Small slips cost Rusin in solid outing vs. Giants

Small slips cost Rusin in solid outing vs. Giants

SAN FRANCISCO -- Rockies lefty Chris Rusin treats pitching as an inclusive act, which is beautiful unless he or someone along the assembly line doesn't nail an assignment.

The few times things didn't click proved costly in the Rockies' 7-5 loss to the Giants on Saturday afternoon.

Rusin went 6 1/3 innings and gave up 10 hits, including Matt Duffy's homer in the fifth. But just two runs were earned, and Duffy's long ball didn't hurt him as much as the addition of some smaller miscues. A misplayed ball here, a walk there, some plain ol' bad luck somewhere else can ruin an outing.

"We gave them a couple extra outs one inning, but Russ did a great job -- really threw the ball well, commanded it, gave us some length," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "He was battling all day. It's a tough lineup to get through multiple times. He certainly gave us a shot to win that game."

It wasn't good enough, Rusin is building on two solid starts -- a six-inning, three-run effort in a home victory over the Brewers and Saturday's. Rusin put into action advice from pitching coach Steve Foster and catchers Michael McKenry and Nick Hundley to put behind him a mini-slump that saw him yield 13 runs and 20 hits in 9 1/3 innings over two starts at the dawn of June.

"We worked on staying in line and really driving down on the ball, getting that sink," Rusin said. "When I don't do that, the ball flattens out. I've been able to do what they've told me the last two games and keep the ball on the ground and get late movement."

With one out in the Giants' three-run third inning, first baseman Wilin Rosario flubbed a Joe Panik grounder for an error, and a bobble by normally spectacular shortstop Troy Tulowitzki turned a potential inning-ending double play into a single out and a fielder's choice RBI for Duffy. Buster Posey followed by doubling in two runs.

Duffy's RBI groundout

The other downer was a five-pitch walk to Angel Pagan to open the seventh. The walk was compounded by Panik's grounder to Rosario, which wasn't hard enough to result in a double play. Later in the inning, Andrew Susac put the Giants ahead with a three-run double off Rafael Betancourt.

"That's who I am," Rusin said. "I'm not a power pitcher. I pitch to weak contact, try to get ground balls. If there is a runner on first, I try to hold him, not let him steal -- I take pride in that. Then I try to get the double play."

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.