Panik’s 5-hit night guides Giants to 11-3 win over Rockies
DENVER — Joe Panik completed a torrid series with five more hits and Johnny Cueto threw five effective innings, helping the San Francisco Giants beat Colorado 11-3 on Wednesday night to snap a 10-game skid against the Rockies at Coors Field.
Panik wore out Rockies pitching by going 12 of 15 — setting a Giants record for most hits in a three-game series. Austin Slater and Gorkys Hernandez each added two-run singles as the Giants won in Denver for the first time in a year to the day.
Cueto (7-7) looked like his vintage self, allowing one run and striking out seven. It was his second start since coming back from blister issues and a strained flexor tendon that sidelined him for 45 games.
The Rockies finished their nine-game homestand at a lackluster 3-6. They’re trying to hang on to the second NL wild-card spot, with Milwaukee and St. Louis on their heels.
Kyle Freeland (11-10) never found his groove in giving up five runs, three earned, over 3 1/3 innings.
Nolan Arenado made a rare fielding error to load the bases in the first. Slater capitalized with a two-out, two-run single up the middle. The Rockies are 17-31 this season when making one or more errors. They’re 57-34 when they play clean defense.
What’s more, Colorado couldn’t come up with the timely hit over the homestand. The team was 13 of 73 with runners in scoring position, including 1 of 7 on Wednesday.
Panik came up with quite a few big at-bats in becoming the first major leaguer with 12 or more hits in a three-game series since Boston’s Jerry Remy was 12 of 19 against Seattle in 1981, according to the Giants.
So torrid was Panik that Rockies manager Bud Black said before the game he was asking one of his coaches, “Can we get this guy out one time?”
Giants: C Buster Posey wasn’t in the lineup after leaving in the eighth Tuesday when he took a foul ball off his throwing hand. “The swelling went down, but he still has some in there and it’s still pretty sore,” manager Bruce Bochy said.
Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez hit in the No. 3 spot as he shows signs of emerging from his season-long slump. Gonzalez raised his average to .247 by going 2 for 2.
Switch anything up?
“It’s the same me, man,” Gonzalez said.
Pablo Sandoval entered the game in the sixth inning as a pinch-hitter and struck out to remain hitless in his last 38 at-bats. That surpasses Johnnie LeMaster (1984) for the longest hitless streak by a Giants position player in the San Francisco era (since 1958).
THIS & THAT
Giants pinch-hitter Mac Williamson homered in the seventh and C Nick Hundley added a two-run homer in the eighth. … Rockies OF Charlie Blackmon had a double and a solo homer. … Rockies 2B DJ LeMahieu extended his hitting streak to 14 games.
Giants: After a day off, Giants open a three-game series Friday in Chicago against the White Sox. LHP Matt Moore (4-13, 5.49 ERA).
Rockies: RHP Jon Gray (6-4, 4.26) and the Rockies open a four-game series at the NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday.
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