Fans cheer as confetti falls after the national anthem before the San Francisco Giants home opener baseball game against the Colorado Rockies in San Francisco, Monday, April 13, 2015. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
Eric Risberg
April 13, 2015

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) World Series MVP Madison Bumgarner mounted a horse in the outfield, rode it around the warning track and handed off the San Francisco Giants' latest championship flag to Matt Cain for the final task of sending it up the pole.

Colorado's players stood and watched it all from the opposing dugout.

After all that fanfare following another celebratory home opener, the Giants missed chances and lost their fourth straight game with a 2-0 defeat to the Rockies on Monday.

''You hate to lose your opener,'' manager Bruce Bochy said. ''A big day with the ceremonies. ... We just couldn't get a timely hit.''

Eddie Butler outdueled fellow rookie Chris Heston and shut down the Giants in their home opener.

Troy Tulowitzki, back in the lineup after a day off, had the only RBI of the game with a run-scoring single in the fourth against Heston (1-1). San Francisco raised its third World Series championship flag in five years before the game.

Bumgarner - who will be honored again Tuesday - cleared the horse riding with Bochy beforehand. Cain and other members of all three World Series champion teams hoisted the flag: Tim Lincecum, Jeremy Affeldt, Sergio Romo, Santiago Casilla and Javier Lopez. Catcher Buster Posey was in the bullpen warming Heston.

''I could probably say I'll probably never get a chance to do that again,'' Bumgarner said. ''I don't know if anybody's ever done that before or not. It was pretty interesting and it was fun to do in front of fans here at home.''

Facing the Giants for the first time, Butler (1-0) tossed 5 1-3 innings of five-hit ball, walking six with one strikeout. Colorado's 2012 first-round pick worked out of bases-loaded jams in the first and second innings.

The Giants were shut out in a home opener for only the third time in the San Francisco era and first since home run king Barry Bonds' final season of 2007.

Fourth Rockies reliever Rafael Betancourt struck out two in a perfect ninth for his first save since Aug. 20, 2013. Colorado matched its best road start at 4-0, also done in 2006.

''This is a tough place to hit and it's a tough place to play defense, but we've had some success here the last couple of years,'' Rockies second baseman by DJ LeMahieu said. ''Besides the wind and the sun, it's the fans who make a huge impact. There is a lot of emotion that comes out.''

Just the second rookie in San Francisco history to start a home opener, Heston allowed one earned run, struck out five and walked two over seven strong innings. His parents were in the stands among the 42,019 fans at sold-out AT&T Park for the occasion.

In the seventh, Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford saved a run when he stopped a hard grounder for a single by LeMahieu. Nick Hundley doubled with two outs but had to hold up at third.

But Hundley wound up scoring anyway moments later on a pitch that got away from Heston. Hundley's slide was short of the plate but he reached in with his left hand and the ball came loose from Heston's glove. It ended up under Hundley's leg in a crazy sequence.

''I think when I went to tag him he just kind of kept sliding and kind of rolled into my glove and rolled the ball out,'' Heston said. ''It was a little unfortunate. It happens.''

Bochy challenged but the call was upheld in 1 minute, 22 seconds. Heston received an error on the play.

''I've got nothing to lose there,'' he said.

Four daughters of Lon Simmons threw out the ceremonial first pitches following a videoboard tribute for the Hall of Fame broadcaster, who died April 5 at age 91.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Rockies: Closer LaTroy Hawkins is getting a ''breather,'' as manager Walt Weiss put it in announcing the RHP will move out of the ninth-inning role for now after a blown save Sunday.

Giants: RHP Erik Cordier was scheduled to throw to hitters as he works back from a strained right forearm. ... RF Hunter Pence (broken left forearm) was to be reevaluated by the team's medical staff, while 3B Casey McGehee (left knee strain) was considered day to day.

UP NEXT

Rockies: RHP Christian Bergman (1-0) makes his first start of the season after earning a victory in the Rockies' home opener Friday against the Cubs.

Giants: RHP Tim Hudson (0-0) makes his home debut looking to improve to 6-2 lifetime against the Rockies. He didn't have a decision against them in four 2014 starts.

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