Giants Hold Off Rockies, End 2-Game Skid

The San Francisco Giants held off the Colorado Rockies 4-2 late Monday night to end a two-game losing streak. Outfielder Hunter Pence hit a three-run home run in the first inning and helped the Giants end the Rockies five-game winning streak.

Madison Bumgarner was on the mound for the Giants and pitched 5.2 innings while giving up two runs on five hits. Bumgarner struck out five in the contest but walked five as well and gave up a home run to Carlos Gonzalez in the third inning.

In the top of the sixth, Chris Nelson drove in Michael Cuddyer to cut the Giants lead to one, which led manager Bruce Bochy to relieve Bumgarner on the mound. Santiago Casilla and Jeremy Affeldt came in and pitched two scoreless innings to give Sergio Romo a chance for the save.

Last season’s National League MVP, Buster Posey, hit an RBI-single in the eighth inning to give Romo some breathing room in the ninth. Romo entered the game and gave up a double to Josh Rutledge before striking out the side.

The save was Romo’s fourth of the year in as many attempts, which is good enough for best in the MLB. With the win, the Giants are now back on track after being crushed 14-3 by the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday.

The Giants are currently one-game back of the Rockies for first place in the NL West and can take over the division lead if they win the final two games of the series. The Rockies are off to a great start this year and swept the San Diego Padres after taking two-of-three from the Milwaukee Brewers.

The Giants are now 2-2 at home but haven’t looked like the reigning World Series champions. They are expected to win the NL West this season but will have to play better at home if they hope to live up to expectation.

Hunter Pence hit the big home run Monday that held up as the game-winner, and he has been one of a few Giants’ players who have hit the ball well to start the season.

Pence has three home runs with five RBIs in the first seven games while hitting a respectable .280. Pablo Sandoval leads the team with a .360 average and is also tied with Pence for the team lead in RBIs with five.

Outside of Sandoval, Angel Pagan is the only other starter hitting above .300 at .321 in 28 at-bats. The Giants are known for small ball and manufacturing runs to compliment their great rotation but are still settling into the season and have yet to get going on the bases.

Can the San Francisco Giants pick up the pace after the big win over the Colorado Rockies on Monday? Is the NL West going to be the toughest division to win in 2013?

[Image via Creative Commons]