Hot hitting encounters impressive pitching when the Colorado Rockies visit San Francisco for the Giants’ home opener Friday afternoon.
Colorado completed a 3-4 homestand with a second straight win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday, getting a third home run from rookie catcher Dom Nunez in a 7-3 victory.
The homer was one of 12 the Rockies hit in their first seven games, a stretch during which they scored five or more runs on six occasions.
Ryan McMahon swung the most powerful bat for Colorado during the homestand, belting four homers, while Chris Owings was 7-for-14 with three doubles and two triples before leaving Wednesday’s game with a strained hamstring. He did not play Thursday and enters the San Francisco series as a bit of a question mark.
The Giants also have three wins, albeit in just six games and all on the road. They have alternated losses and victories, having allowed a total of just 14 runs since losing 8-7 on Opening Day in Seattle.
The Giants are hoping their home ballpark and its COVID-restricted 8,900 capacity will wake up some slumbering bats.
“I think it’ll be great,” said shortstop Brandon Crawford, a San Francisco Bay Area native who figures to be cheered on by family and friends for the first time since 2019. “It’s definitely nice to have fans back there and the stadium getting loud in certain situations. That’s fun for us. It’ll be even better to hear them cheering for us and not against us.”
San Francisco pitchers held the San Diego Padres to three runs or fewer in all three games of their series that ended on Wednesday, with the Giants recording book-end 3-2 wins, the last one in 10 innings.
Giants manager Gabe Kapler has slotted fan favorite Johnny Cueto (0-0, 4.76 ERA) into the club’s first home appearance. The right-hander was largely effective in his season debut on April 2, limiting the Mariners to three runs on six hits in 5 2/3 innings.
He did not get a decision in an eventual 6-3 win.
Cueto has gone 9-4 with a 3.16 ERA in 18 career starts against Colorado.
He’ll be facing a Colorado squad that showed off its power at home the past week. The Rockies like to believe no stadium — not even Oracle Park in San Francisco, known as a pitchers’ park — can contain them.
“I think the power potential for our squad, there is a very, very high ceiling for that,” said outfielder Sam Hilliard, who has two of the club’s homers so far. “I think we might have some of the most raw power in the league.”
Cueto is scheduled to be opposed Friday by left-hander Austin Gomber (0-1, 3.00 ERA), who struggled with his control in his first start for the Rockies on Sunday.
Gomber, acquired in the Nolan Arenado trade with the St. Louis Cardinals in February, walked seven in his three-inning stint. However, he allowed just one hit to keep the damage to three runs, only one of which was earned.
He has never faced the Giants in his three-year career.
Donovan Solano has been San Francisco’s big hitter so far, going 9-for-22 (.409) with two doubles.
–Field Level Media