DENVER — The San Francisco Giants came to Colorado on a little roll.
They’re heading out with a collective limp and a pivotal division matchup up next.
Matt Cain struggled during a nine-run fifth inning, and the Rockies beat the Giants 11-6 on Thursday.
Cain allowed six runs and six hits in 4 2/3 innings, and Colorado scored three more runs off Chris Heston. The nine runs were the Rockies’ most in one inning against San Francisco.
Cain’s rough outing may not be the worst of it, either, before San Francisco travels to Los Angeles for a weekend series with the Dodgers.
Reliever Sergio Romo was diagnosed with a strained right flexor tendon and is likely headed for the disabled list. Shortstop Brandon Crawford left in the seventh with a sore left hip. Joe Panik didn’t start because of a sore hip, although he came in as a defensive replacement in the eighth.
And catcher Buster Posey returned to the lineup after missing two games with a bruised right foot, but then left the game in the bottom of the seventh as a precaution.
“He wasn’t full strength so I had to pull him out,” manager Bruce Bochy said about Posey. “I didn’t want to have any setbacks.”
All that, combined with Cain’s rocky outing, made for a disappointing day for San Francisco.
Cain retired 12 of the first 13 batters he faced and was in a battle with Colorado starter Jorge De La Rosa through three innings. The Giants had the first big scoring opportunity when De La Rosa’s bases-loaded wild pitch put them ahead in the fourth, but two defensive gems by third baseman Nolan Arenado and another by first baseman Mark Reynolds prevented more runs.
Colorado then scored nine runs in the fifth, when Gerardo Parra led off with his first homer for the Rockies. Reynolds had two doubles, the second a three-run drive to center, and Arenado had a two-run double off the wall in left.
“I can’t really explain what happened,” Cain said. “… It got out of hand and they ended up putting a big number on us.”
Brandon Belt homered for the second straight game for the Giants.
De La Rosa helped himself when he blooped a two-run single into right for a 3-1 lead.
“Their pitcher got a big hit for him and we just couldn’t stop the inning,” Bochy said.
San Francisco chased De La Rosa in a three-run seventh and loaded the bases against Justin Miller. Posey had a chance to make it a one-run game with a home run but grounded out.
Belt’s two-run homer in the eighth — awarded after a video review — made it 9-6, but Carlos Gonzalez answered with a two-run double in the bottom half.
Madison Bumgarner will face Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw when the teams open a three-game series in Los Angeles on Friday.