Ynoa, Butler send Rockies to 6-4 win over Giants
DENVER (AP) Nolan Arenado dived to his right to snare a grounder and start a double play. Later, he ranged far to his left to field a bouncer that appeared destined for the outfield.
Just another routine day at the hot corner for Colorado's Gold Glover.
Pinch-hitter Rafael Ynoa snapped a sixth-inning tie with an RBI double, Eddie Butler was buoyed by the stellar defense of Arenado & Co. over six shaky innings and the Rockies beat the San Francisco Giants 6-4 on Friday night.
''That game could've went different directions four or five different times and our defense was a big reason why we kept it on our side,'' manager Walt Weiss said.
Arenado has such a knack for making the difficult plays look downright routine that Weiss recently said he's reinventing the position.
''I just try to do my job,'' Arenado said with a casual shrug. ''I have my own style. I try to make plays.''
Butler (2-1) labored most of the way with only one clean inning. He allowed four runs, but worked his way out of trouble thanks to some nifty fielding, especially from Arenado and centerfielder Charlie Blackmon.
''It's the best defense,'' Butler said. ''Unbelievable.''
Blackmon added a solo homer and DJ LeMahieu drove in two runs as Colorado beat the defending World Series champions for a fourth straight time this season. The Rockies swept a three-game series last week in which they limited the Giants to three runs. San Francisco matched that total by the third inning Friday.
Chris Heston (2-2) gave up six runs over 5 1-3 innings in his first appearance at Coors Field, raising his ERA from 0.87 to 2.77. Heston had yielded two earned runs in his past three starts.
''He'll learn from this,'' Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. ''Overall, he did all right.''
Ynoa gave the Rockies a 5-4 lead when he hit a double to left that brought home LeMahieu, who had tied the game with a double earlier in the inning. Corey Dickerson added an RBI single.
Colorado's bullpen made the lead hold up - with some anxious moments. Boone Logan struck out Brandon Crawford looking to end the eighth with a runner on third. Bochy argued the call and was ejected after a few words with plate umpire John Tumpane.
''It's a big at-bat,'' Bochy explained. ''We're trying to get back in the game.''
Arenado had quite a game in the field, moving far to his left to lasso a chopper in the seventh, spinning around and throwing out Gregor Blanco.
In the fourth, Arenado dived to his right to stop a grounder with runners on first and second and no outs. He scrambled to his feet, stepped on third base and fired to first to get Casey McGehee by a step.
''It seems like almost nightly, (Arenado) does something to change the game defensively,'' Weiss said.
Not to be outdone, Blackmon made quite a play to end the third inning when he caught a ball in right-center, turned and threw a strike to first base that doubled up Angel Pagan, who figured the ball was headed for the gap.
Justin Maxwell hit a two-run homer for San Francisco in the second and later made a ''circus catch'' near the wall in right.
''Normally, that ball would have been right at me, but since we were playing in outer space the ball kept carrying a little bit,'' Maxwell said. ''I'm just fortunate I have long arms.''
Giants: OF Hunter Pence (broken left arm) hit off a tee in the cage before the game. ''Was it 100 percent? No, but he was swinging,'' Bochy said. ... RHP Jake Peavy (strained back) played catch. Bochy said there's no schedule for when Peavy will throw off a mound.
Rockies: SS Troy Tulowitzki understands why Weiss kept him out even if he loathes days off. ''They want to keep me healthy for the long haul,'' said Tulowitzki, who popped out as a pinch-hitter in the seventh.
Giants: RHP Tim Hudson (0-2, 3.93 ERA) seeks his first career win at Coors Field. He's 0-2 with a 7.29 ERA in eight starts in the Mile High City.
Rockies: LHP Jorge De La Rosa (0-1, 31.50) looks to get back on track in his second start of the season. He's 6-1 with a 3.43 ERA in 10 starts against the Giants at Coors Field.