DENVER (AP) – Chad Bettis held his right fist aloft for a moment as the ovation from the crowd washed over him. He then tapped his chest and pointed toward the sky.
“Wow,” the right-hander said, his immediate reaction after his best-ever performance.
Bettis threw a two-hitter for his first career complete game, Carlos Gonzalez hit a grand slam as part of a six-run third and the Colorado Rockies beat the slumping San Francisco Giants 6-0 on Monday.
Bettis (12-7) was perfect until Eduardo Nunez singled with two outs in the fifth inning. He struck out seven and walked none.
After getting Angel Pagan on a grounder to end the game, he was almost in disbelief. The cheers were great. The hugs from teammates, too. Same with the water over the head.
“It’s something that’s once in a lifetime,” Bettis said, before adding, “hopefully, it occurs a little bit more.”
San Francisco intentionally walked Nolan Arenado to face Gonzalez in the third. Gonzalez lined a fastball from Matt Moore over the fence in right-center for his second grand slam of the season.
Gonzalez understood the move. Arenado is one of the top run-producers in the league and the player nicknamed Cargo is in a funk.
“They took their chances. Didn’t work,” Gonzalez said. “Good for us, bad for them.”
An erratic Moore (2-4 with Giants, 9-11 overall) allowed six runs in 2 2/3 innings – his shortest outing of the season. He walked four and threw two wild pitches.
“I have to be a ton better than that,” Moore said.
Moore, who was acquired from Tampa Bay on July 31, had trouble with his release point in the third. He walked the first two batters of the inning, including Bettis when the pitcher tried to put down a bunt. That paved the way to the decisive inning.
Two batters after Gonzalez’s drive, Nick Hundley hit a solo homer to give the Rockies a 6-0 lead.
The Giants had the best record in baseball at the All-Star break, but things have unraveled. They’ve gone a major league-worst 16-31 since then, lost their lead in the NL West and are now trying to hang on to a wild-card spot.
“It’s time for us to wake up here,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “We are better than this.”
Bettis was stellar in the best outing of his career, getting 15 groundball outs. He surrendered a leadoff double to Trevor Brown in the sixth, but worked his way out of the jam.
The 27-year-old Bettis called this his best game in terms of feel for his pitches. He fell behind leadoff hitter Denard Span 3-0 to start the game, before getting him to ground, and was in command the rest of the way.
“He could throw any pitch for a strike at any time,” Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. “That was outstanding by Chad.”
Giants: C Buster Posey received a day off after spending 13 innings behind the plate Sunday during a loss in Chicago against the Cubs. “I’ve got to keep an eye on these guys and keep them fresh,” Bochy said.
Rockies: OF Charlie Blackmon was out of the lineup for a third straight game with tightness in his lower back. … Weiss isn’t ruling out the return of rookie SS Trevor Story (torn ligament in left thumb) before the end of the season. Story has been on the DL since Aug. 2. “If that happens, great,” Weiss said. … OF Ryan Raburn left the game in the sixth with a bruised left foot.
A GRAND TIME
It was Gonzalez’s sixth grand slam with the Rockies, tying him with Dante Bichette and Andres Galarraga for second-most in team history, according to the Rockies. Todd Helton leads with seven.
Part of the problem for the Giants has been a lack of power, with just 36 homers in the second half. Some of their better long ball hitters – Brandon Crawford, Brandon Belt and Posey – have gone a combined 243 at bats without leaving the yard.
“I can’t explain it for you,” Bochy said. “Hopefully, that means we’ll hit a few from this point on.”
Giants: RHP Jeff Samardzija (11-9, 4.06 ERA) is 1-1 with a 2.30 ERA in two starts against Colorado.
Rockies: LHP Tyler Anderson (5-5, 3.43 ERA) has allowed three or less runs in 12 of his 15 starts.
– By PAT GRAHAM, AP Sports Writer
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