It looked like Tuesday would be the most productive day of Giants baseball in years. The Rockies had other ideas.
The lineup broke through in the first inning of a doubleheader and the Giants took a 6-2 lead into the 14th and final inning, but they couldn't hang on. Jake McGee and Camilo Doval combined to allow six runs in the bottom of the seventh, the final three coming on Charlie Blackmon's walk-off homer to right that gave the Rockies an 8-6 win in a classic Coors Field game.
The Dodgers had gotten swept in their own doubleheader earlier in the day and the Giants looked poised to open up a 2 1/2 game lead in the NL West, but the bullpen spoiled it.
The Giants led 6-2 after Wilmer Flores went deep in the sixth, but McGee gave up three runs in the bottom of the seventh and left with the tying run on first. Doval entered and immediately gave up a bloop that put runners on the corners, then hung a slider that Blackmon blasted.
It was a brutal end to what should have been a great day. Anyway, here are three notes from the rest of the game, which was considerably cheerier for Giants fans:
This time, Brandon Belt had to settle for just two RBI. A few hours after hitting a grand slam in the first inning, Belt put the Giants on top with a two-run shot. Over two games, he had three first-inning hits and drove in seven runs in the first alone.
Belt also joined some pretty incredible company, becoming the fourth player 33 years old or older to homer in the first inning of both ends of a doubleheader. The last two? Babe Ruth and Willie Mays.
The craziest part about all this is that Belt came in riding his worst slump of the year. He was 1-for-12 in the three-game series at Petco Park with seven strikeouts, but he had an RBI single in his first at-bat at Coors Field and took off from there.
Belt entered Tuesday's doubleheader with a .203/.326/.405 slash line. After 14 innings, he was at .235/.351/.494.
Belt and Brandon Crawford are the only Giants since 1999 to homer in both games of a doubleheader. Crawford did it two years ago, also at Coors Field.
More Good Wood
Alex Wood was cruising along again until hanging a slider with a runner on in the fourth inning. C.J. Cron hit it 458 feet to left to tie the game. That was the only damage in five innings, though.
Wood faced 22 batters and got 11 outs on the ground, and that number would have been higher had the Giants been a little faster on some double-play turns. Wood has allowed just 13 hits in 23 innings this season and will take a 1.96 ERA back home.
Finding His Stride
The strange thing about having no minor league baseball in April was that there were no statlines when the Giants added a player from their Triple-A/alternate site group. Instead, we had to rely on word of mouth, and the word out of Sacramento was that Steven Duggar was swinging a hot bat. That has carried over a bit to the latest call-up for the Giants' former starting center fielder.
The numbers aren't overwhelming, but Duggar looks a lot more comfortable at the plate. He doubled and drove in a run in the first game of the doubleheader and added a diving catch in center field. In the second game, Duggar broke open a 2-2 tie with a two-run single to left in the top of the fifth and then reached on a bunt single. Before Tuesday, Duggar had driven in three runs in 25 appearances over the last two seasons. He matched that in the doubleheader.