SF Giants sweep Rockies to take five-game win streak on road

SAN FRANCISCO — Alex Cobb’s precision pitching, Joey Bart’s clutch hitting and Brandon Crawford’s third home run of the season paced the Giants to a 7-1 win Wednesday that secured a series sweep of the Colorado Rockies.

A sun-splashed crowd of 23,341 watched the Giants notch their first series sweep this season, via their 10th straight win against the Rockies, dating to last August.

It also extended the Giants’ win streak to five after losing their previous five. Next up is a Thursday flight to St. Louis, where they’ll play Friday through Sunday before a three-game series in Colorado.

Cobb and previously unbeaten Rockies starter Chad Kuhl kept things scoreless through three innings before the Giants broke through offensively. That shouldn’t have been too surprising. The Giants outscored the Rockies 24-8 over the three-game set.

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – MAY 11: San Francisco Giants’ Thairo Estrada #39 is congratulated after scoring on an RBI single by Joey Bart #21 in the fourth inning of their MLB game against the Colorado Rockies at Oracle Park in San Francisco, Calif., on Wednesday, May 11, 2022. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group) 

It was Bart’s RBI single that highlighted a three-run, go-ahead rally in the fourth inning. His clutch hit came on an 0-2 pitch, and it came an inning after he struck out 33rd time in 58 at-bats this season.

Crawford’s third home run of the season (385 feet) extended the Giants’ lead to 5-0, and it chased previously unbeaten starter Chad Kuhl.

One more offensive highlight: Joc Pederson theatrically ended an 0-for-22 skid in the sixth, dribbling a 52-mph single that hugged the first-base line all the way to the bag, which Pederson crossed with his arms raised in celebration and relief.

Cobb’s second win came the same day his former Tampa Bay teammate Evan Longoria made his long-awaited season debut. Longoria, coming off finger surgery on March 28, struck out three times in his first four at-bats before reaching on an error in the eighth.

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – MAY 11: San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Alex Cobb #38 throws in the fourth inning of their MLB game against the Colorado Rockies at Oracle Park in San Francisco, Calif., on Wednesday, May 11, 2022. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group) 

COBB’S HOT START

Cobb (2-1) opened with five scoreless innings before getting pulled in the sixth, after 85 pitches (61 strikes) with just three hits and two walks.

He retired 10 consecutive batters after yielding a single to leadoff batter Connor Joe to open the game. Cobb issued a two-out walk to Blackmon and then struck out C.J. Cron with a 93-mph sinker to keep the shutout bid intact through four innings.

With runners at the corners, Jose Alvarez relieved Cobb and failed to cleanly field Charlie Blackmon’s slow comebacker, allowing Dom Nunez to score and cut the Giants’ lead to 5-1.

This start was a far cry from Cobb’s outing 10 days earlier, when he got pulled only two outs into the first inning here, after falling into a 5-0 hole in an eventual 11-5 loss to Washington. He drew a no-decision in his ensuing start last Friday, allowing two runs in five innings in an eventual 3-2 defeat to St. Louis, which is where the 49ers next open a three-game series Friday after an off-day Thursday.

Kuhl, who entered 3-0, threw three scoreless innings before the Giants rallied in the fourth for a 3-0 lead.

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – MAY 11: San Francisco Giants’ Luis Gonzalez #51 is thrown out as Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Chad Kuhl #41 takes the throw at first base in the first inning of their MLB game at Oracle Park in San Francisco, Calif., on Wednesday, May 11, 2022. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group) 

BART SHOWS UP ON TIME

The Giants’ most encouraging at-bat of that rally came from Bart, who delivered an RBI single up the middle for a 2-0 lead. Facing an 0-2 count and his second strikeout of the day, Bart singled up the middle to drive in Thairo Estrada.

Bart’s second strikeout of the day would come in his next at-bat. He got hit by a pitch to help stoke the eighth-inning rally.

Bart came through with a defensive gem, too. He threw out Garrett Hampson attempting a delayed steal to end the Rockies’ seventh-inning chances.

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – MAY 11: San Francisco Giants’ Brandon Crawford #35 grounds out in a fielder’s choice as a run scores in the fourth inning of their MLB game against the Colorado Rockies at Oracle Park in San Francisco, Calif., on Wednesday, May 11, 2022. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group) 

NOTES

— Mike Yastrzemski broke the scoreless stalemate by sliding in safely on Crawford’s grounder to first with no outs. Yastrzemski led off with a single, took second on an errant pickoff attempt, then scooted to third on Thairo Estrada’s single to center. Crawford came home on a Brandon Belt flyout for the 3-0 lead.

— After his infield single, Pederson drew a bases-loaded walk in the eighth, on a 10-pitch at-bat that began in an 0-2 hole. Pederson had opened 0-for-3 with to extend his slump to 0-for-22 (0-for-May) since an adductor strain kept him out three games.

— Relievers Alvarez, John Brebbia, Tyler Rogers and Jarlin Garcia did not allow a run in relief of Cobb. Rogers pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning, then Garcia did the same in the ninth, striking out Ryan McMahon to end the game.

— After pummeling their way to 8-5 and 9-2 wins the previous two games against Colorado, the Giants struggled to produce runs in Wednesday’s initial innings. They stranded two runners in the first inning and again in the third, that latter rally spoiled by strikeouts from Longoria and Pederson.

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SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – MAY 11: San Francisco Giants second baseman Thairo Estrada #39 forces out Colorado Rockies’ Connor Joe #9 but can’t make the play to first in the sixth inning of their MLB game at Oracle Park in San Francisco, Calif., on Wednesday, May 11, 2022. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group) 
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – MAY 11: San Francisco Giants’ Brandon Crawford #35 is congratulated after scoring on a RBI sacrifice fly by Brandon Belt #9 in the fourth inning of their MLB game against the Colorado Rockies at Oracle Park in San Francisco, Calif., on Wednesday, May 11, 2022. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group) 
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – MAY 11: San Francisco Giants relief pitcher Jose Alvarez #48 throws in the sixth inning of their MLB game against the Colorado Rockies at Oracle Park in San Francisco, Calif., on Wednesday, May 11, 2022. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group) 
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – MAY 11: San Francisco Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford #35 tags out Colorado Rockies’ Garrett Hampson #1 at second base on a steal attempt in the seventh inning of their MLB game against the Colorado Rockies at Oracle Park in San Francisco, Calif., on Wednesday, May 11, 2022. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group) 
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – MAY 11: San Francisco Giants’ Brandon Belt #9 watches the flight of his RBI sacrifice fly off Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Chad Kuhl #41 in the fourth inning of their MLB game at Oracle Park in San Francisco, Calif., on Wednesday, May 11, 2022. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group) 
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – MAY 11: San Francisco Giants relief pitcher Jarlin Garcia #66 and catcher Joey Bart #21 celebrate their 7-1 MLB win over the Colorado Rockies at Oracle Park in San Francisco, Calif., on Wednesday, May 11, 2022. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group) 
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – MAY 11: San Francisco Giants celebrate their 7-1 MLB win over the Colorado Rockies at Oracle Park in San Francisco, Calif., on Wednesday, May 11, 2022. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group)