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Giants 8, Rickies 6

The SportsXchange

DENVER -- Nothing about the Colorado Rockies seems to faze the San Francisco Giants. The Giants fell into an early six-run hole against the Rockies on Thursday night and came roaring back to beat them 8-6.

It was the Giants' 10th straight win against the Rockies and fourth this season. That 10-game winning streak is the longest over any division rival since divisional play began in 1969. Since the start of the 2011 season, the Giants are 31-9 against the Rockies.

Giants starter Matt Cain yielded six runs in the first three innings, the runs scoring on three homers. But he survived that early barrage to pitch 6 1/3 innings and gave up only one hit after the third, a two-out single in the sixth.

Cain won his third straight start, while Jhoulys Chacin, who pitched 5 1/3 innings, lost his third in succession. In addition to squandering a six-run lead, Chacin yielded season-highs in hits (nine) and runs (eight), and his ERA rose from 2.70 to 4.07.

Chacin gave up five runs in the fourth inning and three more in the sixth. He allowed consecutive singles to begin the sixth inning, and Gregor Blanco hit a sacrifice fly. Brandon Crawford, who doubled home three runs when the Giants batted around in the fourth, lined a single to right, ending Chacin's night at 96 pitches.

The final two runs charged to Chacin scored when Adam Ottavino gave up a sacrifice to Cain, moving runners to second and third, followed by Angel Pagan's two-run single on an 0-2 pitch.

Pagan hit a bouncer that hopped past the mound and rolled into center field.

The Giants were coming off 10-6 and 11-3 losses on Tuesday and Wednesday at Toronto, where they made four errors and allowed eight unearned runs. Before his team's comeback win against Colorado, Giants manager Bruce Bochy said, "I'm hoping when we came back across the border, we picked up our game where we left off."

He was right, although that didn't look to be the case early on.

Thanks to three home runs, the Rockies gave Chacin a six-run lead after three innings.

The Rockies pounced on Cain for three runs in the second and three in the third, all six runs scoring on home runs.

After Wilin Rosario's single with one out in the second, Todd Helton hit his third homer of the season and the 357th of his career. He lofted a 2-1 slider down the right-field line, the ball nestling in the seats just inside the foul pole.

Nolan Arenado followed with his fourth homer, driving Cain's first-pitch fastball over the fence in left center.

Rosario hit a three-run homer in the third. It was his eighth homer of the season and came after Cain walked Carlos Gonzalez to begin the inning and Troy Tulowitzki was safe on an infield hit.

Home runs have been a problem for Cain, albeit not recently. He had allowed one homer in 15 1/3 innings while winning his past two starts but had yielded 10 homers in his past 40 1/3 innings.

Chacin twice escaped bases-loaded jams in his last start on Saturday at St. Louis but couldn't sidestep trouble of his own making in the five-run fourth, which became a 38-pitch ordeal when the Giants scored four of their runs with two out.

Marco Scutaro led off with a single, extending his hitting streak to 15 games. Chacin loaded the bases on a walk and a single and forced in a run by walking Brandon Belt, throwing a first-pitch strike followed by four consecutive balls.

A single by Hunter Pence came in a nine-pitch at-bat during which he fouled off four consecutive pitches with a 3-1 count.

Blanco flied to short right, but Crawford cleared the bases with a three-run double and scored when Cain followed with a first-pitch single.

NOTES: Rockies pitcher Jeff Francis was placed on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to Wednesday with a left groin strain. He said he injured the groin in the second inning at Chicago but pitched six innings and held the Cubs to three hits and one run with one walk and a season-high seven strikeouts, leaving after throwing 80 pitches. Francis' groin was too sore Thursday for him to throw a bullpen session. Reliever Rob Scahill was recalled from Triple-A Colorado Springs for three games until Francis' turn in the rotation comes up Sunday. Tyler Chatwood is expected to be brought up to make the start. ... The Rockies designated infielder Reid Brignac for assignment and recalled infielder D.J. LeMahieu from Colorado Springs, where in 33 games he hit .364 with eight doubles, five triples, one homer with 22 RBI. Brignac, who was acquired from Tampa Bay during spring training, hit .250 in 29 games with one home run, which came as a pinch hitter Wednesday night at Chicago, and six RBI. ... In their losses Tuesday and Wednesday at Toronto, the Giants allowed five or more runs in consecutive games in the first inning for the third time in their long history, according to Elias Sports Bureau. It also happened on Aug 10-11, 1894, at the Baltimore Orioles and Sept. 22-23, 2006, at the Milwaukee Brewers. ... Giants reliever Chad Gaudin said he was available to pitch after throwing 72 pitches in 3 1/3 innings on Wednesday at Toronto in relief of starter Ryan Vogelsong. Bochy said the earliest that Gaudin could pitch would be Friday and then only for one inning. ... Vogelsong is 1-4 with an 8.06 ERA in eight starts and in his past three games has yielded 22 hits and 21 runs, 16 earned, in 11 innings. But Bochy said "right now" Vogelsong will make his next scheduled start Monday against the Washington Nationals. He volunteered to pitch in relief after throwing 64 pitches Wednesday at Toronto. If pressed into relief duty, that would change the plan to start Vogelsong on Monday, but Bochy is not in a hurry to alter his rotation and is being typically patient with a veteran player. "This guy has done a lot," Bochy said. "He's earned some things, including a longer leash."
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