Trevor Story's grand slam helps Colorado Rockies beat San Francisco Giants

By Jack Etkin, The SportsXchange  |  April 22, 2017 at 11:34 AM
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DENVER -- Trevor Story has made his few hits count this year, and never more so than Friday night.

He belted a grand slam, and Charlie Blackmon hit a two-run, inside-the-park homer as the Colorado Rockies beat the San Francisco Giants 6-5.

The Rockies are 7-0 in one-run games and lead the majors in that category.

"I think it's (because of) three things," Rockies manager Bud Black said. "We're playing good defense. We're getting timely hitting. Our bullpen's doing a nice job."

The Rockies six-run fourth was their biggest inning of the season and wiped out the Giants' 3-0 lead. Story entered the game 7-for-52 with four doubles and two homers. He hit his first career grand slam, an opposite-field shot off Johnny Cueto, who had never yielded a grand slam before Story drove a 92-mph, 1-0 fastball into the right-field stands.

"I feel close," Story said when asked about whether he has found his swing. "I've been working a lot. I trust and believe in the work I've been putting in."

Cueto said through a translator that he was unaware he had never allowed a grand slam before Story connnected.

"I wanted the pitch outside," Cueto said. "That's where I put it, and he beat me."

Cueto (3-1) had dominated in previous encounters. He took the mound with a 7-0 record and a 1.47 ERA in his past eight starts against them and was 4-1 with a 2.43 ERA in six previous starts at Coors Field. Cueto had won seven consecutive starts overall dating to last season.

The Rockies became the first team in the National League since the New York Giants on Aug. 16, 1950, to hit a grand slam and an inside-the-park homer in the same inning. The last time the feat was accomplished in the majors was Sept. 19, 2011, when the Boston Red Sox did it

After consecutive one-out singles by Carlos Gonzalez, Mark Reynolds and Gerardo Parra in the fourth, Story hit his grand slam. Tony Wolters, who had three hits, followed with a single and was sacrificed to second before the Rockies caught a break. Right fielder Hunter Pence lost Blackmon's line drive in the lights. Pence slipped and the ball went well past him, enabling Blackmon to circle the bases with his fourth homer of the season and what proved to be the game-winning hit.

"It's hard, but it's part of the game," Cueto said. "He was trying his very best to catch the ball, but he lost it in the lights."

Cueto (3-1) allowed six runs on eight hits in five innings. The six-run uprising was particularly unusual, since Cueto had allowed 10 runs in 37 innings in his previous six starts at Coors Field.

Tyler Chatwood (2-2) yielded four runs and seven hits in six innings for the Rockies. He retired the side in order in the first but gave up three runs and five hits in the second when the Giants batted around,.

Eduardo Nunez, who had two hits in his past 20 at-bats, doubled home Buster Posey, who led off with a single and took second on a balk. Joe Panik and Chris Marrero followed Nunez with singles, and after Panik was thrown out at the plate by Chatwood, Denard Span singled home two runs.

"They kind of got me in the second, but I kind of made some adjustments toward the end," Chatwood said. "I went more soft. They were getting my fastball in; the lefties were able to turn on it."

Chatwood gave up Brandon Belt's fourth homer in the fifth. The Giants made it a one-run game in the eighth when Nunez led off with a single, stole second and scored when Panik followed with a single off Adam Ottavino.

Jake McGee got Span to fly out and got Belt to foul out on the first pitch, stranding runners at first and second. Closer Greg Holland struck out two of the three batters he faced in the ninth to earn his ninth save in as many opportunities, tying the franchise for saves in consecutive appearances set by current Rockies bullpen coach Darren Holmes in 1993.

The Rockies have won four of their past five games and are 4-1 against the Giants this season and 11-6 overall. Losers of four of their past five games, the Giants are 6-11.

"We'll come out of this," said Giants manager Bruce Bochy, who returned after missing the past two games following a minor heart procedure performed on Tuesday. "A lot of good things happened tonight. Despite what happened yesterday (with ace Madison Bumgarner suffering a shoulder injury), I thought the focus was good. But we've got to do the little things, and we didn't do it."

NOTES: Giants LHP Madison Bumgarner (left shoulder strain, bruised ribs) was placed on the 10-day disabled list, the result of a motorized dirt bike accident Thursday. ...Giants LHP Ty Blach, who retired the side in the sixth, is scheduled to start Tuesday against Los Angeles in place or Bumgarner. ...Giants RHP Chris Stratton was recalled from Triple-A Sacramento....Giants C Buster Posey returned to that position. He was the DH in Kansas City the two previous games, following a stint on the seven-day concussion disabled list....Rockies CF Charlie Blackmon's inside-the-park homer was the team's first since Brandon Barnes hit one June 14, 2014, at San Francisco off Sergio Romo...Rockies RHP German Marquez will start Tuesday when a fifth starter is needed against Washington...Rockies 1B Ian Desmond (broken left hand) is expected to take batting practice in the next few days for the first time since he was hit with a pitch March 12.

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