Cueto cruises vs. Rockies to earn 3rd win

Cueto cruises vs. Rockies to earn 3rd win

SAN FRANCISCO -- Righty Johnny Cueto extended his dominion over the Rockies by striking out six and holding them to two runs in seven innings of the Giants' 8-2 victory at AT&T Park on Friday night.

Cueto (3-0) is 6-0 with a 1.47 ERA in his last eight games against the Rockies. For assistance, Chris Marrero knocked his first Major League homer -- and the first for the Giants at home in '17 -- for two runs in the second. Brandon Crawford popped his second homer of the year, a solo shot in the fourth.

"A couple times on that last road trip we had chances to add on and we ended up letting the opposing team come back on us, so it was good to add on," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "Big two-out hits. Everybody did something, it seemed like, tonight."

• Marrero hits unforgettable 1st big league homer

Marrero's first career homer

The Giants' damage came against Rockies lefty starter Tyler Anderson (1-2), who yielded four runs on five hits in four innings. Anderson's night was notable because he balked twice, on pickoff moves to first base. In fact, manager Bud Black noted the feat by earning his first ejection in a Rockies uniform.

"From my vantage point they looked like real good moves," said Black, who did not go into the exchange with the umpiring crew. "That is one of the reasons he's able to control the running game."

Black ejected from the game

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
It's not the balk; it's the walk: The first of Anderson's balks came right before Marrero's second-inning homer. While the balks created such a conniption that Black was ejected in the fifth, they're beside the point when it comes to Anderson. The issue is the walk to Eduardo Nunez before the balk. Anderson has walked six this season. Five of those runners have scored. Anderson had retired the game's first five hitters, but the walk began the unraveling.

Anderson, who said he didn't believe he balked and felt he never received a true explanation for the calls, said he has to tighten up his strike-zone performance.

"You don't want to be behind in the count, and you don't want to walk guys and give away free bases," Anderson said. "If they're going to score, you want to make them earn it."

• Balk calls frustrate Anderson, raise Black's ire

Well, they had their chance: The Rockies cracked Cueto for two runs with one out in the fifth, when Giants second baseman Joe Panik fielded Stephen Cardullo's bases-loaded grounder and fumbled while attempting to tag Tony Wolters in the basepath. But with the bases re-loaded, Cueto forced a double-play grounder. This one was from DJ LeMahieu, who had singled twice off Cueto.

"It's a pitch I wanted to swing at," LeMahieu said. "I saw it pretty good and really thought I was going to come through. It would have been really nice to keep the inning going. It's frustrating when you've got him on the ropes and can't take advantage of it."

Giants' clutch DP in the 5th

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Is two balks in a game some kind of record? In fact, it is. Anderson's was the club record-tying fifth two-balk game in Rockies history. The others were by Andy Ashby against the Mets on April 13, 1993; Rex Brothers against the Phillies on Aug. 20, 2013; Jorge De La Rosa against the Braves on Aug. 24, 2015; and Wilton Lopez against the Nationals on June 13, 2013.

Giants take advantage of balks

WHAT'S NEXT
Rockies: Righty Tyler Chatwood (0-2) has increased his fastball velocity and the reviews say his stuff is as sharp as ever, but ill-timed mistakes have him winless with a 6.35 ERA. He'll seek a better result Saturday afternoon against the Giants in the series' third game Saturday at 2:05 p.m. MT.

Giants: Left-hander Matt Moore (1-1) makes his first appearance this season against someone other than the D-backs on Saturday at 1:05 p.m. PT. Moore has faced the Rockies three times previously in his career, picking up his lone win against Colorado last September.

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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.

Michael Wagaman is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Giants on Friday.

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