By Janie McCaulley, Associated Press
SAN FRANCISCO — Charlie Blackmon had a two-run double in the second inning for his first career 200-hit season, but the contending Colorado Rockies couldn’t hold the early lead and lost 4-3 to the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday night.
The Rockies’ lead over the Brewers for the second NL wild card dropped to one game after Milwaukee won at Pittsburgh.
Hunter Pence hit a game-ending sacrifice fly with Colorado playing a five-man infield. Pence followed up his two-run homer in the fifth as San Francisco grabbed the opener of a short two-game series between the NL West opponents.
Pablo Sandoval singled leading off the ninth against Chris Rusin (5-1) and Orlando Calixte entered to pinch run. Ryder Jones followed with a bunt single and Kelby Tomlinson singled to load the bases for Pence.
Gerardo Parra hit a tying double in the eighth for Colorado, which missed a chance in the ninth.
Pinch-hitter Mark Reynolds hit a two-out infield single in the ninth off Sam Dyson (3-2), then pinch-runner Mike Tauchman stole second. Blackmon was intentionally walked and DJ LeMahieu grounded out.
Buster Posey hit a one-out double in the eighth off Pat Neshek before second baseman LeMahieu made a beautiful diving stop of Brandon Crawford’s hard grounder and a tough throw to first for the out. Jarrett Parker flied out.
Blackmon became the eighth Rockie with a 200-hit season, which has been done nine times overall by the franchise — twice by Todd Helton.
Johnny Cueto struck out six and walked four over 6 2/3 innings, allowing two runs and seven hits.
Colorado put the tying run on third in the eighth after Carlos Gonzalez’s one-out double, then Hunter Strickland surrendered Parra’s double on the ninth pitch of the at-bat.
Colorado starter German Marquez’s winless stretch reached six starts — he’s 0-3 during that span — since he beat Milwaukee on Aug. 18.