Rockies need to bounce back vs. Giants

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Colorado Rockies' hold on the National League's second wild-card spot will be on the line Wednesday afternoon when they conclude a two-game road series against the San Francisco Giants.

Colorado's 4-3 loss to the Giants on Tuesday night, coupled with a 1-0 win by Milwaukee over the Pittsburgh Pirates, narrowed the Rockies' lead over the Brewers to one game.

The St. Louis Cardinals also gained a game on the Rockies with a 9-8 win at Cincinnati.

Only 3 1/2 games separate the Rockies (82-69), Brewers (81-70) and Cardinals (78-72) with 12 days left in the regular season.

"You can't cry about losing games," Rockies right fielder Carlos Gonzalez said after the Tuesday defeat. "Keep moving forward. We'd be in playoff position if the season ended today. We're in the driver's seat."

Right-hander Tyler Chatwood (8-12, 4.57 ERA) will seek to continue his winning ways against the Giants when he pitches Wednesday for the Rockies. He will be opposed by San Francisco left-hander Matt Moore (5-14, 5.39).

Chatwood has faced the Giants four times this season, and the Rockies have won all four times. He went 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA in those outings, highlighted by a two-hit shutout in his most recent visit to AT&T Park on April 15.

He is 7-3 with a 2.73 ERA in 16 career games, including 15 starts, against the Giants.

Chatwood will have to deal with a team that, despite long ago having been eliminated from the playoff race, has stalled the postseason paths of the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Rockies in its past two games.

Pablo Sandoval, who hit a key home run Sunday in San Francisco's 7-2 win over the Diamondbacks, contributed three hits to Tuesday in the triumph over the Rockies.

"I think it's extremely important to keep that passion, all of us," Giants right fielder Hunter Pence said of the final two weeks of a postseason-less season.

Pence hit a two-run homer and a walk-off sacrifice fly on Tuesday.

"It's not just about the standings," Pence said. "We love competing and getting out here and playing. (It's) what we love to do."

The walk-off was the 12th of Pence's career and the eighth of the Giants' season.

Moore hasn't had much success against the Rockies, going 1/3 with a 9.64 ERA against them in six career starts.

Moore will seek to avoid becoming the NL's first 15-game loser. The Giants have lost 20 of his 29 starts. Even so, the Giants (59-93) picked up his $9 million option for 2018 last weekend.

"Understanding there's now a vision with me being a part of turning the ship around and getting off to a better start next year, that gives me a lot of confidence heading into not only the last two weeks of the season but into the wintertime," Moore told the San Jose Mercury News on Saturday.

Among the threats to Moore on Wednesday will be Rockies shortstop Trevor Story, who extended his hitting streak to 10 games on Tuesday.

Story is one of five Rockies who have hit homers against Moore, joining Gonzalez, Charlie Blackmon, Nolan Arenado and Mark Reynolds in that distinction.

Also, second baseman DJ LeMahieu is 8-for-14 (.571) against Moore in their career head-to-heads. LeMahieu will enter the last meeting of the season between the two teams with 29 hits this year against the Giants.
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