SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Leave it to Antonio Senzatela to end Colorado’s longest scoring drought this season with his first hit in nearly five months.
The right-hander pitched a pretty good game, too.
Senzatela pitched shutout ball into the sixth inning and also hit a two-run single as the Rockies topped the San Francisco Giants 3-2 on Sunday and moved back into first place in the NL West.
Colorado jumped a half-game in front of the Los Angeles Dodgers, who lost 5-0 at St. Louis on Sunday night.
“I knew they were big moments but I just really tried to stay in the moment and execute my pitches and then roll with it,” Senzatela said. “That at-bat I just tried to put the ball in play and I did. I got a good result and I helped the team to win.”
The Rockies, blanked the previous two days, avoided a three-game sweep.
Colorado also improved to 41-34 on the road this season, tying the franchise record for wins away from Coors Field set in 2009 and matched in 2017.
Ian Desmond added two hits and DJ LeMahieu had a sacrifice fly for Colorado.
The Rockies scored three times in the second against Dereck Rodriguez (6-4).
Senzatela (5-6) pitched out of jams in the second and third, and left after giving up a single and a walk to open the sixth. The right-hander allowed one run and struck out five with two walks for his first win since July 28.
“He’s still growing as a pitcher,” Colorado manager Bud Black said. “He’s still learning a lot. What we like about him is just the competitive streak he has and the toughness.”
Four relievers finished, with Wade Davis retiring three batters for his NL-leading 40th save.
The Rockies snapped their longest scoring drought this season in the second after a one-out error by first baseman Austin Slater.
Desmond singled and Rodriguez walked Chris Iannetta to load the bases. Senzatela followed with his second hit of the season, a single to left. After Charlie Blackmon walked, LeMahieu hit a sacrifice fly to make it 3-0.
Black called Senzatela’s single the biggest hit of the series for Colorado. Senzatela’s only other hit this season was on April 27 at Miami.
“We had those opportunities on Friday and Saturday but we couldn’t capitalize,” Black said. “Today we did and ironically it’s just the pitcher.”
Chris Shaw had a two-out RBI single in the sixth for the Giants.
Slater singled in Joe Panik in the eighth to make it 3-2.
Rodriguez allowed five hits and one earned run in six innings.
“It’s a tough one to lose when you’re getting pitching like that,” San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. “We had some chances but we took a series. You try to take something from that and hopefully carry that into the next one.”
Rodriguez has yielded three runs or fewer in all 11 of his starts at AT&T Park this season. He has received two runs or fewer in support in his last four starts overall. “I just go out and throw the best game I can regardless of what’s happening offensively,” Rodriguez said. “The rest I let it take care of itself.”
ODDS AND ENDS
Colorado has not been swept on the road this season. . The Giants lost to the Rockies for only the second time in the last eight home games between the two division opponents. . San Francisco 2B Joe Panik is hitting .364 (12 for 33) in his last 11 games. . Desmond has 26 multi-hit games this season, tying Gerardo Parra for fifth-most on the Rockies.
Rockies: LF Matt Holliday, in a 3-for-20 slump, was held out of the starting lineup. . RHP Seunghwa Oh (hamstring) threw in the bullpen and could be available to pitch at some point on the road trip.
Giants: 1B Brandon Belt remains day to day with a sore right knee.
Rockies: RHP Jon Gray (11-7, 4.80 ERA) pitches against the Dodgers in Los Angeles on Monday. Gray is 4-0 in 11 starts since returning from the minors.
Giants: LHP Andrew Suarez (6-11, 4.33) faces the San Diego Padres on Monday in the opening game of San Francisco’s final road trip this season. Suarez’s 121 strikeouts are the 10th-most by a rookie starter in franchise history.
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