Johnny Cueto starts 3-0; San Francisco Giants pound out 8-2 win over Colorado Rockies

By Dave Del Grande, The Sports Xchange  |  April 15, 2017 at 1:52 AM
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SAN FRANCISCO -- Johnny Cueto benefited from an 11-hit attack to post his third straight win Friday night, helping the San Francisco Giants square their series with the Colorado Rockies with an 8-2 victory.

Chris Marrero and Brandon Crawford belted home runs for the Giants (5-7), who had been handcuffed by five Rockies pitchers in a 3-1 loss in the series opener on Thursday.

The game featured a franchise-record-tying two balks on Rockies left-hander Tyler Anderson and the ejection of Rockies manager Bud Black in the top of the fifth inning.

Cueto opened 3-0 in his first three starts for a second consecutive season by limiting the Rockies to six hits and two runs in seven innings. He walked one and struck out six.

The veteran right-hander pitched with a lead from the time Marrero cracked his first major-league home run, a two-run shot in the second inning off Anderson (1-2).

The 400-foot blast came in the 144th big-league at-bat for Marrero, who had previously played 39 games for Washington in 2011 and 2013.

Ahead just 4-2, the Giants broke the game open with a four-run seventh that featured consecutive singles by Brandon Belt, Hunter Pence, Nick Hundley, Crawford and Eduardo Nunez off two Rockies relievers.

Pence had three hits for the Giants, who improved to 3-2 on their seven-game homestand.

Pence, Marrero and Crawford collected two RBIs apiece, Marrero and Crawford had two hits each, and Denard Span scored twice for San Francisco.

DJ LeMahieu had two hits for the Rockies (7-5), who were playing for the second time on a six-game trip.

Colorado totaled six hits off three Giants pitchers.

A wild first five innings featured an ejection, two balks and a two-base error on a tag play at second base.

Anderson was pulled for a pinch hitter after four innings, having allowed four runs, three on the homers by Marrero and Crawford. He gave up five hits, walked one and struck out one.

He'd also been called for two balks, both for stepping too much toward home plate on pickoff throws to first, which led to Black's ejection.

Actually, the Rockies manager didn't come onto the field to protest either balk on Anderson, who ranked tied for third in all of baseball last year with three.

Rather, Black vented his frustration on home plate umpire Mike Everitt and first base ump Bill Welke for not taking a similar, letter-of-the-law approach to Cueto's quirky pitching delivery.

Down 3-0, the Rockies got back in the game in the fifth when Stephen Cardullo, pinch-hitting for Anderson, hit a potential double play grounder to Giants second baseman Joe Panik with the bases loaded and one out.

Instead of flipping the ball to Crawford at short for a forceout at second base, Panik took matters into his own hands and tagged the burly Tony Wolters in the chest as he ran by. The contact knocked the ball from Panik's glove, allowing both Mark Reynolds and Trevor Story to score.

NOTES: A re-examination of RHP Jon Gray's injured left foot revealed a stress fracture and he was placed on the 10-day disabled list. The Rockies' Opening Day starter is expected to miss a month. ... Rockies LF Gerardo Parra left the team to attend the expected birth of his daughter in Miami. He was placed on the three-day paternity list. ... The Rockies filled the roster openings with RHP Shane Carle, who pitched a scoreless ninth inning, and OF Raimel Tapia, who started in left field and went 0-for-3. ... Giants manager Bruce Bochy disclosed before the game at C Buster Posey (hit in the head by a pitch) is expected to be reinstated from the seven-day concussion disabled list and return to the lineup as a designated hitter when the Giants open a two-game series at Kansas City on Tuesday. ... Rockies LHP Tyler Anderson's two balks equaled a franchise record in a game held by four others, most recently by Jorge De La Rosa in 2015. ... LF Chris Marrero's home run was the first hit by the Giants at home this season.

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