Newcomer Mike Tauchman showed why he has long been sought after by the Giants in their 7-3 win over the Rockies Wednesday night.
San Francisco (16-9) racked up nine hits while Colorado (9-16) suffered due to eight allowed walks in the rubber match of the three-game series.
Former Rockie Tauchman (3-for-4, RBI) helped jumpstart the offense and stabilize the defense in his Giants debut. The 30-year-old was in center field after being acquired from the New York Yankees for LHP Wandy Peralta Tuesday.
This story will be updated with quotes and post-game material from the Giants clubhouse at Oracle Park.
Ace RHP Alex Wood (W, 3-0, 1.50 ERA) was impressive before getting into seventh-inning trouble. Wood threw five hitless innings and earned a season-high nine strikeouts through 97 pitches. Gabe Kapler said:
“I think you could tell by how the Rockies hitters were calling time out, that they felt a little rushed. I think it was a really crisp pace … [Wood] epitomizes what we’d love to see from a lot of our pitchers, which is really pushing the pace and pounding the strike zone.”
In the bottom of the second inning, Tauchman lined a single to left field, loading the bases after Alex Dickerson singled and Darin Ruff was walked. Curt Casali was also walked to force in the opening run.
Leadoff hitter Tommy La Stella was also walked for another run. Brandon Belt followed up with a two-RBI single to center, bringing in Tauchman and Casali for the early 4-0 lead.
Wood made short work of the Rockies early, racking up five strikeouts in three innings. He got help in the top of the fourth when Tauchman snagged a running catch on Trevor Story’s line drive for the third out.
“I feel really good right now. I was thrown the ball really well in my couple of rehab starts and really all of spring and I feel like I’m dialed in pretty good. I had all three working tonight. I’m just commanding the ball really, really well right now. So just trying to keep going and keep riding the wave.”
Garret Hampson ended Wood’s no-hit bid with a line-drive double that eluded Ruf’s diving catch in the top of the sixth inning. Tauchman ensured no further damage was done by snagging Ryan McMahon’s deep drive at the center field wall.
In the bottom of the sixth, Wood was caught on a far-fetched attempt to steal third base. Kapler suggested it was indicative of a team-wide problem with base-running.
“Very generally, our base running is not up to our standards right now. We’re very aware of it. It’s not acceptable for us and we’re going to address it … I think [Wood] understands that’s a base running that could have really hurt us in this game. And he knows that it’s not something that can happen. He promised me that it wouldn’t happen again.”
Wood then faltered on the mound in top of the seventh inning, walking Rockies leadoff hitter Story before C.J. Cron blooped a single off his slider. Charlie Blackmon singled to load the bases, then Yonathan Daza grounded an RBI single to knock in the Rockies first run of the game.
Righty reliever Camilo Doval entered the game with the bases loaded and no outs. Josh Fuentes grounded into a double play by Brandon Crawford and Brandon Belt, but the Rockies scored to cut the Giants lead to 4-2.
With the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh inning, Tauchman chipped an RBI single that was redirected by Rockies reliever Yency Almonte, bringing in Evan Longoria for the 5-2 lead.
Wood said he saw a lot of confidence in Tauchman’s Giants debut:
“I think we knew he’s a pretty good player … He controls the strike zone, a lot of contacts. It was exciting to have him out there on the bases. He made an impact immediately and made a good first impression on everybody.”
Casali was walked to bring in Austin Slater, who was pinch-running for Alex Dickerson. Pinch-hitter Wilmer Flores knocked in Crawford with a sacrifice fly for the 7-2 lead.
In the top of the ninth, the Rockies tacked on another run when Elias Díaz doubled on a deep line drive that evaded Skye Bolt for the 7-3 final.
The Giants travel for a three-game series against the San Diego Padres starting Friday at 7:10 p.m. at Petco Park. RHP Logan Webb (1-1, 4.03 ERA) is scheduled to start against Yu Darvish (2-1, 2.27 ERA).
Rookie righty Gregory Santos allowed back-to-back homers in the 10th inning of a 7-5 loss Tuesday. … Buster Posey went 3-5 yesterday, matching his career-high streak for 3+ hit games of three. … Mike Yastrzemski was moved to the injured list Wednesday due to an oblique strain. … Lefty reliver Sam Selman was recalled.