Rockies get just enough to spoil Giants' home opener
By Chris Haft and Thomas Harding
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Colorado Rockies' offense was unusually quiet Monday, but it didn't matter because their pitching took over in a 2-0 defeat of the San Francisco Giants.
Rockies starter Eddie Butler lasted only 5 1/3 innings but stranded 10 runners in the first four innings. The Giants, playing their home opener at AT&T Park, went 0-for-5 off Butler with runners in scoring position.
"He's got the two-seamer. That's his safety net," Colorado manager Walt Weiss said. "When the guys make contact, they're usually hitting the top of the ball. He created some traffic for himself but he pitched through it."
The defending World Series champion Giants, who dropped their fourth consecutive game, received an admirable effort from Chris Heston. The right-hander worked seven innings, matching Madison Bumgarner's season high for a Giants starter, and allowed seven hits as well as both Rockies runs.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED No trouble with the curve ... that time:Troy Tulowitzki, like most of the Rockies, had trouble timing up Heston's pitches -- especially the curve. But in the fourth, after Charlie Blackmon's second single, Tulowitzki stayed with an 86 mph bender and lined an RBI single into left field for a 1-0 lead.
Lots of LOBs: The Giants teased their home fans, stranding 10 baserunners in the first four innings. That included leaving the bases loaded in each of the first two innings. However, three of the threats crested with two outs. More >
Rolling along:Nick Hundley's slide for the Rockies' second run will not appear on the next Tom Emanski fundamentals video. Dashing in from third on Heston's wild pitch, Hundley hit well short, bounced into a roll and landed on the plate. Heston received the throw from catcher Buster Posey in time, but Hundley's odd arrival dislodged the ball.
"Any time you're out there, you should be having fun. It was a blast." -- Heston, the only San Francisco rookie pitcher besides Alan Fowlkes in 1982 to start a home opener.More >
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Weiss went to righty Brooks Brown to replace Butler and face Giants table-setting lefty hitters Nori Aoki and Joe Panik with one out in the sixth. Brown retired both without the ball leaving the infield. Why the right-on-left? Lefty hitters are 10-for-50 (.200) against Brown since he was promoted to the Majors in 2014.
A seventh-inning review requested by Giants manager Bruce Bochy on the tag play at home plate confirmed the umpires' safe call. Replays showed that Heston, covering home after throwing a pitch that short-hopped Posey and bounded away, indeed tagged out Hundley but lost control of the ball.
WHAT'S NEXT Rockies: Righty Christian Bergman faced the Giants twice last season, and the Rockies won both games. Bergman will start Tuesday because lefty Jorge De La Rosa has yet to return from a left groin strain. The game will be carried on Root Sports Rocky Mountain and 850 KOA at 8:15 p.m. MT.
Giants:Tim Hudson, San Francisco's scheduled starter for Tuesday's contest starting at 7:15 p.m. PT, had mixed success against the Rockies last year, posting a 4.24 ERA and no record in four starts against them. He's coming off an effort of 6 ? scoreless innings at San Diego last Thursday.