Dodgers rookie Ross Stripling, who fired 7 1/3 no-hit frames in his big league debut April 7, takes the mound opposite the D-backs' Robbie Ray in Thursday night's series finale.
While Stripling was removed from Thursday's game in San Francisco against the Giants due to a high pitch count, the level of performance he displayed at least gave him confidence going forward.
"What you take away from it is, 'I can get guys out at this level,'" Stripling said. "You go in and you're so nervous and you're like, 'Man, I've never pitched at this level. Is it going to be totally different?' Then to go out and have some success, it just kind of eases your nerves a little bit to think, 'Yeah, it's not always going to go that well, but you know you can get guys out and you can make pitches in crunch situations in the big leagues -- and probably in one of the more hostile environments that a Dodgers pitcher can pitch in.'"
Stripling will be making his home debut at Dodger Stadium.
"To pitch in front of your crowd is nice, but that has its own nerves associated with it," Stripling said. "You ever pitch in here, you want to do well for your home town. At the same time, it feels like everybody typically plays better at home."
Ray is also no stranger to inconveniently high pitch counts. The 24-year-old struggled to throw into the later innings in 2015, reaching the seventh inning only four times in 23 starts.
After winning a contested fifth-starter battle in Spring Training, Ray allowed the Cubs two earned runs, fanned three and walked four over six innings in his season debut Friday. He has seen strong results against the Dodgers in the past, going 2-2 with a 2.28 ERA and 23 2/3 innings in four starts.
Three things to know about this game
• D-backs outfielder David Peralta was out of the lineup for the first time Wednesday. With the team in the midst of a stretch of 20 games without a scheduled off day, manager Chip Hale is giving his starters a day off when possible. Peralta figures to be back in the lineup Thursday night.
• Dodgers slugger Adrian Gonzalez is hitless in eight plate appearances against Ray, but with only one strikeout.
• Paul Goldschmidt's go-ahead homer in Tuesday's 4-2 win against the Dodgers was his 119th career homer but first on a 3-0 pitch.
The Royals and Astros wrap up a four-game set with a 7:10 p.m. CT Thursday finale at Minute Maid Park. After Houston won the opener, Kansas City took the next two and will be looking for a series win.
Right-hander Ian Kennedy takes the mound for the Royals after a brilliant first start with his new team -- 6 2/3 scoreless innings against the Twins on Saturday.
Right-hander Doug Fister, who won his debut with the Astros with five solid innings in Milwaukee on Saturday, makes his first home start at Minute Maid Park.
Things you should know about this game
• Royals manager Ned Yost has been trying to find some built-in rest for catcher Salvador Perez, and Thursday might be an opportunity. Perez is just a career .250 hitter (6-for-24) against Fister with no home runs, but Yost also has indicated he wants Kennedy to establish a relationship with Perez early in the season.
• Some Royals have had terrific success against Fister: Alcides Escobar is .303 career against him with a homer, Eric Hosmer is .348 with a homer and Mike Moustakas is .360 with a homer. Conversely, this group of Astros has not fared well over its career (.195) against Kennedy.
• Astros starting pitchers have posted a 5.63 ERA this season (entering Wednesday) while averaging just five innings per start. Houston's starting pitchers have completed six full innings just three times in the club's first eight games.
• Houston's bullpen has thrown 28 of the team's 68 total innings this season (41.2 percent). It may be early, but that's the third-highest bullpen total in the American League (A's, Orioles).
• Dating back to the beginning of the 2015 season, the Astros are 54-29 (.651) at Minute Maid Park during the regular season, compared to 35-52 (.402) on the road.
Reds third baseman Eugenio Suarez had his first hitless game on Monday after he started the season 10-for-20 with four homers in his first five games. He had two hits on Wednesday, and he could have a chance to stay hot in Thursday's series finale vs. the Cubs, when the Reds draw starting pitcher Jason Hammel.
In his brief career vs. Hammel, Suarez is 4-for-8 with a double.
Meanwhile, Hammel will be pitching at Wrigley Field for the first time since Oct. 21, when he took the loss in the deciding Game 4 of the National League Championship Series against the Mets. In that game he gave up five runs on four hits (including two homers) over 1 1/3 innings.
Hammel spent the offseason working on improving himself both mentally and physically, and he had a nice spring. He posted a quality start in his first outing this season, vs. the D-backs, giving up one run on four hits and three walks over six innings and striking out six.
"I had that 'look in the mirror' moment," Hammel said of his NLCS loss. "I'm a good enough professional to where I understand -- and I hope other people would, too --- that I'm not a robot. It is what it is. I've made changes, and that's in the past. This is 2016. I know what I have to do, and I know what I can do. I'm really not trying to prove anything. I'm going to do my thing."
The Reds will have Raisel Iglesias on the hill starting his third game of the season. Iglesias, who has a 2.31 ERA after his two starts, struck out 10 Cubs over seven innings the last time he faced them, on Sept. 2, 2015, at Chicago.
