DENVER —The Rockies needed some Coors Field magic on Tuesday.
They didn't find any in the first game of a doubleheader against the Giants, as the Giants slathered on runs, scoring eight in the first inning off starting pitcher Germán Márquez. They added two more that inning off Jhoulys Chacin, as the Giants went on to win the first game 12-4.
But the Rockies sneaked some in in the bottom of the seventh of the second game, with Charlie Blackmon hitting a walk-off home run to take the win 8-6.
"We have guys that play really hard, you saw that in the last inning," Blackmon said. "We could have packed up and went home, and our guys didn’t do that. It was big for me to come through for the guys in that spot."
It was the first time in franchise history that the Rockies have given up 10 runs in the first inning and seventh time they’ve given up that many runs in a single inning. The Rockies are now 11-20.
"First inning was demoralizing, no doubt about it," manager Bud Black said. "10-0 in the first game of a doubleheader against a team that is playing really well. Our guys hung in there."
For Márquez, it's not the only time he’s had a disastrous first inning in the first game of a doubleheader. He had a similar outing July 15, 2019, when he gave up 11 runs in 2.2 innings.
Márquez left the game midway through the first, after giving up six hits and two walks. He threw 36 pitches, less than half of which were strikes. It’s the only time in his career that Márquez, who has been in the majors since 2016, has been pulled in the first inning.
The fastball was lacking command, and the breaking ball was inconsistent.
"If you reconstruct it pitch by pitch, there were some things he didn’t do well for sure," Black said.
The Rockies got some life in the fourth inning, when Raimel Tapia hit a grand slam. Lucas Gilbreath, a Legacy High School graduate, made his first appearance at Coors Field, the stadium he grew up going to. He pitched a scoreless fifth inning, earning his first major league strikeout, but gave up a two-run home run in the sixth.
Ryan Castellani started the second game of the doubleheader, pitching 3.1 innings and allowing five hits and two runs. He was called up from the alternative training site as the 27th man for the doubleheader.
The second game looked as though it was headed in the wrong direction early — with the Giants scoring two runs in the first inning off a home run by Brandon Belt. But the Rockies reined it in, keeping the Giants in check for the next three innings.
The Rockies tied the game in the fourth off a CJ Cron blast that went 458 feet. Justin Lawrence, who dazzled in his first two outings, had some hiccups in his first appearance at Coors. He walked two and had one strikeout before he was removed.
Mychal Givens took over, walking his first batter. Steven Duggar then hit a RBI single to bring in two runners and give the Giants a 4-2 lead. Wilmer Flores hit a two-run home run in the sixth.
Then, just as it seemed like all hope was lost for the Rockies, they started stringing things together. Alan Trejo and Garrett Hampson hit singles to open the seventh. Trevor Story came up, hitting a double as Trejo and Hampson scored to get the Rockies within one.
Then, when they needed some magic, Blackmon was the one who delivered. Off to the worst start of his career, Blackmon heated up when the team needed him to, hitting a walk-off home run to win the game.
"It seems like lately I've been hitting balls at people a lot or not hitting them hard," Blackmon said. "It was nice to finally find the barrel."
Kyle Freeland (shoulder strain), Yency Almonte (hand contusion) and Brendan Rodgers (hamstring strain) all played in a simulated game before the doubleheader.
Freeland threw about 35 pitches. The team will see how he feels after before it decides if he is ready for a rehab start or if he needs more time. Almonte threw one inning. The team is using this time to work on his mechanics, trying to keep him more square to the plate. Rodgers had a couple of hits, and also ran to first base.