SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Brandon Barnes isn’t a classic power hitter. In fact, neither of the Colorado right fielder’s two home runs this season even left the park.
They did help the Rockies to victories, however, and for that Barnes isn’t making any apologies.
Barnes hit a two-run, inside-the-park home run in the ninth inning and Colorado rallied for the second straight day to stun the San Francisco Giants 5-4 on Saturday.
“I’d really like to hit one out so I can jog around the bases to make it easier,” said Barnes, who hit his first inside-the-park home run against Arizona on June 5. “I always seem to make it hard on myself. I hit the ball and I’m going to run hard until something stops me.”
Charlie Blackmon singled with two outs off Giants closer Sergio Romo (3-3) before Barnes lined a hit to center field. San Francisco’s Angel Pagan misplayed the ball and it skipped to the fence as Blackmon and Barnes raced around the bases.
Barnes, who had a walkoff triple to beat the Dodgers on June 7, had flown out to center in three consecutive at-bats before helping Colorado extend its winning streak to four games.
“My father made the trip up from Anaheim for Fathers’ day tomorrow and my step-mom and sister were here,” Barnes said. “It’s special to play in front of them, especially like a day like today.”
It’s the second consecutive blown save and fourth this season for Romo, who gave up five runs in the ninth inning of Friday’s 7-4 loss to Colorado.
“I don’t feel like I could have done much more there,” Romo said. “I had two outs, one pitch away again … and they found a way to stay alive. They got me again. What can I do?”
Buster Posey‘s sacrifice fly in the seventh inning had given the Giants a 4-3 lead. Posey also doubled and homered to finish with a season-high three RBIs – the most by San Francisco’s two-time All-Star in more than 11 months.
It wasn’t enough to prevent the Giants’ fifth loss in six games.
Barnes is the fourth opposing player to hit an inside-the-park home run at AT&T Park.
Rex Brothers (3-4) pitched one inning for the win and became the 76th pitcher in history to strike out the side on nine pitches. LaTroy Hawkins worked the ninth for his 13th save, although he had to wait to celebrate.
Angel Pagan appeared to ground into a game-ending double play and several Rockies players came out of the dugout to celebrate. San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy, who successfully overturned a call earlier in the game, again challenged the ruling. After a brief review, the umpires upheld the original call.
“There was talk about the games here and how crazy they are,” Colorado manager Walt Weiss said. “It usually comes down to millimeters and milliseconds. Barnes has a tendency to be in the middle of things. He’s been a real clutch player for us.”
The Giants went into the game with the best record in the majors but were staggering on the heels of four losses in five games. They trailed late in this one, too, before Posey tied it with a two-run homer in the fifth then drove in Pagan with the go-ahead run in the seventh.
San Francisco’s bullpen couldn’t make it hold up.
Jean Machi pitched out of a two-on, two-out jam in the eighth before Romo took over in the ninth.
It could have been worse for Vogelsong, who needed instant replay to get out of a two-out jam in first after Rutledge appeared to leg out an infield single and load the bases. Bochy successfully challenged the call and Rutledge was ruled out to end the inning.
Posey’s two-run homer off Christian Bergman in the fifth tied it.
Bergman lasted six innings in his second major league start. The Rockies’ rookie allowed eight hits, struck out three and didn’t walk a batter.
Pence homered off Bergman in the first.
NOTES: Colorado shortstop Troy Tulowitzki was not in the starting lineup after injuring a toe running to first base on an infield single during the ninth inning of Friday’s 7-4 win. Tulowitzki pinch-hit in the ninth and flew out to center. … The Rockies also rested C Wilin Rosario after he fouled a ball that ricocheted off the ground and hit him in the face. … Giants reliever Santiago Casilla (hamstring) could be activated from the disabled list, depending on the outcome of his latest rehab appearance on Saturday. … LHP Madison Bumgarner (8-4), who pitches the series finale for San Francisco, has a 1.24 ERA over his previous four starts. RHP Juan Nicasio (5-5) takes the mound for Colorado. … Joe Torre, the executive vice president of baseball operations for MLB, and California governor Jerry Brown attended the game.
– By MICHAEL WAGAMAN, Associated Press
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