singles), right fielder Brandon Barnes (two singles) and third baseman Nolan Arenado (two singles) combined for seven of Colorado's 11 hits. The Rockies out-hit the Giants 11-6.

San Francisco had two doubles, a triple and a grand slam among its six hits.

The Rockies were without Blackmon, shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, catcher Wilin Rosario and first baseman Justin Morneau in their starting lineup, although Blackmon, Tulowitzki and Morneau all pinch-hit in the late innings. The Giants rested catcher Buster Posey and center fielder Angel Pagan.

De La Rosa, who entered the game with an 8.31 ERA, couldn't get out of the fifth inning. He gave up six runs in 4 1/3, allowing four hits and two walks. He also hit a batter and struck out six.

"He's been letting it get away from him," Weiss said of big innings that have hurt De La Rosa this season. "He's got to reel it in."

NOTES: Two of LHP Madison Bumgarner's three career home runs have come against the Rockies. He also homered Sept. 11, 2012, at Coors Field, a three-run shot off RHP Jhoulys Chacin. ... The last Giants pitcher to hit a grand slam was LHP Shawn Estes on May 24, 2000, against the Montreal Expos. ... Bumgarner's streak of having allowed three or fewer runs in 21 consecutive games ended. The run dated back to last June. ... Opponents are hitting .329 off Bumgarner this season after having struggled at a .203 clip last year. ... Giants LF Michael Morse (nine) and Rockies LF Carlos Gonzalez (10) continued hitting streaks in the game; Rockies 1B Michael Cuddyer (10) had his snapped. ... Rockies SS Troy Tulowitzki, CF Charlie Blackmon, C Wilin Rosario and 1B Justin Morneau and Giants C Buster Posey and CF Angel Pagan are all expected to return to the starting lineup for Saturday afternoon's second game of the series. ... The Rockies announced a change in their starting rotation before the game. Colorado manager Walt Weiss said RHP Tyler Chatwood will be activated off the disabled list to start Sunday in San Francisco, with RHP Jordan Lyles pushed back to Monday in San Diego. LHP Franklin Morales has been demoted to the bullpen.
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