Giants score at right time, beat Rockies

Dave Del Grande, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

SAN FRANCISCO -- The San Francisco Giants aren't taking a last-place approach to what otherwise might be considered meaningless September games this season.
"We have a pretty tough team. People know that," first baseman Brandon Belt assured after Wednesday's 4-3, come-from-behind win over the Colorado Rockies. "We all want to finish strong. Everyone knows, even if they don't start the game, they might come in. You have to stay prepared."
Guillermo Moscoso, who hadn't pitched in eight days, and Angel Pagan, who was supposed to be getting the day off, provided late-entry contributions as the Giants earned a 10-9 decision over the Rockies in a tightly contested season series.
Marco Scutaro and Brandon Belt drove in the tying and go-ahead runs with opposite-field hits in the eighth inning, but everyone was willing to share the credit after the Giants rallied for a similar win as Monday's 3-2, 10-inning triumph.
"This is something we did earlier in the year when we were winning -- scoring at the right time," said Belt, whose club erased eighth-inning deficits in all three games of the series, winning two. "Marco made it pretty easy on me. He did the hard part."
After they had gotten only one run out of a bases-loaded, no-out situation in the seventh inning, the Giants did one better in the eighth against Rockies reliever Matt Belisle (5-7).
Pinch-hitter Ehire Adrianza sacrificed to move Brandon Crawford and Pagan, who had led off the inning with successive singles, into scoring position. Pagan's hit came as a pinch-hitter for Roger Kieschnick.
After a third pinch-hitter, Buster Posey, was walked intentionally to create a double-play possibility, Scutaro ruined that strategy and tied the game with a single to right that plated Crawford. Belt followed with what turned out to be the difference-maker, a single to left that scored Pagan.
"We're still giving 100 percent out there," noted Moscoco (2-2), the winning pitcher. "I know the Colorado Rockies. I played over there last year. These are two teams doing their best. You're going to have good games like that."
The Rockies not only were attempting to win a season series from the Giants for the first time since 2008, they were also trying to pick up an individual series win at AT&T Park for the first time in three years.
Rockies manager Walt Weiss walked away shaking his head.
"Every time we come here, it's a war," he claimed. "It seems like every game is like this.
"This entire division is very close. That's the way it was until the (Los Angeles) Dodgers took off."
Santiago Casilla, serving as closer as the Giants rested Sergio Romo following appearances in each of the first two games of the series, picked up his second save despite allowing a two-out, pinch-hit single by Troy Tulowitzki.
Moscoso (2-2), the third Giants pitcher, made the comeback possible by shutting out the Rockies in the seventh and eighth innings.
"I know my routine," explained the right-hander, who has been both a starter and a reliever for the Giants this season. "I hadn't pitched in eight days, but I was ready. Every day, I come to the field and throw, and try to get my pitches down."
Nolan Arenado drove in two runs, Corey Dickerson scored twice and Michael Cuddyer had three hits as the Rockies got almost all their production from the middle of the lineup en route to taking a 3-1 lead that ended Giants starter Yusmeiro Petit's afternoon after 5 2/3 innings.
Coming off a near-perfect game in which he retired the first 26 Arizona Diamondbacks he faced in a 3-0 shutout on Friday, Petit set down the first 11 Rockies until walking Dickerson on a full-count pitch in the top of the fourth.
Cuddyer stopped Petit's no-hit bid one batter later with a line-drive single to right-center, and Arenado ended the shutout with a single that scored Dickerson to tie the game at 1-1.
"I like the fight we've had down the stretch here. Our guys are battling until the last out," Weiss praised. "I've told them: Sometimes the reward you get for all the hard work is getting your heart broken."
Rockies starter Juan Nicasio was attempting to record a fifth consecutive win over National League West competition, and had a chance to do so despite a less-than-stellar performance. He left after pitching five innings with a 3-1 lead, holding the Giants to the single run despite allowing five hits and four walks. He struck out one.
NOTES: Belt's eighth-inning RBI was his 27th this season in the seventh or later, the fourth-most among NL players. ... The win was the Giants' fourth in seven games over the past week at AT&T Park against Arizona and Colorado, allowing them to record their first winning homestand since May 20-26 against Washington and Colorado. ... Petit has now struck out 37 in 32 innings. ... Cuddyer batted .400 (14-for-35) in the Rockies' nine games at AT&T Park this season. ... Rockies ace LHP Jorge De La Rosa still had some soreness in three fingers (his left thumb, index and middle fingers) one day after lasting only two innings in Colorado's 9-8 win. The 16-game winner said he expects to make his next start, which is scheduled for Monday at home against St. Louis. ... The Giants plan to activate LHP Jeremy Affeldt from the disabled list in time for Thursday's series opener in Los Angeles against the Dodgers. Affeldt has been on the DL since July 21 with a strained groin.

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