Fri, 14 May 2021

Giants head to Colorado looking to retain hold on NL West

Field Level Media
03 May 2021, 23:05 GMT+10

When predictions before the season started coming out, the biggest debate about the National League West was who had the edge between the San Diego Padres and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Padres loaded up with a busy offseason and the Dodgers were coming off their first World Series title in 32 years.

A month into the season, the debate now includes the San Francisco Giants, who sit atop the division after a 7-1 win at San Diego on Sunday.

The Giants have a chance to solidify their position when they open a three-game series against the Rockies in Denver on Monday.

The first game will feature a pair of right-handers on the mound as San Francisco sends Aaron Sanchez (1-1, 2.22 ERA) to face German Marquez (1-2, 4.13).

The struggling Rockies got a small victory Sunday. Trevor Story left Sunday's game at Arizona after being hit by a pitch on his right index finger in the eighth inning but X-rays showed no fracture.

"I think we dodged a bullet there," manager Bud Black said.

Sanchez will make his fourth career start against Colorado and the third at Coors Field. In his previous outings against the Rockies, he is 1-1 (both decisions on the road) with a 3.38 ERA. He has put up solid numbers in his two starts in Denver, posting a 3.21 ERA in 14 innings.

Sanchez's battery mate likely will be Buster Posey, who is having a solid rebound season at age 34. Posey opted out of the 2020 season, which gave him additional time to recover from hip surgery after the 2018 season.

Posey hit just 12 combined homers in 2018 and '19 and has six in 18 games already this season.

"It's a combination of a lot of different things," Posey said after Saturday's game. "Some of my preparation before the game is working with the hitting (coaches); being a little further away from the hip surgery. It's a combination of all those things coming together. Just trying to get out there and put good swings on the ball each night."

Marquez is making his seventh start this season, and nearly half of them will have come against the Giants. He has lost both starts against them so far, allowing seven runs on 10 hits with six walks and 12 strikeouts across 9 2/3 innings.

This will be his 13th career start against San Francisco. He is 4-6 with a 5.67 ERA in the previous 12 meetings and has an 8.10 ERA in three career starts against the Giants at Coors Field.

Colorado is glad to be home after a 2-5 road trip through San Francisco and Arizona. The Rockies are 2-11 on the road and 8-7 at home this season.

Colorado sat some regulars in Sunday's 8-4 loss, including outfielder Charlie Blackmon. A career .302 hitter, Blackmon was batting .153 when the Rockies hit the road on April 26 but had seven of his 16 hits this season on the road trip.

"I think things are trending in the right direction," Blackmon said before Friday's game. "It's good to see some hits happen on the road, have a few good at-bats."

He pinch hit in the eighth inning Sunday and struck out to drop his average from .200 to .198.

--Field Level Media

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