Will Smith became the latest pitcher to fall victim to Coors Field on Tuesday night.
Having seen his streak of 23 straight saves to start the season snapped on Friday, the San Francisco Giants closer got another gut punch on Tuesday, allowing a pair of ninth-inning homers — including a towering 467-foot game-tying two-run shot to Ian Desmond.
San Francisco, though, just as it did on Friday, picked Smith up, scoring four runs in the 10th to take an 8-4 win over the Colorado Rockies. The win is the Giants’ fourth straight, and 11th in theirlast 13, a stretch that may have some putting plans to sell at the trade deadline on hold.
Just as aces like Hyun-Jin Ryu and Walker Buehler have seen trips to Denver put dents in their ERAs, Smith was roughed up after entering Tuesday’s game with a three-run lead. Trevor Story led the inning off with a solo homer, Daniel Murphy singled with one out and Desmond followed. Raimel Tapia then singled and stole second with two outs, but Smith froze Tony Wolters with a slider to send the game to extras.
That’s where San Francisco (46-49) struck against Wade Davis, once one of the game’s top relievers but now a pedestrian closer whose numbers look even worse with his home games at altitude. Back-to-back one-out walks by Buster Posey and Pablo Sandoval set Alex Dickerson up, and he came through with a sharp single through the right side to put the Giants back in front. Dickerson finished the night 4-for-5 with two RBIs and is now batting .400 (24-for-60) with four home runs since being acquired from the Padres.
Brandon Crawford then added a single of his own, and after Bryan Shaw relieved Davis, Mike Yastrzemski singled in another run. Kevin Pillar then hit a sharp grounder that got through the drawn-in Nolan Arenado, just the fifth error of the year on the Rockies’ third baseman.
Mark Melancon allowed only a one-out walk to Charlie Blackmon in the bottom of the 10th, and Pillar made one of his three highlight-reel grabs, laying out to rob Story of a base hit on a sinking liner. He’d earlier robbed Story of a hit in the third, and pilfered one with another full-extension dive on a Tony Wolters liner in the eighth.
The late-inning drama overshadowed another great start by Drew Pomeranz, whose resurgence has taken him from being a DFA candidate to a solid member of the rotation. He allowed just one run over five-plus innings, with three hits and one walk while striking out four.
Thanks to another strong night at the plate from Yastrzemski, Pomeranz was in line for the win until the ninth. Yastrzemski doubled the game’s first run home in the top of the second, then scored on Joe Panik’s infield single.
That was all the Giants would get over six innings against 22-year-old Peter Lambert, but Pomeranz held Colorado (46-49) off the board until the sixth, when Garrett Hampson pinch-hit for Lambert and walked. A Blackmon single advanced Hampson to third and ended Pomeranz’s night, with Trevor Gott tasked with escaping the inning.
Gott limited the Rockies to just one run, with Story’s force out scoring Hampson. Arenado was then hit by a pitch, but Murphy hit into an inning-ending double play. Tony Watson and Sam Dyson each pitched 1-2-3 innings, and the Giants padded the lead off setup man Scott Oberg in the eighth, with a Brandon Belt leadoff walk, Posey single and Dickerson RBI single. Chad Bettis then came on for the ninth and served up Yastrzemski’s second homer of the series for what would prove to be a vital insurance run.