DENVER — The San Francisco Giants were certainly seeing double. Quite a few of them, too.
Hunter Pence had three of a record-tying eight doubles for San Francisco, and the Giants beat the Colorado Rockies 8-3 on Sunday.
Pence’s double in the eighth helped the Giants equal a mark accomplished four times since the team moved to San Francisco after the 1957 season.
“You go through an ebb and flow of a season and you’ll run into some games where fancy stuff like that happens,” Pence said. “There’s no rhyme or reason. The balls we hit seemed to be doubles.”
Well, with one notable exception — Denard Span’s solo shot into the second deck for his first homer since April 4. The ball came off his bat at 102 mph, one of Span’s harder hits, and would have traveled 441 feet had it landed unimpeded, according to MLB’s Statcast program.
Not bad for playing with a bruised hip, an injury that sidelined him Saturday.
“Sometimes one day makes a difference,” Span said. “Woke up this morning feeling a little bit better.”
Johnny Cueto (8-1) dealt with a sore back that surfaced after the first inning. He kept retreating to the clubhouse to get stretched out and yet turned in a gutty six-inning performance in which he allowed two runs — one earned — and six hits.
“He’s that good where he found a way to get through it,” said Giants manager Bruce Bochy, whose team has won 15 of their last 17 games. “Johnny made some big pitches when he had to.”
Talked a little bit, too.
The usually mild-mannered and fast-working Cueto became agitated with Gerardo Parra in the third. Parra held his hand up for time, which was granted, and so Cueto waited. Parra did it again and Cueto threw his hands up in exasperation, before stepping off the mound and taking a stroll to cool down.
“I just told him to stop asking for timeout,” Cueto said through a translator.
When Parra lined into an inning-ending double play, Cueto appeared to say something to Parra, with Parra glaring back. It didn’t escalate.
“He said, ‘Let’s go fast. I’m ready,’” Parra said. “We know he works at a fast pace.”
Cueto struck out Parra when they faced each other in the sixth. Cueto didn’t make eye contact with Parra.
“It was over with,” Cueto said. “There was no need to say anything.”
Chris Rusin (1-3) allowed six runs and 11 hits in five innings.
Rusin moved into the starting rotation for Jorge De La Rosa, who has been sent to the bullpen. Rusin hung an 83 mph cutter to Span in the fourth, the first homer he’s allowed in 41 2/3 innings dating to last season.
“I didn’t make pitches to get out of the jams,” Rusin said.
Handed a lead after Cueto’s solid performance, the Giants bullpen made it hold up. The only run allowed was a homer by Carlos Gonzalez in the eighth estimated to have gone 456 feet had it landed unimpeded. The day before, San Francisco’s bullpen squandered a late lead before the team rallied.