SAN FRANCISCO -- After the Reds held off a late Cardinals rally Wednesday night, the Giants were in prime position to extend their lead on St. Louis in the National League Wild Card standings. But Tyler Chatwood had other plans.
The Rockies' right-hander threw eight scoreless innings and Nolan Arenado knocked in the go-ahead run in the fourth as Colorado outlasted San Francisco, 2-0, at AT&T Park. The Giants' loss coupled with a Mets win moved the club 1 1/ 2 games behind New York for first place in the NL Wild Card race. San Francisco remained a full game in front of St. Louis, in the lead for the second spot.
"You'd like to take advantage of the situation when a team loses," said Giants manager Bruce Bochy, whose club has been shut out nine times since the All-Star break. "But that starting pitcher, he's the guy that sets the tone, and their guy was on."
"They're trying to go to their playoffs, so their fans are all excited. It's just a great atmosphere," Chatwood said.
Consistency continues to be the shortcoming of the Giants' second-half. A night after tallying 19 hits, the group was held to just three singles against Chatwood, who finished his season with a Major League best 1.69 road ERA, a Rockies record. Chatwood, in his first season back after a second Tommy John surgery (he had one as a teenager), was at his best in the latter half of the game, inducing double plays in the seventh and eighth innings to offset leadoff walks.
"We had just scored in the sixth, and to go out there and walk the leadoff guy is not ideal, and it's the meat of their lineup -- Buster Posey, one of the best hitters in baseball," Chatwood said. "I got him to ground into a double play, and it fired me up. Same thing the next inning, same situation."
Meanwhile, the Rockies consistently pressured right-hander Jeff Samardzija, chasing him in the seventh with no outs after Gerardo Parra's run-scoring single. Samardzija allowed just two runs on seven hits, but he was charged with his 11th loss of the season due to the Giants' bats going silent.
The Giants finally found some production in the ninth, as Kelby Tomlinson doubled off Boone Logan to open the inning. Logan fanned the next two hitters, before giving up a Brandon Belt infield single when he was slow covering first. But Adam Ottavino forced a Posey grounder to complete his sixth save as the Rockies pulled to 9-9 against the Giants on the season. They have a chance Thursday to win the season series for the third straight year.
"It's good to play games like this against teams that are fighting for their playoff lives," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Into the record books: Arenado's RBI single in the fourth inning gave him 130 RBIs, to go with the 40 homers he had coming into the game. Arenado joined Miguel Cabrera (2012-13) and Alex Rodriguez (2005, '07) as the only players in MLB history with multiple 40-homer, 130-RBI seasons while playing primarily as third basemen. Additionally, Arenado and Hall of Famers Jimmie Foxx (1932-33) and Chuck Klein (1929-30) are the only players with multiple 40-130 seasons before turning 26.
"I think he's going to continue to impress for a long time," Weiss said. "He's off to quite a start to his career. The things he's accomplished already are pretty amazing. I think there's more to come."
Not feeling Chatty: The Giants didn't record an extra-base hit until Kelby Tomlinson led off the ninth inning with a double. The offense managed just three singles off Chatwood and generated zero runs despite putting the leadoff batter on base in the first three and final three innings. This came night after the Giants totaled 19 hits and 12 runs.
"Two different teams," Bochy said. "Chatwood's been tough on us. We just couldn't figure him out. We had a runner on second base one time through eight innings. That's not going to work." More >
Solid Samardzija: Samardzija recorded a season-high 11 strikeouts while allowing two earned runs in six-plus innings. The right-hander, who surpassed 200 innings for the fourth consecutive season on Wednesday, has surrendered two runs or fewer in four of his last five outings.
"It's a tale of three seasons, I'd say, for me," said Samardzija. "Good start, pretty poor in the middle and then good at the end. That's the way these seasons go. You can't get too high or too low, you just got to keep trying to improve. And when it's not going well, figure out what's different or what's going to work and make adjustments. I really like how I finished the season." More >
Help from behind the plate: The Giants' leadoff man reached each of the first three innings, but catcher Tony Wolters was responsible for erasing would-be basestealers Denard Span in the first and Conor Gillaspie in the third. The throw that beat Span came with Wolters in a tough body position, but he bounced it exactly where second baseman Daniel Descalso could make an easy tag.
WHAT'S NEXT Rockies: Righty Jon Gray (10-9, 4.54 ERA), coming off setting a club record with 26 strikeouts in a two-start span, will have his final outing of the season on Thursday night against the Giants at 8:15 p.m. MT.
Giants:Johnny Cueto on Thursday will make his first start since straining his left groin on Sept. 20 when these clubs conclude their three-game series at 7:15 p.m. PT. Cueto is 2-0 with a 0.77 ERA in three outings against Colorado this season.