Rockies blow two big leads, lose to Giants in San Francisco

It was an unusually wild Friday night at Oracle Park.

Home runs were flying. There were six dingers overall in what’s typically a pitchers’ paradise during night games.

But there was nothing unusual about what happened to the Rockies, who fell apart late and lost 9-8 to the Giants. The Rockies are on pace to finish the season with a 59-104 record.

The silver lining? Rockies rookie outfielder Nolan Jones was once again the best player on the field. But then, that’s becoming a common occurrence.

Jones led off the sixth with a solo blast, his 15th homer of the season, to extend his hitting streak to a career-high eight games. His RBI double in the ninth scored Ezequiel Tovar to keep the Rockies on life support. But it wasn’t enough.

Jones swiped second base in the seventh, his 13th stolen base of the season. In the third, Jones, who got a rare start in center field, threw out Luis Matos at the plate when Matos tried to score from second on Wilmer Flores’ single. Jones’ magic bullet reached 100.7 mph and he chalked up his 13th assist of the season, the second-most in the majors.

“Good night for Nolan, for sure,” manager Bud Black told reporters in San Francisco. “That throw to the plate was impressive. That was, arguably, one of the best throws I’ve seen. All the way in the air? That was legit. That was a hell of a play. Are you kidding me?”

But the end game for Colorado was brutal. Flores drew a bases-loaded walk from rookie left-hander Evan Justice in the eighth. Then Justice walked Lamont Wade Jr. to force in what proved to be the winning run. Justice, who tried to bail out Jake Bird, came into the game and promptly hit Blake Sabol to load the bases.

“It was a learning experience for Evan, for sure, for him to understand that at the highest, critical moments, for all pitchers, you have to throw strikes,” Black said. “You have to make them beat you. That was the thing tonight that was frustrating. We did ourselves in.”

The most painful part? Colorado blew leads of 4-0 and 7-4 before falling apart completely. The Giants, barely hanging on in the National League wild-card race, snapped a six-game losing skid.

The shame of it all for the Rockies? Colorado wasted Elias Diaz’s three-run homer in the seventh that seemed to set them up for a rare road victory. But relievers Matt Koch, Bird and Justice weren’t up to the task of holding the lead.

Early on, the night belonged to Rockies starter Ty Blach.

The lefty was cruising. He’d thrown five scoreless innings, allowed five hits, struck out six and walked none. Then — bang — a sudden blowout in the sixth. He issued a leadoff walk to Luis Matos, never advisable, and then served up back-to-back-to-back homers to Wilmer Flores, Mitch Hanniger and J.D. Davis. The Rockies’ 4-0 lead was gone.

It marked the first time a Rockies pitcher has ever given up three consecutive homers in a road game. The last time that the Giants went back-to-back-to-back was on April 4, 2016,  at Milwaukee when Denard Span, Joe Panik and Buster Posey went yard.

Saturday’s pitching matchup

Rockies RHP Chase Anderson (0-4, 6.49 ERA) at Giants RHP Logan Webb (9-12, 3.51)

7:05 p.m. Saturday, Oracle Park

TV: AT&T SportsNet

Radio: 850 AM/94.1 FM

Anderson came off the injured list to pitch four innings on Sunday against the Blue Jays at Coors Field. He pitched relatively well, allowing two homers — on two solo blasts — and four hits total. He last faced the Giants on June 8 at Coors Field in Colorado’s 6-4 loss. He did not get a decision after throwing 5 1/3 innings in which he allowed three runs on six hits and a walk. He struck out a season-high seven. The veteran owns a 3-3 record with a 4.77 ERA in 11 starts against San Francisco. Webb made a quality start last Saturday vs. the Cubs but was still pinned with the loss. Over 6 2/3 innings, he allowed three earned runs on five hits and one walk. He fanned four. Webb pitched a spectacular game against the Rockies at Oracle Park on July 7. He spun a complete-game shutout, allowing seven hits, striking out 10 and walking none.

Pitching probables

Sunday: Rockies RHP Peter Lambert (3-6, 5.03) at Giants TBA, 6:10 p.m., ATTRM and ESPN

Monday: Cubs LHP Jordan Wicks (3-0, 2.16) at Rockies LHP Kyle Freeland (6-14, 5.09), 6:40 p.m., ATTRM

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