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Kyle Freeland gets Rockies going with arm and bat in blowout of Giants

By: DENNIS GEORGATOS , Associated Press
May 29, 2018 Updated: May 30, 2018 at 7:18 am
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photo - Colorado Rockies left fielder Gerardo Parra, center fielder Charlie Blackmon and right fielder Carlos Gonzalez celebrate after the Rockies defeated the San Francisco Giants 11-4 in a baseball game Tuesday, May 29, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Colorado Rockies left fielder Gerardo Parra, center fielder Charlie Blackmon and right fielder Carlos Gonzalez celebrate after the Rockies defeated the San Francisco Giants 11-4 in a baseball game Tuesday, May 29, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) 

DENVER — Kyle Freeland got the Rockies going with his arm and his bat.

Freeland pitched effectively into the sixth inning and doubled during Colorado's three-run fourth Tuesday night, leading the Rockies to an 11-4 win over the San Francisco Giants, who lost two pitchers to injury — including starter Jeff Samardzija.

"Since Day One, he's always been trying to get better," teammate Carlos Gonzalez said of Freeland, who is in his second major league season. "He's always working, running out balls, getting upset when he doesn't get the job done. It's just nice to see that from a young guy, a guy who wants to establish himself. I think that's why he's been successful in the big leagues."

Freeland said his all-around competitive approach was instilled from an early age.

"That's kind of how I was raised, to play this game as hard as you can, and no matter what happens, at the end of the day you're going to feel better about yourself, regardless of the outcome," he explained.

His teammates pitched in, with every player in the starting lineup getting at least one hit.

David Dahl had a two-run shot off reliever Cory Gearrin as part of Colorado's four-run seventh, the first pinch-hit homer of his career.

Trevor Story added a run-scoring triple and Nolan Arenado, Gerardo Parra and Ian Desmond each had an RBI double for the Rockies, who have won 12 of their last 13 games against the Giants at Coors Field.

"We're just trying to have quality at-bats, not being too selfish about it, just trying to get a good pitch to hit and get on base, move guys over," Gonzalez said.

Evan Longoria hit two home runs and Buster Posey also went deep for the Giants. All three were solo shots. It was Longoria's 18th career multihomer game and first since July 17, 2016, with Tampa Bay.

Freeland (5-5) tossed 5 1/3 innings and allowed three runs on eight hits, including homers by Longoria and Posey. The left-hander struck out three and walked none.

Samardzija (1-4) left after one inning because of tightness in his pitching shoulder. He threw 23 pitches, yielding three hits and two runs.

The right-hander said he has been bothered by the shoulder for a while but had been able to work though the issue in the past couple of outings.

"It's frustrating to have a setback," he said. "I always want to pitch. I always feel like I'm OK to pitch. Sometimes other people have to step in and tell you differently. I respect and trust the people around me. You listen to them and go from there."

Samardzija was replaced by rookie right-hander Dereck Rodriguez, the son of Hall of Fame catcher Ivan Rodriguez who was making his major league debut.

The younger Rodriguez, called up Monday from Triple-A Sacramento, went 3 1/3 innings and allowed four runs — one earned. He was removed after being struck in the right shin by a line drive off the bat of Desmond with one out in the fifth.

"I wanted to stay in," Rodriguez said. "But after I threw a few warmup pitches, it felt like it wanted to cramp up to where I couldn't push off my back leg."

Leading 2-0, the Rockies took advantage of some sloppy defense by the Giants to add three unearned runs in the fourth. Rodriguez fanned the first two hitters he faced before Freeland doubled. Second baseman Kelby Tomlinson failed to handle Charlie Blackmon's grounder for his second error of the night, allowing Freeland to score. Blackmon advanced to third on a throwing error by first baseman Brandon Belt, and Parra and Arenado followed with RBI doubles.

Tomlinson made a third error when his high toss on Story's eighth-inning fielder's choice pulled shortstop Brandon Crawford off second base.

FEELING THEIR PAIN

"Obviously, it's part of the game. You don't like to see it. I'm not sure what happened with Samardzija. The young kid, that was rough. Desmond hit a bullet. Every night, there seems to be something on the injury front or something physical in this game, but it's part of competing at this level." — Rockies manager Bud Black expressing empathy over two Giants pitchers getting hurt.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Giants: LHP Madison Bumgarner is scheduled to make his second minor league rehab start Thursday, at Class A San Jose. He is slated to throw 70-75 pitches and provided he comes out of the outing well, he's expected to be reinstated from the 60-day disabled list. "Hopefully, knock on wood, all goes well, he feels fine when he comes out of it, and he'll be pitching for us," manager Bruce Bochy said. Bumgarner broke his left hand in his final spring training game against Kansas City on March 23 when he was struck by a line drive. He pitched 3 2/3 scoreless innings with eight strikeouts in his first rehab start for Triple-A Sacramento last Saturday.

Rockies: Dahl was held out of the starting lineup because of a sore left shin after he collided with Crawford at second base Monday night.

UP NEXT

Giants: LHP Derek Holland (2-6, 4.73 ERA) makes his third career start against the Rockies on Wednesday. He is 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA in his previous outings.

Rockies: RHP Jon Gray (5-6, 5.40) faces the Giants at Coors Field for the first time. He has gone 0-2 with a 4.26 ERA in four previous starts, all in San Francisco.

___

More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

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