Giants back Moore to maintain Wild Card position

Giants back Moore to maintain Wild Card position

SAN FRANCISCO -- Buster Posey and Hunter Pence hit solo homers as part of an offensive onslaught and Matt Moore was almost untouchable on the mound, as the Giants kept pace in the National League Wild Card race with a 12-3 win over the Rockies on Tuesday night.

After allowing six runs in one-plus inning in his previous outing against the Dodgers, Moore showcased why the Giants acquired him before the non-waiver Trade Deadline. Taking the ball to open San Francisco's final homestand of the season, the left-hander surrendered one run in 7 2/3 innings while matching a career high with 11 strikeouts.

"We weren't in a place to afford any more bad starts," said Moore, who helped the Giants remain a half-game back of the Mets and a full game ahead of the Cardinals in the NL Wild Card standings. "Last time out was pretty poor. I didn't feel like I was trying to create too much tonight. I didn't feel like I was as aggressive off the rubber, which can be a problem for me. Today I was able to stay within myself and keep a good tempo down the hill."

Rockies manager Walt Weiss, whose team has lost five straight and has an eight-game road losing streak, said Moore was nothing like the pitcher who gave up six runs in 2 2/3 innings in a loss at Coors Field on Sept. 5.

"He had a real good cutter for the righties and a good breaking ball to the lefties and mixed some changeups in there to the righties," Weiss said. "And he commanded the fastball. That guy's just got easy velocity. The ball jumps on you."

The Giants' offense proved to be just as potent, jumping on Rockies starter German Marquez for six runs in the first five innings. The night was highlighted by the four-run outburst in the fifth, in which Posey recorded his 1,000th career hit in the form of a shot to left field.

"I didn't realize that was his 1,000th hit, but it was a big hit," said Giants manager Bruce Bochy.

Posey's hit may've kicked the Giants' offense fully into gear. Pence followed with a homer, Brandon Crawford hit two triples in a game for the first time in his career and by night's end, the lineup tallied 19 hits.

Crawford's four-hit game

"It's been awhile since they've had a game like that," said Bochy. "Hopefully it is something that gets them going and their confidence. We're going to have to score runs. It's going to be important to get this offense going a little bit. It's my hope it is something they can build on."

Marquez, 21, who was Pitcher of the Year in the Double-A Eastern League and beat the Cardinals last week in his first Major League start, was competitive the first four innings, but Weiss said that in the fifth, "I didn't see the finish to his pitches -- the ball wasn't quite finishing. [But] he never seems to get rattled. These are opportunities for growth."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Going deep: Power in the batter's box is something that has increasingly eluded the Giants during their second-half slump. But that trend was discontinued for at least one night, as Posey and Pence's homers were part of a string of six straight hits in the fifth inning.

"It was nice," said Posey. "We were able to string some hits together consecutively and also extra-base hits and get some runs early on the board."

Posey homers for 1,000th hit

A "welcome to the Majors" moment: Marquez's easy power and ability to change speeds helped him succeed at Double-A Hartford and Triple-A Albuquerque. But as Tuesday showed, even an off-balance swing can be dangerous. Pence was leaning over the plate, almost on one knee, when he popped his homer.

"I threw him a changeup first pitch and he chased, and then I threw it again and he just made an adjustment," Marquez said.

Pence's towering jack

Success from the two-hole: Brandon Belt almost hit for the cycle while batting from an unfamiliar spot in the order. Batting second for just the second time this year, Belt smashed a double, triple and single in his first three at-bats. He finished the night with one RBI and two runs.

Belt's triple in the 3rd

Another development opportunity: Righty Jeff Hoffman moved to the bullpen after five difficult starts, but it wasn't clear how many chances he'd receive. But after pitching two scoreless innings against the Dodgers on Friday -- his first two professional relief innings -- Hoffman received two more innings Tuesday. He gave up a run on three hits and two walks, with all of his outs coming on grounders.

"Hoffy did a fine job tonight, gave us a couple of innings on a tough night," Weiss said. "Unfortunately it got away from us from that point on."

QUOTABLE
"It's a cool accomplishment. I think back to being a kid, and having an opportunity to play in the Major Leagues was a dream come true. So to have 1,000 hits, it's kind of hard to believe." -- Posey

WHAT'S NEXT
Rockies: Righty Tyler Chatwood (11-9, 4.08 ERA) faces the Giants on Wednesday at 8:15 p.m. MT, with hopes of a positive finish to a strong road season that has seen him go 7-1 with a 1.88 ERA in 12 starts.

Giants: Jeff Samardzija will take the ball when these clubs resume their three-game series Wednesday at 7:15 p.m. PT. Samardzija is 1-1 with a 2.38 ERA in three starts against the Rockies this season.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page.

Justin Wise is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.