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Giants lean on recent dominance against Rockies

Sportsnaut
Jun 5, 2022; Miami, Florida, USA; San Francisco Giants shortstop Donovan Walton (37) celebrates at home plate with third baseman Jason Vosler (32) after hitting a grand slam during the fourth inning against the Miami Marlins at loanDepot Park. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco Giants look to continue their recent domination of the Colorado Rockies when the teams open a three-game series on Tuesday night in the Bay Area.

San Francisco has won 20 of the 25 meetings since the start of the 2021 season. The Giants had reeled off 12 straight victories prior to the Rockies winning the most-recent clash, 5-3, on May 18 in Denver.

San Francisco won the first five meetings this season and has outscored Colorado 44-26 overall. The Giants swept a three-game home set from May 9-11 when they scored 24 runs and allowed eight.

Currently, San Francisco needs to figure out how to beat other teams. The Giants have lost 10 of their past 17 games and are in third place in the National League West, 5 1/2 games behind the division-leading Los Angeles Dodgers.

San Francisco is coming off a four-game road split against the Miami Marlins that concluded with Sunday’s 5-1 triumph.

Infielder Donovan Walton hit his first career grand slam — at any level — in his 11th game with the Giants since being acquired from the Seattle Mariners last month.

“Youth league, never had a grand slam. I thought I never would get one,” Walton told reporters. “Doing whatever I can to help the team win. I put a very good swing on it. Yeah, it felt amazing.”

Walton, batting .225, has nine hits since joining the Giants and eight have been for extra bases. He has seven doubles to go with Sunday’s blast.

“He’s been a nice addition,” San Francisco manager Gabe Kapler said. “And what we expected from him is what he’s brought to the table on a daily basis with his at-bats.”

The Rockies are sputtering with 20 losses in their past 27 contests. Last-place Colorado was just swept at home in a four-game set by the Atlanta Braves to fall 12 games behind the Dodgers.

Colorado has a hot-hitting infielder in Brendan Rodgers, who fell a triple short of the cycle in Sunday’s 8-7 loss to the Braves. Rodgers batted .345 (10-for-29) with four homers and seven RBIs on the just-concluded seven-game homestand.

Rodgers has boosted his season average to .266. That may not sound impressive but it represents a mighty turnaround for a player who was batting .078 (4-for-51) at the end of April.

“When I use the right side of the field, that opens up the defense even more for me,” Rodgers told reporters. “Then it frees me up to be able to turn on pitches. That six-hole opens up now, because the shortstop is playing straight up and the second baseman is on the other side.”

Connor Joe drew two walks in Sunday’s loss to extend his streak of reaching base to 32 straight games, the longest active stretch in the majors. Joe’s streak is the longest for a Colorado player since former Rockies’ standout DJ LeMahieu had a 38-game streak in 2016.

Giants left-hander Carlos Rodon (4-4, 3.44 ERA) will attempt to keep Joe off the bases in the opener.

Rodon, 29, is 0-3 with a 6.30 ERA in four starts since beating Colorado on May 9. He struck out a season-best 12 and allowed two runs and six hits over six innings against the Rockies.

Overall, Rodon is 1-1 with a 6.35 ERA in two career starts versus Colorado. He lost to the Rockies as a member of the Chicago White Sox on July 9, 2017 when he gave up six runs and five hits over 5 1/3 innings.

Rodon has struggled with C.J. Cron (5-for-12, one homer) and Jose Iglesias (5-for-14) while dominating Randal Grichuk (1-for-14, nine strikeouts).

Colorado counters with right-hander German Marquez (1-5, 6.71), who has allowed 71 hits (including 11 homers) in just 55 innings.

Marquez, 27, has allowed 17 runs (15 earned) and 24 hits over 17 innings in his last three starts, going 0-2 with a 7.94 ERA.

He has traditionally been roughed up by the Giants. Marquez is just 4-8 with a 7.19 ERA in 14 career starts against San Francisco.

Marquez struggles with Brandon Crawford (11-for-32, one homer) and has held Joc Pederson to a .160 average despite serving up two homers.

–Field Level Media