DENVER (AP) — On a day when two of the San Francisco Giants’ core players were getting a well-deserved rest, their replacements came through in a big way.
Donovan Solano had four hits, including a tie-breaking home run, Stephen Vogt homered and doubled, and San Francisco beat the Colorado Rockies 11-8 on Wednesday to complete a four-game series sweep, their first at Colorado in nearly eight years.
“Your bench play is such a critical role in your season,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.
Playing a day game after a night game that followed a doubleheader on Monday, Bochy started Solano in place of Brandon Crawford and Vogt started at catcher in place of Buster Posey.
“Those are two guys there that can’t be replaced, but for us to go in there on a tough day game, on a hot day, and to be able to contribute the way we did, when those two guys are on the bench, that’s our job,” Vogt said. “That’s why we’re here, to give those guys a break and do everything we can to help this team win when it’s our turn to play.”
“It’s gratifying to have a great day, especially when you’re giving a player like Brandon Crawford a day off,” Solano said through an interpreter. “But at the same time, that’s what you want to do when you get an opportunity to play, you want to show that you belong.”
Pablo Sandoval sparked a three-run first inning with a two-run double and Brandon Belt had an RBI single among his three hits for the surging Giants, who have won five straight and 12 of their last 14. The run has tamped down, at least for now, talk about the Giants in decline and speculation that the team is preparing to trade way some of its stars to begin a rebuild.
“It’s a lot of fun when everybody wrote you off before the season started and even still, it’ how long is this going to last,” Vogt said. “But I can say the attitude in this room is, ‘Let’s win today.’ We feel good about this group. Who knows what’s going to happen over the next couple of weeks. That’s out of our control. All we can control is to keep doing what we’re doing.”
Trevor Story and Ryan McMahon homered for the Rockies, losers of four straight and 11 of their last 13.
San Francisco broke through for five runs in the seventh and eighth innings. Two of the three runs the Giants scored in the eighth were unearned after center fielder Garrett Hampson, who came on in the top of the third for injured David Dahl, failed to handle Joe Panik’s fly ball for an error. Dahl fouled a pitch off his left foot in the first inning and was removed in the second.
The Rockies got three runs in their final at-bat, including a two-out, two-run homer by Story. Mark Melancon relieved Andrew Suraez and got Nolan Arenado to fly out to center for the game’s final out and his first save of the season.
It was the first-four game sweep by the Giants in Colorado since Sept. 15-18, 2011.
“Not a lot of satisfaction here from the homestand,” Story said. “We are all trying to deal with this as best we can. This wasn’t our team. We are much better than the way we showed.”
Solano broke a 5-5 tie when he homered off Jon Gray (9-7) to start the Giants’ sixth.
The Giants jumped on Gray for three first-inning runs, two of them scoring on a double by Sandoval. Colorado went in front 4-3 on McMahon’s two-run homer off Shaun Anderson in the Rockies’ fourth, a short-lived lead that was erased by Vogt’s two-run drive off Gray in the fifth.
Story tripled to start the Rockies’ fifth and scored one out later on by a single by Arenado.
Anderson, in his first career start at Coors Field, went 4 1/3 innings and allowed five runs on eight hits.
Gray went 5 1/3 innings and allowed 11 hits and six runs. He walked three and struck out three.
Derek Holland (2-4) picked up the win with 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief.
Rockies: OF David Dahl left the game in third inning after fouling a pitch off the top of his left foot during his first-inning at bat. He is listed as day to day with a bruised left foot. Garrett Hampson replaced him in center field. … INF Brendan Rodgers was transferred from the 10-day injured list to the 60-day IL a day after undergoing surgery to repair a Labral tear in his right shoulder. He is likely out for the rest of the season. … LHP Harrison Musgrave (left elbow flexor strain) was reinstated from the 60-day IL and optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque.
Giants: LHP Madison Bumgarner (5-7, 3.86 ERA) is set to pitch Thursday night’s series opener in San Francisco against the New York Mets, the only NL team that has not put a loss on Bumgarner’s record.
Rockies: Following an off day, the Rockies open a season-long 10-game road with an interleague series against the New York Yankees that opens Friday night with LHP Kyle Freeland (2-6) slated to start the opener.