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Colorado Rockies (74-84) at San Francisco Giants (83-75)
Thursday, September 29 - 10:15 PM EST
AT&T Park, San Francisco, California
The San Francisco Giants squandered an opportunity to increase their
lead in the National League wild-card standings and will take another shot at
moving closer to securing a postseason spot when they host the Colorado
Rockies on Thursday for the finale of their four-game series. San Francisco
holds a one-game lead over St. Louis for the second wild
card after losing 2-0 on Wednesday.
The Giants split the first two games with the Rockies - who snapped a five-game losing streak on Wednesday - and have lost 10 of their last 16 contests. San Francisco, which is 1 1/2 games behind the New York Mets for the top wild card, closes the regular season with a three-game home series against the NL West champion Los Angeles Dodgers. The Giants collected 19 hits while rolling to a 12-3 victory in the series opener but recorded just five on Wednesday as Rockies starter Tyler Chatwood tossed eight scoreless innings. Colorado's DJ LaMahieu, who is 8-for-24 against scheduled San Francisco starter Johnny Cueto and leads the NL with a .349 average, wasn't in the lineup one day after manager Walt Weiss pledged to do whatever he could to make sure LaMahieu finishes ahead of Washington's Daniel Murphy (.347) for the batting title.
TV: 10:15 p.m. ET, ROOT (Colorado), CSN Bay Area (San Francisco)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Rockies RH Jon Gray (10-9, 4.54 ERA) vs. Giants RH Johnny Cueto (17-5, 2.79)
Gray blanked the Giants on one hit over seven innings but was forced to settle for a no-decision in his lone start against them on May 7. The 24-year-old set a franchise record by fanning 26 batters over his last two starts -- a career-best 16 against San Diego on Sept. 17 and 10 in four innings of a loss to the Dodgers in his last turn. Gray has recorded 182 strikeouts and it appears he will fall short in his bid to join Ubaldo Jimenez (214 in 2010) and Pedro Astacio (210 in 1999) as the only Colorado pitchers to register 200 in a season.
Cueto has won three consecutive starts but left his Sept. 20 outing against Los Angeles with a groin injury. He missed his last scheduled turn but was approved to return against the Rockies after a successful bullpen session on Tuesday. Cueto is 6-2 with a 2.19 ERA in 11 career starts versus Colorado and has thrived this season, posting a 2-0 mark and 0.77 ERA in three outings.
1. A victory on Thursday would give the Giants only their fourth series win in 22 attempts since the All-Star break.
2. Colorado 3B Nolan Arenado, who leads the NL with 130 RBIs, drove in one run on Wednesday to join Hall-of-Famers Chuck Klein and Jimmie Foxx as the only major leaguers with back-to-back 40-homer, 130-RBI campaigns before turning 26 years old.
3. San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy deemed it questionable that INF Eduardo Nunez (hamstring) can return prior to the end of the regular season.
PREDICTION: Giants 3, Rockies 2