Colorado Rockies morning after: Early scoring keeps playoff hopes alive

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 21: Josh Fuentes #8 of the Colorado Rockies celebrates with Trevor Story #27 after they both scored on a two-run single by Elias Diaz #35 in the top of the fifth inning against the San Francisco Giants at Oracle Park on September 21, 2020 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 21: Josh Fuentes #8 of the Colorado Rockies celebrates with Trevor Story #27 after they both scored on a two-run single by Elias Diaz #35 in the top of the fifth inning against the San Francisco Giants at Oracle Park on September 21, 2020 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /
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The Colorado Rockies’ offense scored early and often in the first game of their four-game series against the San Francisco Giants, keeping their playoff hopes alive.

The Colorado Rockies have narrowed their deficit in the National League Wild Card race to 2.5 games as each of the three teams ahead of them for the second Wild Card spot lost on Monday. One of those three teams is the San Francisco Giants, who the Rockies defeated by a score of 7-2 in their first and only series in San Francisco in 2020.

The Rockies entered the game a bit down since they had to place third baseman Nolan Arenado on the 10-day injured list but they hit as well as they have in a long time.

Ironically, two of the Rockies bats that have been most consistent in 2020 (Trevor Story and Raimel Tapia) were completely quiet on Monday as they combined to go 0-for-9 with a walk and five strikeouts, ending Story’s 12 game hitting streak. He also committed a throwing error as well.

However, outside of those two, the Rockies went 9-for-27 with six strikeouts.

Josh Fuentes started the scoring as he continued his hot streak with an RBI single in the first inning. Ryan McMahon, who, unlike Fuentes, has been ice cold, followed with another RBI single in the first.

Kevin Pillar had a solo home run in the third and an inning later, Sam Hilliard scored on a balk by Giants starter Johnny Cueto.

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Elias Diaz, who also has been hot and therefore, has been and will continue to see more playing time according to manager Bud Black, delivered in the fifth inning with a two-run single. In his last eight games (five starts), he has hit .300/.333/.450 with one home run and seven RBI.

Garrett Hampson also had an RBI single as well to round out the Rockies scoring.

On the pitching front, German Marquez pitched six excellent innings for the Rockies, scattering five hits, allowing just one run while walking one and striking out three.

Carlos Estevez came on in relief and he really struggled once again, allowing a hit, a walk, a hit batsman, and a run in two-thirds of an inning. That brings his season ERA of 8.06 and his ERA in his last nine outings to 22.75 (6 1/3 IP, 17 H, 16 ER, an opponent batting average close to .500 and an OPS north of 1.500).

Mychal Givens came in later and struggled with his control but with him, Yency Almonte, and Tyler Kinley, they pitched 2 1/3 innings, allowing no runs.

Next. Nolan Arenado's season ends due to nagging shoulder injury. dark

To leapfrog the Giants, the Brewers, and the Phillies, the Rockies will need to virtually win out for the rest of the season and they will obviously need some losses from those teams as well but if they can play like they did on Monday with the team running on all cylinders for the rest of the season, the Rockies could make it an interesting week for themselves and some other teams.

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