DENVER (AP) - Shoddy defense was the Colorado Rockies' downfall Thursday night in an 8-5 loss to the San Francisco Giants and pitcher Jhoulys Chacin continued his three-month slide.
The Rockies entered the game tied for third in fielding percentage and fewest errors committed in the National League and typically don't beat themselves.
But shortstop Tommy Field and first baseman Jordan Pacheco, both in their first days in the major leagues, made errors in a three-run second inning and Chris Iannetta was charged with two passed balls, one of which led to a run in the two-run sixth when the Giants also capitalized on Chacin botching a rundown by throwing too soon.
Pablo Sandoval hit for the cycle for the Giants, and Ryan Vogelsong, (11-7) who pitched 5 1-3 innings, broke a five-start losing streak and won for the first time since Aug. 14. The victory enabled the Giants to move within seven games of the idle Arizona Diamondbacks in the NL West with 12 games remaining for each team.
Sandoval homered, singled, doubled and tripled on his first four at_bats against Chacin for the first cycle of his career. He drew an intentional walk in the eighth with two outs and a runner on third and the Rockies trailing by two runs.
``He hit everything I threw. ... It was his night,' Chacin said.
On Sandoval's sixth-inning triple, right fielder Carlos Gonzalez hit the wall with his right wrist, which he injured earlier in the season. He was replaced in the seventh and is listed as day to day.
Sandoval was 0 for 5 in his career against Chacin (11-12) when stepped to the plate after Carlos Beltran's two-out single in the first. He drove a 2-1 fastball into the second deck in right field for his 20th home run.
``It was supposed to be in and down and the ball was in the middle, high,' said Chacin (11-12), who pitched 5 2-3 innings. ``When you make mistakes with your pitch, that's what you're going to get.'
The Giants scored three unearned runs in the second due to miscues by Field and Pacheco. With one out and runners on first and second, Field, who made his major league debut Sunday and was playing in place of injured shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, gloved Cody Ross' potential double play grounder and threw the ball into right field, allowing a run to score.
``(I) just didn't have a good grip on it, just rushed it,' Field said, ``just kind of sailed a little bit.'
After Jeff Keppinger's sacrifice fly, Beltran's grounder went through the legs of Pacheco and Ross scored to make it 5-0.
``Jhoulys was a victim of some of the defense in the second inning,' Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. ``But there were four base on balls, which is something that is obviously concerning.'
After a win on June 15, the 23-year-old Chacin was 8-4 with a 2.51 ERA in 14 starts and contending for a spot on the NL All-Star team. In 15 subsequent starts, Chacin has gone 3-8 with a 4.70 ERA, too often plagued by spotty command of his fastball that doesn't allow him to maximize the effectiveness of his very good secondary pitches.
The Rockies got a run back in the third when Chacin led off with a walk, and Dexter Fowler and Mark Ellis followed with singles. The Rockies had runners on first and second with one out, but Vogelsong got Ty Wigginton to ground into a double play.
Pacheco led off the fourth with a homer, his second in seven starts since being recalled from Triple-A Colorado Springs.
The Giants took advantage of Iannetta's second passed ball and a gaffe by Chacin to score two runs in the sixth. Vogelson led off with a single and moved up on Iannetta's passed ball. Ross followed with a run-scoring double. Keppinger bounced a ball back to Chacin, who ran Ross back toward second base but threw too soon, enabling Ross to scamper to third. He scored when Beltran grounded into a double play.
Sandoval then completed his cycle with a triple to right-center. Gonzalez seemed to have a play on the ball but hit the wall with his right wrist. He initially injured the wrist on July 3 when he banged into the center field wall making a catch. He made seven starts over the next 2 1/2 weeks before aggravating the wrist while taking a swing July 21 and ended up on the 15-day disabled list through Aug. 5.
Iannetta, playing less often as the Rockies look at catching prospect Wilin Rosario this month, led off the seventh with his 13th homer. It was Iannetta's first home run in 70 at_bats since Aug. 6. Field singled and scored on a pinch-hit double by Chris Nelson. With two outs, Eric Young Jr. doubled Nelson home to cut the deficit to 7-5.
The Giants increased their lead when Brandon Belt led off the ninth with a home run against Matt Reynolds. It was the 10th homer off the left-handed Reynolds in 47 1-3 innings this season and the sixth by a left-handed hitter. They are 29 for 94 (.309) against Reynolds this season.
Santiago Casilla, filling for injured closer Brian Wilson, gave up a broken-bat single to Field to start the ninth. But Casilla retired the next three batters, two on strikeouts, to earn his fourth save.
Notes: Sandoval's cycle was the 10th at Coors Field and fourth by a visiting player. It was the first cycle by a Giant since Fred Lewis on May 13, 2007, also at Coors Field. ... Aaron Cook, the Rockies all-time leader with 72 wins, is scheduled to start Colorado's final home game Wednesday against the Padres. He lost his spot in the rotation to Drew Pomeranz and last pitched Sept. 4. ... First baseman Todd Helton didn't play due to back stiffness that has caused him to miss eight of the past 10 games. ... Tulowitzki has missed four of the past six games due to bursitis in his left hip.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved