The San Francisco Giants matched their 2017 win total at Coors Field, and it only took one series.
Wednesday’s 7-4 win over the Colorado Rockies was the Giants’ first in Denver in 2018, matching their total for all of the previous season. San Francisco lost the first nine games in Colorado last year before winning in the final bow, but this season, the Giants salvaged the final game of their first three-game set in the mountains, beating Rockies ace Jon Gray despite falling into an early 3-0 hole.
Nolan Arenado — who came into the game with a career .316 batting average and 21 home runs in 94 games against the Giants — tagged San Francisco starter Derek Holland for a three-run homer in the first inning, but even after giving up another run in the second, Holland was still able to get the win, thanks to an offensive eruption against Gray, who gave up six of the San Francisco’s 11 hits.
The Giants (26-30) got back two in the second on a wild pitch and a Pablo Sandoval single, and tied the game on a pair of bases-loaded walks in the fourth. Gray was then relieved by Harrison Musgrave, who got Andrew McCutchen to ground into a double play to end the inning with a 4-4 tie.
San Francisco took the lead in the fifth on Evan Longoria’s two-run triple off Musgrave, and it would hold up as the decisive hit. Brandon Crawford would follow with an RBI single, and the visitors would tack on another in the eighth on Buster Posey’s single against Bryan Shaw.
Colorado (30-26) had several chances after the first two innings, but could never cash in. A Carlos Gonzalez double and Ian Desmond single put men on the corners with two outs in the eighth against Sam Dyson, but pinch-hitter David Dahl grounded out harmlessly to end the threat.
Hunter Strickland got into some hot water in the ninth en route to his 11th save of the year, with Gerardo Parra striking out but reaching first on a wild pitch, and Ryan McMahon doubling with two outs. That brought up Arenado with a chance to tie things up, but he popped out to end the game.
Reyes Moronta, Tony Watson, Dyson and Strickland each pitched scoreless innings to make a winner out of Holland, who didn’t record a strikeout but moved to 3-6 on the year, allowing eight hits and two walks.
The win leaves the Giants with a 2-7 record on the road trip, but they managed a measure of success at both Coors and at Wrigley Field, places that have been the sources of nightmares for them in recent years.