Giants bash Rockies, keep pace in Wild Card


Brandon Belt entered the batter’s box in the sixth inning just a home run shy of the cycle. He took a hopeful swing at Rockies reliever Jeff Hoffman‘s pitch and watched in disappointment as the ball dripped through the infield:

“I tried to hit a home run and ended up rolling it over into a double play. So that worked out perfectly.”

It was the kind of night for the Giants that didn’t hinge on Belt swinging for the fences. His teammates more than made up for the squandered opportunity.

This story has been updated with quotes and post-game material from the Giants clubhouse at AT&T Park.

In fact, three of his teammates did send the ball over the fence, which counted as mere coins in the Giants 19-hit, 10-extra-base hit, four-triple barrage that sent them to a loud 12-3 win over the Colorado Rockies Tuesday night.

The win keeps the Giants a half-game behind the New York Mets and a full game in front of the St. Louis Cardinals in the Wild Card race, but San Francisco is hoping that, with five games left to hold on, this type of momentum will stick. Belt certainly thinks it will, this time:

“I really do think it’s contagious. It’s nice to get our confidence back.”

They certainly looked confident feasting on the strikes Rockies rookie German Marquez was serving up on a silver platter. San Francisco’s anemic offense couldn’t resist; they scattered hit after hit throughout the field and into the crisp Indian summer’s air.

Even Gold Glover Nolan Arenado looked dazed as he watched Crawford skid one of his four hits the opposite way.

Buster Posey‘s 1,000th career hit — a solo home run — served as the apex to a breakout fifth inning.

The hitters around him collectively hit for the cycle: Hunter Pence followed Posey’s wall-bouncer with a no-doubter, giving the Giants their first back-to-back home runs since July 2.

Brandon Crawford tripled, Denard Span doubled, Brandon Belt and Angel Pagan singled and the Giants somehow only scored four runs.

But let’s get back to Posey. He’s the first Giant since Rich Aurilia to get 1,000 hits all in a Giants uniform. Bruce Bochy, a former catcher, put that accomplishment into perspective:

“If you added up all my winter ball and minor league years, I don’t think I got that many.”

More than a dominant win, the Giants’ 12 runs acted as a statement. The Mets and Cardinals each scored 12 runs in their wins, a fact the scoreboard reminded them of inning after inning.

The Brandons went 7-for-10 with four extra-base hits. Joe Panik hit a triple and Conor Gillaspie hit the other home run, a two run shot in the eighth. Every starting position player had at least one hit. It’s been a trying season for the skipper, but tonight he looked at ease. It’s no secret he’s a fan of the add-on game:

“Great for these guys to break out, it’s been a while since they had one of these games.”

Perhaps the offense felt more at ease watching their starter do work.

After a rough outing in Los Angeles in which he gave up six runs in just one inning, Matt Moore found his fastball command and his curveball had bite.

He said he was trying to put too much on the ball against the Dodgers. Tonight:

“I was not trying to be too nasty.”

He mowed through the Rockies powerful lineup through 7-2/3 innings, striking out 11 batters for the fourth time in his career — he still can’t get that 12th K.

The Rockies could only get one grind-it-out run against him, capitalizing on Cristhian Adames‘ leadoff double in the third.

Moore (W, 12-12, 4.21 ERA) departed 99 pitches deep. The Rockies were leaping on a fastball that was starting to elevate.

Joe Nathan took over the eighth and stranded the two runners he’d inherited from Moore. But Josh Osich let the Rockies score a pair in the ninth, probably to remind what was left of the Tuesday night crowd that, despite the score, the ninth inning will always haunt this team.

Shayna Rubin is SFBay’s San Francisco Giants beat writer. Follow @SFBay and @ShaynaRubin on Twitter and at for full coverage of Giants baseball.

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