Chris Schneider/Associated Press
Chris Schneider/Associated Press
DENVER – Colorado pitcher Alex White was happy with his big swing at the plate. He just wanted to last a little longer on the mound.
White hit his first major league home run to help the Rockies beat the San Francisco Giants 6-5 on Monday night, snapping a five-game skid that included four one-run losses.
Despite allowing only one run with no walks, White went just four innings. He threw 47 strikes among his 76 pitches, the approximate limit the Rockies have for their starters. It was the eighth consecutive start in which he has failed to pitch five innings.
“I throw pitches. I’m not sure that’s going to change,” White said. “I’m sure there’ll be exceptions to that where I come out some nights and just be outstanding. But I think with more pitches, six, seven innings is not unrealistic. But we get 75 right now. We all do. So we kind of just try to do our jobs.”
The Rockies finally beat Ryan Vogelsong (12-8), who was 5-0 with a 1.80 ERA in six previous starts against them. The loss was just the second for the Giants in their past 10 road games. San Francisco’s lead in the NL West was trimmed to five games over the idle Los Angeles Dodgers.
Vogelsong never had allowed a home run to an opposing pitcher before White belted a 1-2 fastball into the left-field stands with two outs in the second. The drive came after White hit a long foul ball to left field. He and fellow pitcher Tyler Chatwood, who went 2 for 2 with an RBI on Sunday at Philadelphia, have a little hitting competition, and after the foul ball, White said he glanced at Chatwood in the dugout.
“You don’t miss pitches like that because you usually only get one,” White said. “I think he was trying to come in and just missed up again with the fastball, and I was able to put the barrel on it.”
White’s homer was the second by a Rockies pitcher this season. Drew Pomeranz hit one May 7 at San Diego.
White gave up a homer to Hunter Pence in the second. Buster Posey hit a two-run shot in the seventh off Rex Brothers that cut Colorado’s lead to 6-4.
The Giants pulled within one in the eighth. Brandon Crawford drew a one-out walk from Matt Belisle, pinch-hitter Aubrey Huff singled, and Angel Pagan followed with an RBI double, his third hit of the game.
Belisle got out of the jam by retiring Marco Scutaro on a grounder to first and Pablo Sandoval on a fly to left.
“I was a little up in the zone, a little off tonight,” Belisle said. “The one run got across, so I had a job to get done. Obviously there was a base open with (Maco Scutaro). He’s a contact guy. I’m not trying to trick anybody there. He didn’t bite at the first two, and it was 2-0. I didn’t want to play around. I just threw a heater down and away. The groundball worked out because it went right to (first baseman Jordan Pacheco).”
Against Sandoval, Belisle said he simply tried to attack.
“I’m not trying to nitpick and get them to hit a certain pitch I want. I want to get them out now,” the reliever said.
Sandoval lunged for a pitch and hit a weak fly ball to left.
“It was kind of a middle, middle-away curve that came back over the middle,” Belisle said.
Guillermo Moscoso (2-1) picked up the victory by working two innings in relief of White. Moscoso allowed one run and three hits. Rafael Betancourt pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his 28th save in 33 chances.
Colorado manager Jim Tracy was ejected in the bottom of the seventh by second base umpire Angel Campos after a heated argument over an inning-ending double play. Campos ruled that Scutaro tagged Josh Rutledge before throwing to first to get Carlos Gonzalez. Tracy, ejected for the third time this season, argued that Scutaro missed the tag.
The Rockies also lost catcher Ramon Hernandez to a left hamstring strain sustained while running out a double in the fourth. He was replaced by pinch-runner Wilin Rosario, who advanced when Chris Nelson reached on first baseman Brandon Belt’s fielding error and came home on Charlie Blackmon’s double-play grounder.
Vogelsong allowed four runs and six hits over five innings. He is 2-3 with a 9.57 ERA in six starts since Aug. 13, allowing 28 runs and 43 hits in 26 1/3 innings.
The right-hander was in trouble from the outset, allowing successive doubles to Tyler Colvin and Rutledge, the first two batters he faced. One out later, Pacheco hit an RBI single to put the Rockies up 2-0.
A two-out error by Sandoval on Rosario’s grounder to third led to three consecutive hits and a pair of runs for the Rockies in the sixth. Nelson followed with a run-scoring triple and Blackmon added an RBI single to build a four-run lead.