DENVER (AP) — Trevor Story has been tinkering with his swing to break out of a slump.
He just might be on to something.
Story hit his first career grand slam and Charlie Blackmon lined an inside-the-park homer as part of a six-run fourth inning, helping the Colorado Rockies beat Johnny Cueto and the San Francisco Giants 6-5 on a rainy Friday night.
It’s the first time an NL team has hit a grand slam and an inside-the-parker in the same inning since the 1950 New York Giants, according to STATS. The Boston Red Sox accomplished the feat in 2011.
“We’re seeing signs of better at-bats,” Rockies manager Bud Black said of Story. “I liked the swing on the grand slam for sure.”
Story had a monster April a season ago, when he hit 10 homers and was named NL rookie of the month. This season, he’s slightly off, with his average dipping to .143.
“I feel close,” said Story, who hit his third homer. “I trust and believe in the work I’m putting in.”
Tyler Chatwood (2-2) started off shaky before finding his rhythm. He went six innings and allowed four runs. This was quite a contrast to his outing last weekend at San Francisco, when he threw a complete-game shutout.
Jake McGee bailed the Rockies out of a two-on, one-out jam in the eighth by getting a fly out and a pop out. Greg Holland pitched a perfect ninth for his ninth straight save to start this season.
“Those guys (in the bullpen) are doing a great job down there,” Chatwood said. “They have big-time arms.”
Cueto (3-1) struggled in the fourth when the rain picked up intensity. The right-hander allowed his first big league grand slam on a fastball to Story. Later, with a runner on, Blackmon hit a sinking liner to right that Hunter Pence lost in the lights at the last instant.
The ball rolled all the way to the wall and Blackmon easily beat the throw home for Colorado’s first inside-the-park homer since Brandon Barnes on June 14, 2014, at San Francisco.
“There was never any doubt in my mind once I saw it get by him,” Blackmon said. “I was running hard the whole time.”
Cueto went five innings and gave up six runs as his streak of seven straight wins dating to last season was halted.
“He was cruising and he just got some balls up and they placed them well,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy explained. “The six-run inning is what did us in. That’s the ball game there. Tried to fight back. Just came up short.”
Giants: Lefty Madison Bumgarner (bruised ribs, sprained joint in shoulder) was placed on the disabled list for the first time in his big league career after a dirt bike accident Thursday on the team’s off day. “Unfortunately, the accident happened,” said Bochy, whose team has the worst record in the NL. “Our focus, it’s on, ‘Let’s get him healthy.’”
Rockies: 1B Ian Desmond (broken left hand) hit in the cage Friday. ... RHP Chad Qualls (forearm tightness) will soon be heading out on a rehab assignment.
Bochy was back on the bench after missing the two-game series at Kansas City following a heart procedure. He had his typical sense of humor.
“The doctor said, ‘You may have a bad knee, but you don’t have a bad heart. You’re fine,’” Bochy recounted. “I feel great now and I’m all set to go.”
The voice greeting passengers on the train at Denver International Airport these days is none other than that of the Rockies manager.
“How did I sound? Just all right?” Black joked. “It wasn’t easy. It was sort of tough knowing you’re going to be on that train.”
The Rockies improved to 7-0 in one-run games. They were 12-20 last season.
Even more, they’ve beaten pitchers such as Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, along with Bumgarner and now Cueto.
“Our guys are up for any challenge, doesn’t matter who the pitcher is,” Black said.
Giants: Lefty Matt Moore (1-2, 4.26 ERA) went 2 2/3 innings and gave up six runs during his last outing at Coors Field on Sept. 5, 2016.
Rockies: Righty Antonio Senzatela (2-0, 2.37 ERA) picked up his second major league win last weekend at San Francisco.
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