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Giants and their core explode for historic inning and blast Rockies away


Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports


Which is the most telling number?

The 47 pitches a pair of Rockies pitchers threw?

How about the five RBIs by Brandon Belt, the most by a Giant in an inning since Juan Uribe on Sept. 23, 2010?

Maybe the 13 hitters the Giants sent to the plate? The eight hits? The two homers (a Belt grand slam followed by a Buster Posey dinger)?

It could be the 10 runs, marking the first double-digit frame since they scored 10 in the bottom of the fourth inning Sept. 7, 2008, against Pittsburgh.

Or maybe it’s this: All of this damage was done before there was one pitch thrown by Aaron Sanchez.

The Giants looked right at home on the road at Coors Field, blasting German Marquez and Jhoulys Chacin for 10 first-inning runs on the way to a 12-4 win in seven innings in Game One of Tuesday’s doubleheader.

The Giants (18-11) have won 10 of 15 and remain in first in the NL West, but those tilts have gone like this. They now have scored 19 runs in two games after being silenced by San Diego pitching for a couple days, scoring four total Friday and Saturday. Even as their top hitters have been lost to injury — Tommy La Stella hit the IL Tuesday, joining Donovan Solano and Mike Yastrzemski — the offense has begun to awaken.

And loudly. Mike Tauchman led off for his first time as a Giant and reached on a double. He was the first of six straight Giants to reach base against Marquez, Colorado’s ace. Further down the lineup, Steven Duggar’s double made it 5-0, and Tauchman’s five-pitch walk loaded the bases and chased Marquez.

Chacin was not the answer. The righty allowed a monstrous shot from Belt that was measured at 452 feet to right, the farthest shot by a Giant this year.

Posey followed with his seventh home run of the year in 19 games played and continues to look more like the MVP he was and less like the declining player he resembled following hip surgery. He had never hit more than four homers in his 20 games in a season.

The Giants’ offense took a break from there until the sixth, when Brandon Crawford hit a two-run shot to complete a remarkable day for the vets, major contributions from the Brandons and Posey.

Sanchez could not fully spare the Giants’ pen before the second half of the seven-inning doubleheader, but he picked a good start to have his worst stuff. His velocity is still a concern, but he has made it work with fastballs around 90 mph. He kept Colorado scoreless through three, and the rain that then arrived appeared to mess with his grip. The Rockies and Coors Field got to him in the fourth, when Raimel Tapia lined a grand slam that would mark the only four runs they scored.

Sanchez allowed seven hits and a walk while striking out four, needing 83 pitches to record his 12 outs.

Fortunately for the Giants, they didn’t need Sanchez to have a sixth straight acceptable, if not excellent, outing to begin his year. Not when Belt finished with three hits and raised his on-base percentage to .344; not when Posey, with a trio of hits as well, boosted his batting average to a stunning .382; not when Crawford got a much-needed hit against a lefty, his blast off Lucas Gilbreath his second hit (and second homer) off a southpaw this year, now 2-for-21.

Jose Alvarez and Matt Wisler (who even got an at-bat! And did not take the bat off his shoulder) finished it off for the Giants, who should have their best options available for the second game.

 

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