The San Francisco Giants will be seeking a second three-game sweep over the Colorado Rockies in a 10-day span when the National League West clubs meet for a third straight day in Denver on Wednesday.
Mike Yastrzemski hit a late homer and Tommy La Stella an early blast to highlight the first two games of this series, a pair of high-scoring affairs won 7-6 and 10-7 by the visitors.
The Giants mixed in some quality pitching with three more offensive eruptions when they recorded an 8-5, 9-2, 7-1 home sweep last week.
Right-hander Logan Webb (5-1, 3.48 ERA), who followed up the Colorado sweep with six strong innings in an 8-2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday, will be looking for a fifth consecutive win in the series finale.
Left-hander Kyle Freeland (1-4, 4.91), bombed by the Kansas City Royals for eight runs in 4 2/3 innings on Friday, is tasked with stopping the Rockies’ three-game skid.
Freeland would be advised to get an updated scouting report on the Giants, as the visitors had a different guy batting leadoff Tuesday than in the previous four meetings. That was La Stella, who made his season debut following Achilles surgery as the No. 8 hitter on Monday, then was elevated to the top spot for the rematch.
Two pitches into the Monday contest, the Giants led 1-0, courtesy of La Stella’s first post-surgery homer.
“His pop is something truly surprising,” Giants manager Gabe Kapler said of La Stella, who went 3-for-5 with two doubles in addition to his homer on Tuesday. “He’s really strong and he’s really compact and his body’s moving well in the batters’ box. When those things are aligned for him, he’s dangerous.”
Kapler was as impressed watching La Stella hustle into second base twice on his doubles as he was seeing him trot around the bases on the home run.
“He’s showing he’s healthier and healthier,” Kapler said. “Obviously we need him to be able to run the bases and we need him to be able to play good defense. We’re moving in the right direction.”
The same could be said for Webb, who has won each of his past four starts despite pitching to a 4.18 ERA in that span. The team’s Opening Day starter has benefitted from a total of 42 runs of support in those contests.
And none of those game was among the Giants’ past five meetings with the Rockies. San Francisco has put up 41 runs in five games while extending its winning streak over Colorado, dating back to last season, to 12 games.
Webb is 4-1 lifetime against the Rockies with a 4.58 ERA in seven games, including six starts.
Freeland, meanwhile, has gone 7-4 with a 3.94 ERA in 17 career starts against the Giants. He was on the mound the last time Colorado beat San Francisco, limiting the Giants to one run in six innings in a 4-1 win last August.
Rockies manager Bud Black said his team is not concerned with its losing streak against the Giants.
“It’s fine,” Black said of the mood of the team. “You saw it (in Tuesday’s defeat), how we came back from 10-2 and got the tying run to the plate. I think that sort of answers all of your questions about the guys.
“But we have to pitch better. That’s what it takes.”
–Field Level Media