DENVER — Gleaming at his new-look, full-strength lineup before Wednesday’s game, Gabe Kapler said the most exciting part wasn’t the addition of Joc Pederson, nor Thairo Estrada, nor Michael Conforto, though all three surely serve an important presence in the middle of the order.
The Giants manager began listing off the names he had available on his bench.
“I think we always think about how deep the lineup gets when we have a fully healthy position player roster,” Kapler said. “But it really is emphasized when you look at the bench. You have J.D. Davis, Austin Slater, Wilmer Flores on the bench today. The Rockies have two left-handed pitchers, (Brent) Suter and (Brad) Hand, that can come out of their ‘pen. It kind of makes you think twice. You’re going to run into some really good right-handed bats.”
In succession, that is precisely who the Rockies ran into in the seventh inning Wednesday night. When Colorado turned to Suter, Kapler countered with Slater, Flores and Davis. The trio of pinch-hitters delivered a pair of knocks as the Giants mounted their best scoring rally of the evening.
The three-run seventh only served to set up a go-ahead rally in the eighth, as the Giants came back to beat the Rockies, 5-4, despite being held hitless into the sixth inning and their ace, Logan Webb, being forced to his second-earliest exit from a start this season.
Patrick Bailey, who only entered after Flores pinch-hit for Blake Sabol in the seventh, laid down a perfectly executed safety squeeze, allowing Mitch Haniger to race home and score the go-ahead run. After singling home one in the seventh, Slater drove in Joc Pederson as the tying run with his second RBI knock in as many innings.
The Giants, who trailed 4-0 entering the seventh, scored the final five runs of the game. Camilo Doval recorded the final three outs for his National League-leading 15th save of the season. San Francisco (31-30) has not lost to the Rockies since Aug. 20 of last season, a streak of 10 straight wins over their NL West foe.
Webb left after 5⅓ innings, snapping a streak of 10 consecutive starts of at least six innings. He allowed four runs, matching a season-high, and struck out three, tied for a season-low. His two walks were one off his most of the season, and so were the eight hits allowed.
The Rockies scored three of their runs in the second inning, before Nolan Jones launched a mammoth solo shot in the sixth that spelled an end to Webb’s day.
The inning started with a walk to the leadoff man, Mike Moustakas, who came around to score on one of four straight hits that followed. Webb attacked three batters (including former Giants catcher Austin Wynns, now Colorado’s backup backstop) in the same fashion — with sinkers over the heart of the plate early in the count — and all three batters made him pay in the same way, with Charlie Blackmon delivering the final blow with a two-RBI double into right-center.
Webb’s sinker to Jones in the sixth was better-executed, down and in, but it didn’t matter: Jones crushed it 483 feet, the second-longest home run in MLB this season.
The Giants were held hitless by Rockies starter Connor Seabold until LaMonte Wade Jr. broke through with an opposite-field single with one out in the sixth. Seabold, 27, was traded to Colorado this past offseason for a player to be named later and took a 7.14 career ERA into Wednesday night, only his 20th MLB appearance since debuting in 2021. No Giants batter had ever faced him.
— RHP Alex Cobb (5-2, 2.71) will start Thursday’s series finale on regular rest, the club announced. The Giants had listed the spot as TBA. He will be opposed by RHP Chase Anderson (0-0, 2.08).
— OF Michael Conforto (heel) made his second straight start but is still feeling some soreness from his bruised heel.