Rockies 9, Giants 8
SAN FRANCISCO -- Michael Cuddyer's second home run of the game, a tiebreaking solo shot leading off the ninth inning against Sergio Romo, completed the Colorado Rockies' rally for a 9-8 win over the San Francisco Giants in a 4-hour, 2-minute marathon Tuesday night.
Colorado trailed 6-0 after four innings.
In winning for the first time in five games on their current road trip, the Rockies were able to avoid falling into last place in the National League West despite the fact 16-game winner Jorge De La Rosa was pulled after two innings because of soreness in his left thumb.
The Cy Young Award candidate struggled through 56 pitches to just 13 batters, allowing four runs on four hits and three walks. He struck out one.
Hunter Pence's three-run home run in the first inning was the big blow against De La Rosa, who was attempting to equal a franchise record he already shares: wins in seven consecutive starts.
Pence matched his career high with six RBIs, the fifth and sixth coming on a one-out single in the eighth off Wilton Lopez that tied the game at 8-8. Marco Scutaro, who opened the inning with his third hit, and Brandon Belt scored on the play.
The tie didn't last long. After Lopez (3-4) got Pablo Sandoval to ground into a double play to end the Giants' eighth, Cuddyer worked Romo (4-7) to a full count before unloading his 20th homer into the left field bleachers.
Rex Brothers, the seventh Colorado pitcher, earned his 16th save with a scoreless ninth despite allowing an inning-opening infield single to Joaquin Arias and a two-out walk to Angel Pagan.
Both teams had 14 hits in a game that featured 14 pitchers and 20 runners left on base. San Francisco remained in last place with the loss.
Pence also had a run-scoring double as part of a two-run fourth inning against Rockies reliever Jeff Manship that increased the Giants' lead to 6-0. He went 4-for-5 and joined Carlos Gonzalez of the Rockies and Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels in the 2013 edition of the 20-homer/20-steal club with his 20th home run.
The Colorado rally began in the top of the fifth as Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong attempted to get through the minimum inning requirement to qualify for a win. He in fact made it through the fifth, but not before watching the Rockies score five times to get back within 6-5.
Corey Dickerson and DJ LeMahieu had RBI singles to ignite the big inning, and Cuddyer capped it with a two-out, three-run homer.
Cuddyer had three hits and drove in four runs, bringing his season total to 80 RBIs. Meanwhile, LeMahieu extended his hitting streak to 12 games.
Trailing 6-5, the Rockies went ahead for the first time in the sixth. Todd Helton greeted reliever Jose Mijares with a single. Charlie Blackmon's RBI double off Jean Machi drove in Helton to tie the game, and pinch hitter Ryan Wheeler followed with a tiebreaking single, plating Blackmon.
All three Rockies pinch hitters collected hits.
The Giants pinch-hit for Vogelsong in the bottom of the fifth. He gave up five runs on eight hits and two walks in his five-inning stint. He failed to record a strikeout.
NOTES: Interestingly, the lineup the Giants announced before the game -- which also appeared on the center field scoreboard -- had 3B Pablo Sandoval batting fifth and Pence sixth. The club made a "correction" shortly before game time, flip-flopping the two. ... Pence became the seventh Giant in the San Francisco era to achieve 20-20 status, joining CF Willie Mays, 1B Orlando Cepeda, RF Bobby Bonds, OF Glenallen Hill, OF Jeffrey Leonard and LF Barry Bonds. ... De La Rosa's previous shortest stint of the season had been four innings. It occurred most recently on Aug. 3 at Pittsburgh. ... The Rockies announced that RHP Roy Oswalt will replace RHP Chad Bettis in the rotation, beginning with Saturday's game at Arizona. ... Both the Rockies and Giants will open the 2014 season on the road. The Rockies will play four games at Miami before their home opener. The Giants will go to Arizona for four and Los Angeles for three before heading home.