Rockies struggle against Cueto in 8-3 loss to Giants
DENVER (AP) No matter what they did, the Colorado Rockies couldn't seem to rattle Johnny Cueto.
Calling timeout not once but twice in the middle of his delivery certainly didn't work; it only riled him up. And a sore back certainly didn't slow Cueto, either.
Colorado struggled against the right-hander once again in an 8-3 loss to San Francisco on Sunday. Cueto dropped his ERA to 2.43 at Coors Field - the lowest all-time of any pitcher with at least six starts.
''He commands everything,'' Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. ''You always feel like you are out of sync.''
So the Rockies tried to test his patience and instead made him mad.
The usually mild-mannered Cueto (8-1) became agitated with Gerardo Parra in the third. Parra held his hand up for time, which was granted, and so Cueto waited. Parra did it again and Cueto threw his hands up in exasperation, before stepping off the mound and taking a stroll to cool down.
''I just told him to stop asking for timeout,'' Cueto said through a translator.
When Parra lined into an inning-ending double play, Cueto appeared to say something to Parra, with Parra glaring back. It didn't escalate.
''He said, `Let's go fast. I'm ready,''' Parra said. ''We know he works at a fast pace.''
Cueto struck out Parra when they faced each other in the sixth. Cueto didn't make eye contact with Parra.
''It was over with,'' Cueto said. ''There was no need to say anything.''
Cueto dealt with a sore back that surfaced after the first inning. He kept retreating to the clubhouse to get stretched out and yet turned in a gutty six-inning performance in which he allowed two runs - one earned - and six hits.
''He's that good where he found a way to get through it,'' said Giants manager Bruce Bochy, whose team has won 15 of their last 17 games. ''Johnny made some big pitches when he had to.''
Colorado's Chris Rusin (1-3) allowed six runs and 11 hits in five innings.
Rusin moved into the starting rotation for Jorge De La Rosa, who has been sent to the bullpen. Rusin hung an 83 mph cutter in the fourth that Denard Span hit into the second deck in right. It was the first homer Rusin has allowed in 41 2/3 innings dating to last season.
''I didn't make pitches to get out of the jams,'' Rusin said.
Hunter Pence had three of a record-tying eight doubles for San Francisco. Pence's double in the eighth helped the Giants equal a mark accomplished four times since the Giants moved to San Francisco after the 1957 season.
''You go through an ebb and flow of a season and you'll run into some games where fancy stuff like that happens,'' Pence said. ''There's no rhyme or reason. The balls we hit seemed to be doubles.''
Rockies: C Nick Hundley (strained oblique) is expected to start a rehab assignment soon.
ROUGH DAY AT OFFICE
It was a rather forgettable day for Parra, who had a baserunning blunder in the second. He attempted to tag up from second on a fly to center, only to be thrown out at third by Span.
That was immediately followed by Trevor Story's solo homer that cut the Giants' lead to 2-1. It was Story's 14th homer, tying him with Nolan Arenado for the team lead.
Carlos Gonzalez hit a solo shot in the eighth. ... Charlie Blackmon has reached base in 24 straight games. ... The Rockies are 5-5 against San Francisco this season.
San Francisco catcher Buster Posey called a meeting Saturday to talk about the team's hitting woes. The chat was effective as the Giants outscored the Rockies 18-8 over the last two games and had 33 hits.
''It was really nice of Buster to bring us together and get everyone talking and be that great leader that he is,'' Pence said.
Giants: RHP Jeff Samardzija (7-2) is to make his 11th start of the season when the Giants open a four-game series in Atlanta on Monday.
Rockies: RHP Chad Bettis looks to get back on track Monday against Cincinnati. Bettis threw a season-low 4 2/3 innings in a loss at Boston last Wednesday.