DENVER -- The Rockies' offense may be waking from its deep slumber. After scoring five or more runs just six times in their previous 26 games, the Rockies pounded out 13 hits to defeat the Giants, 9-6, at Coors Field on Tuesday night.
A four-run sixth inning swayed the game in the Rockies' favor, after Trevor Story hit a solo homer in the fourth. Giants starter Ty Blach was strong through five, but gave up three straight hits to start the sixth and was charged with five runs in 5 1/3 innings. The Rockies got RBI doubles from Nolan Arenado, Mark Reynolds and Ian Desmond in the sixth.
The Rockies extended their lead over the Brewers to 2 1/2 games in the race for the second National League Wild Card spot.
"I think we're all just relieved to get a couple wins," said Rockies second baseman DJ LeMahieu, who led off the sixth with a single. "But we're playing better. We've played a lot better the last two days. … Hitting is contagious."
Rockies starter Tyler Chatwood tossed three scoreless innings, throwing 33 balls to just 28 strikes, but the team had planned a "bullpen game." In total, the Rockies used nine pitchers in a nine-inning game for the fourth time in franchise history. Greg Holland worked a perfect ninth for the save.
"[Chatwood], good stuff. His fastball was live, not great command, but two big double plays," Rockies manager Bud Black said. "He turned it loose for 60 pitches, and that was the expectation."
The Giants fell to 54-87, which is now the worst record in the Majors. Their .383 winning percentage is .001 behind the Phillies.
"It's disappointing," said Giants catcher Buster Posey, who had a two-run double, but left with a right ring finger contusion in the eighth and is day to day. "It's hard to put it into words. 'Disappointment' is probably not strong enough. I'll leave it at that."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Putting out the fire: The Giants scored two runs in the seventh and three in the eighth, trimming the Rockies' lead to 7-6. Denard Span and Joe Panik continued their hot series, each recording RBIs in the eighth. But with Panik on first, Posey couldn't drive in the tying run against Adam Ottavino, who had just entered. Posey waved at an Ottavino breaking ball way outside the strike zone to end the inning.
Nolan gettin' rollin'? Arenado has been one of the most productive hitters in the Majors, entering Tuesday hitting .390 with runners in scoring position. But he'd been in a recent slump since late August. In the sixth, Arenado hit his 40th double of the season, scoring LeMahieu from first. And though it wasn't a hit with RISP, it marked just his second game since Aug. 24 with an RBI. Arenado has his second 40-double season in three years.
"That's the inning that we should look at as a Rockies inning," Black said. "That's happened a lot, numerous times during the course of the season, and it hasn't happened much lately. … That's good to see. I think once we got second time through the lineup, and saw [Blach's] stuff, we had better swings."
WHAT'S NEXT Giants: Right-hander Johnny Cueto will get the call in Wednesday's 5:40 p.m. PT finale against the Rockies. This is Cueto's second outing since his 45-game stint on the disabled list with blister and forearm issues. He has thrived in 14 career starts against the Rockies, posting an 8-3 record with a 2.71 ERA.
Rockies: Rookie left-hander Kyle Freeland starts Wednesday's finale at 6:40 p.m. MT. Freeland lasted just four innings in his last start Sept. 1 vs. the D-backs, needing 74 pitches to navigate the start, in which he allowed three runs. Against the Giants this year, Freeland is 2-1 with a 2.37 ERA (19 innings).