DENVER – A day after Tim Hudson lamented that a 7-2 lead just isn’t what it seems at Coors Field, the Giants proved a 7-1 lead isn’t so hot here, either.
Do they make Magic Wandoos the size of a canoe oar? That’s what the Giants wielded while coming back from a six-run deficit beginning in the sixth inning on a warm Tuesday night in Colorado.
This wasn’t a rally. It was scorched earth. Buster Posey hit a home run, doubled twice and drove in four runs – all in the sixth inning or later -- as the Giants grabbed a 12-7 victory over the Colorado Rockies at (where else?) Coors Field.
Andrew Susac’s two-run homer in the sixth truly started the comeback. The Giants finished it in the seventh inning while sending 10 men to the plate, collecting five extra-base hits and scoring six runs.
It was their first inning with five extra-base hits since Sept. 8, 2011, also at (where else?) Coors Field.
Starting pitching report
Yusmeiro Petit wasn’t able to win consecutive starts for the first time this season. Just five days after holding the Rockies to a run in six innings, Petit gave up six in four and had a world of trouble recording the third out to stop rallies.
Corey Dickerson hit a two-run double with two outs in the first inning, then another two-out rally bloomed in the third. Drew Stubbs started it with a double, leading Giants manager Bruce Bochy to order an intentional walk to Dickerson. The strategy backfired, as it often does at Coors Field, when Josh Rutledge hit a two-run triple that rolled to the wall in right-center, then D.J. LeMahieu followed with a two-run home run to cap a sudden and damaging four-run rally.
Petit, who set a major league record in his previous start by extending his streak to 46 consecutive batters retired, finally pitched his first 1-2-3 inning in the fourth. He was lifted for a pinch hitter in the fifth.
Petit lost one other streak when he walked Dickerson. He had struck out 31 batters without issuing a walk since July 22. It took an intentional pass to interrupt that run.
His line: four innings, seven hits, six earned runs, one intentional walk, five strikeouts.
Mike Kickham made his season debut and retired one of three hitters he faced in the fifth inning, but one of the two hits was a broken-bat single. Dickerson drove in Justin Morneau with a single that made it 7-1.
George Kontos (4-0) entered and served as the tourniquet the Giants needed, retiring all five hitters he faced in the fifth and sixth. That made him the unsung hero of the night after the Giants rallied to take the lead in the seventh.
Instead of kids making their debuts (Erik Cordier? Brett Bochy?) in the late innings, the Giants had a lead to protect and a sense of urgency. When Jeremy Affeldt had two baserunners with two out in the seventh, Manager Bruce Bochy went to Sergio Romo – even though the right-hander had pitched twice a day earlier and had a 12.46 ERA in 10 games against the Rockies this season.
Bochy’s faith was rewarded when Romo got Rutledge to pop up, ending the inning.
Jean Machi, one day after blowing a lead, worked a 1-2-3 eighth inning and Javier Lopez finished it up.
At the plate
The Giants were held to one hit over the first four innings and it took a pinch single from Adam Duvall to get them on the board in the fifth.
But it never cooled off after the sun dropped, the park stayed lively and the Giants began barreling up pitches over the plate. Posey hit his 19th homer to tie Hunter Pence for the club lead, then Susac’s third homer of the season cut the deficit to 7-4 in the sixth.
A walk to Angel Pagan started the pinwheel in the seventh. Joe Panik doubled, Posey greeted right-hander Matt Belisle with a double to score two, then Pence extended his hitting streak to 15 games with a tying single up the middle.
Gregor Blanco, who had the Giants’ only two hits the first two times through the lineup, came through with a double that put them ahead. Susac followed with a double that knocked out Belisle, and then Brandon Crawford tripled off right-hander Nick Masset to give the Giants five extra-base hits in a seven-batter span.
The lead was 10-7 but the Giants wisely kept adding in the eighth. Panik singled, advanced on a wild pitch and scored on another Posey double. Pence followed with a line drive that center fielder Drew Stubbs dropped for an error, allowing Posey to score as the remnants of the crowd – the ones not wearing orange, anyway – booed their displeasure.
Susac turned in his third three-RBI game in 12 major league starts. And Posey edged over .300 for the first time since April 12 – quite a feat, considering he was hitting .279 as recently as Aug. 19. He’s suddenly tied for sixth in the NL in hitting.
Crawford, who is back in a solid defensive groove at shortstop, made a diving stop to keep Stubbs’ single on the infield and momentarily save a run in the first inning.
Crawford also caught Rafael Ynoa making a rookie mistake on the bases after Stubbs chopped one to the left side. Crawford showed no hesitation while throwing to third baseman Pablo Sandoval for the tag play in the seventh.
Crawford ranged up the middle and threw on the run to end the game, too.
The Rockies announced 25,256 paid. Hey, they have shuffleboard in the upper deck!
The Giants and Rockies conclude their three-game series at Coors Field on Wednesday. Ryan Vogelsong (8-9, 3.73 ERA) takes the mound against Rockies right-hander Christian Bergman (1-2, 5.74). First pitch is scheduled for 12:10 p.m. PDT.