Rockies stymied in one-hit shutout loss

Morneau's eighth-inning double breaks up perfect game

Rockies stymied in one-hit shutout loss

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Rockies were six outs away from being on the wrong side of baseball history Tuesday night.

While Justin Morneau eventually wiped out a perfect game from Giants southpaw Madison Bumgarner with a leadoff double in the eighth, the Rockies were outmatched in a 3-0 loss to San Francisco.

Morneau stood as the only man to reach base against Bumgarner all evening. After falling behind in the count, 1-2, Morneau laced a breaking ball down the right-field line to save his team from another dubious entry in Major League history. The Rockies had no desire to be back in the record books about two months after being no-hit by Clayton Kershaw.

"Once I got to two strikes, just trying to battle, trying to put the ball in play," Morneau said. "He made a pretty good pitch down, just got the barrel to it and hit it to the right spot. He did a great job of commanding his fastball. It was a very well-pitched game. Unfortunate we had to lose, but he did a great job."

From the early onset, it was clear that Bumgarner was dealing. The Rockies chased pitches out of the zone early and often, rarely making contact. When they did, the Giants' defense was there to back him up.

Bumgarner (15-9, 3.02 ERA) went the distance to complete a one-hitter, the second of his career. He also matched his career high with 13 strikeouts while going to a three-ball count on just one occasion. Conversely, he went ahead 0-2 on 15 batters while throwing 24 first-pitch strikes.

"That game was probably more impressive than a lot of no-hitters," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "That's how well he threw tonight."

As Bumgarner made his bid for history, Colorado lefty Jorge De La Rosa (13-9, 4.19 ERA) was pitching a heck of a game himself. But the southpaw was removed in the sixth inning after giving up a two-run shot to Buster Posey. The Rockies announced a left thumb contusion, incurred when De La Rosa fouled off a pitch during a plate appearance in the top half of the inning.

He allowed just three hits in five sharp innings to begin his outing, but seven of the initial 11 pitches he threw in the bottom of the sixth were out of the strike zone.

"My thumb was really, really numb," De La Rosa said. "I don't like to make excuses, but you can't pitch with that thing. I made that mistake for Posey and paid for it."

Rockies manager Walt Weiss said he doesn't think De La Rosa will missed extended time. It's the same thumb that hindered De La Rosa and caused him to miss the final two weeks of the 2013 season, but the veteran said he will "for sure" make his next scheduled start Sunday against Arizona.

"He's pitched with it a lot, but I think it was hurting pretty good this time," Weiss said. "I don't have any major concerns right now. We've seen this before with Jorge with his thumb. Hopefully it's just a bruised thumb again and he'll be fine."

Above all, Weiss was upset that De La Rosa couldn't finish his strong start on his own terms.

"He was cruising along, throwing the ball really well," Weiss said. "I think it certainly did affect him."

De La Rosa finished five-plus innings, giving up two earned runs on four hits and two walks while striking out five. After he exited, the Colorado bullpen allowed one run, another homer by Posey, over three innings to close out the contest.

Posey did what Colorado couldn't, and that was find a pulse vs. the opposing pitcher. Granted, the team has been without four of its top hitters lately -- Troy Tulowitzki, Carlos Gonzalez, Michael Cuddyer and Wilin Rosario -- but Bumgarner consistently fooled the Rockies and made them wave at pitches they should have laid off.

"His fastball was just above the letters to where it looked good to hit but it wasn't a good pitch to hit," Nolan Arenado said after going 0-for-3. "He just pitched really well. Hit his spots and mixed everything really well. Got to give him credit, he did a great job."

Alex Espinoza is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.