SAN FRANCISCO – The crowd held their breath as Charlie Blackmon threw a ball deep towards McCovey Cove in the ninth inning.
It became a foul and was confirmed foul after examination by a referee.
Blackmon then shot a single down the center, the Rockies ‘fourth hit of the inning against Giants’ closest, Jake McGee. The comeback attempt ended when CJ Cron struck, but the Colorado side started showing signs of life for the first time during their six-game road trip.
“It was a good game,” said manager Bud Black. ” We are back. We just ran out of steam.
Colorado was in a hole early after Austin Gomber gave up five runs in the first two innings. Gomber, whose road ERA (5.80) is nearly four points higher than his home ERA (1.70), has struck three batters, scoring only the fourth game this season in which the southpaw has allowed more than two walks. Two of the other three games were also against the Giants.
“I felt like I made adjustments tonight, but when you give up four in the first and lose 5-4, it stings,” Gomber said. “I think the rest of the team did a fantastic job, the reliever box was great, just to keep us in the game.”
The Rockies struggled to get to base on this road trip, and when they got men on board, they couldn’t get their base runners home. Colorado went 1 for 9 with runners scoring Friday night, leaving 10 on base. In total, in the last four games the club are at 2 for 25 with runners in scoring position.
The Rockies offense came to life with 11 hits after being limited to five or less in each of the last three games. Cron went 3 for 5 with two doubles, while newcomers Ryan McMahon and Brendan Rodgers extended their best career hitting streaks to 10 and 15 games, respectively. Rodgers now has the second longest active streak in the Majors.
The biggest hit of the night belonged to a former Giant. Connor Joe, who made his Major League debut as a 2019 San Francisco opening day outfielder, fired a quick pitch from McGee into the left-field bleachers to bring Colorado to a point from the Giants in the ninth.
“It was a big step for me when I made my debut with the Giants, and whether I was ready or not I’m not sure,” said Joe. “I think I needed this experience. I needed this time with the Giants to learn. I needed this time to go back to the minor leagues and learn.
“I am more confident in my approach each time I step in the box. “
Joe’s two-point shot, his sixth of the year, was hammered, clocking in at 110 mph initially and going through a throw of 407 feet.
The 28-year-old rookie was called to the major leagues for the third time this season on July 20 – and since then he has provided a power boost to the Rockies’ roster. Joe is hitting 0.672 with three doubles and 18 RBIs in his last 18 games, and all of his home runs this season have come in that span.
“He doesn’t have a lot of major league hitters. He’s getting them now, ”Black said. “He’s on the pitch. He swings at blows, takes bullets. Its swing is sharp, the speed of the bat crosses the area. He tries to make a statement, as simple as that. He works his butt on first base, he works his butt in the outfield.
“The at-bats are of high quality. This is what we love.
Joe, who signed a minor league contract with the Rockies early in the season, is determined to make the most of his time in the Majors. For him, every day is a chance to prove that he belongs to the big leagues.
“I’m fighting for a spot and fighting for opportunities since spring training so nothing has really changed,” said Joe. “Every day I walk in the park, whether it’s in Scottsdale, or here in San Francisco, or when we get to Denver, I have the same state of mind every day I show up at the park.”