Having dispatched of the last-place club in their division, the National League West-leading San Francisco Giants take a step up the ladder when they open a four-game home series against the Colorado Rockies on Thursday night.
Right-handers German Marquez (10-8, 3.42 ERA) of the Rockies and Logan Webb (5-3, 3.19) of the Giants are the scheduled starters.
The Giants belted five home runs, including two by Buster Posey, in sweeping a two-game set from the last-place Diamondbacks. San Francisco posted an 8-7 win on Tuesday and a 7-2 victory the following night.
Brandon Crawford contributed a homer, two doubles and a single to the attack.
The Giants haven’t seen the Rockies since May 5, when a 6-5 defeat capped a 2-1 series loss at Colorado. Crawford homered in that setback.
Webb was the losing pitcher that day after having walked in a run and surrendered a two-RBI single to Charlie Blackmon in the Rockies’ six-run fourth inning.
The loss was Webb’s first in four career starts against Colorado. He’s gone 2-1 with a 5.92 ERA in five career appearances versus the Rockies.
The Rockies flew into San Francisco on Wednesday night after being swept in a two-game series against the Houston Astros. Colorado dropped a 5-0 decision on Tuesday and a 5-1 setback on Wednesday.
The two-game skid followed a four-game winning streak during which the Rockies put up 40 runs.
Colorado manager Bud Black refused to believe his hot-hitting team had fallen into a slump in Houston, but rather was a victim of some bad luck.
“There were some high fastballs that we just couldn’t connect on,” Black lamented. “Good swings on foul balls. We just couldn’t get them in play with any authority.”
Marquez was the beneficiary of the 14-run assault in his most recent start Friday against the Miami Marlins. He enters the series having won his past two outings, including a 5-3 decision over the San Diego Padres on July 31.
Marquez sustained his first three losses of the season against the Giants. He’s now 4-7 with a 6.68 ERA in 13 career head-to-head encounters, during which he’s been roughed up on a regular basis by Posey (5-for-13 with a double and a home run) and Crawford (10-for-30 with a double, a triple and a homer).
Five other Giants regulars — Alex Dickerson, Donovan Solano, Wilmer Flores, Brandon Belt and Mike Yastrzemski — have career OPS percentages over 1.000 against the 26-year-old.
Dickerson and Belt hit homers off Marquez in San Francisco earlier in the season, during which the visitor was getting acquainted with the shortened dimensions of the Oracle Park outfield.
That reality, a negative for visiting pitchers, has turned into a positive for Giants hitters, the veteran Crawford insisted.
“I think the mindset has changed a little bit from an offensive standpoint,” he said. “A few extra balls are probably getting out because of the fence changes. I guess we’re getting used to it. We’ve hit a lot this year and it’s always fun to watch.”
–Field Level Media