Things to know about this game
• Reds shortstop Zack Cozart could return to the lineup after leaving Monday's game with tightness in his right lower quadriceps. Cozart did not start on Wednesday.
• Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco is considered day to day with soreness in his right quadriceps as well.
• With catcher Kyle Schwarber out for the season with a knee injury, Cubs manager Joe Maddon will mix and match behind the plate to work with Hammel. Schwarber was paired with Hammel during the spring, and the plan was for him to catch Hammel during the season to give Miguel Montero a break. Maddon said he would go with the best matchup, and Montero will catch on Thursday.
The Orioles started this season as the hottest team in baseball, winning their first seven games before the Red Sox guided them to the loss column with a 4-2 decision on Wednesday night. Rangers pitcher Cole Hamels, meanwhile, is riding the longest winning streak of his career.
Something will have to give in Arlington when Hamels pitches for the Rangers against right-hander Chris Tillman and the Orioles on Thursday night at 7:05 CT in the opener of a four-game series.
The Rangers haven't lost a game with Hamels on the mound since Aug. 7. He is 9-0 with a 3.04 ERA in his last 12 starts. He has also been getting 6.61 runs of support per nine innings, and he has surrendered just one unearned run.
"I just think we've had a good combination of offense and defense and sticking to the plan of attack," Hamels said. "It comes down to executing pitches and getting into a routine. I strive for consistency. If I execute the game plan, execute pitches and have great defense, I know the offense is going to score runs. It's a good feeling. It's a team effort clicking on all cylinders."
The Orioles, in winning their first seven games, got off to the franchise's best start since the 1944 St. Louis Browns went 9-0. That team went to the World Series for the only time while it was the Browns.
Tillman will be making his third start of the season. He pitched two scoreless innings against the Twins on Opening Day before rain delays ended his afternoon. He allowed one run over five innings in a 6-1 victory over the Rays in his most recent start.
Worth noting • So far, Rangers pitchers have had success against Chris Davis since the former Ranger was traded to Baltimore. In 26 games (95 at-bats) against Texas, Davis is hitting .189 with four home runs, 10 RBIs, a .337 slugging percentage and 41 strikeouts.
• Mark Trumbo and J.J. Hardy are the only Orioles with more than 10 career at-bats against Hamels. Trumbo is 4-for-12 against him, while Hardy is 4-for-15, and each has a home run. Trumbo's 14 career home runs against the Rangers are his most against any club.
• The Rangers won six of seven from the Orioles last season, including the last four. They won all three in Arlington. The Orioles took six of seven from the Rangers in 2014.
A pair of young starters will look to have bounce-back outings when the Blue Jays and Yankees square off Thursday night at Rogers Centre, after the teams split the first two games of their series.
After surrendering five earned runs in just 5 1/3 innings in the Blue Jays' home opener, Marcus Stroman will look to redeem himself in front of the Toronto faithful.
Stroman, a native of the New York area, has fared well against the Yankees in the early part of his career, compiling a 4-1 record with a 2.43 ERA.
Stroman's mound opponent will be Nathan Eovaldi, who gave up five runs in five innings in an 8-5 Yankees win over the Astros last Thursday. His lone career start against Toronto came in New York last August, when he pitched 6 1/3 innings of one-run ball and took a no-decision in an eventual 2-1 Yankees loss.
Three things to know about this game
• Yankees catcher Brian McCann was removed from Tuesday's game after fouling a ball off the big toe on his left foot. He did not start Wednesday and is considered day to day.
• Current Blue Jays have just 11 hits in 52 total at-bats against Eovaldi, with only Josh Donaldson having homered off the 26-year-old right-hander.
• Edwin Encarnacion has reached base safely in 25 consecutive games against the Yankees.
While the Braves will send their ace to the mound Thursday afternoon in Washington, the Nationals will start ... well they don't quite know.
Ideally, Stephen Strasburg will feel well enough to take the hill against Atlanta's Julio Teheran after being scratched from his scheduled start Wednesday with an illness.
Nationals manager Dusty Baker said Wednesday that Strasburg was already feeling better than he did earlier in the week and would hopefully be ready to go Thursday. And if not, Baker said, "then we'll come up with another solution."
If needed, that solution will likely involve long reliever Yusmeiro Petit, who has pitched only two innings so far this year. Though Petit made just one start compared to 41 relief outings for the Giants last season, he has experience as a swingman, having started 12 games in 2014 against 27 appearances out of the bullpen.
"That's why we got him," Baker said of Petit. "He'll spot start and be a long man. That's what he did for the Giants so well."
Whoever starts for Washington on Thursday will face the best Atlanta has to offer. Teheran pitched well against the Nationals on Opening Day, allowing two runs in six innings before scuffling in his follow-up start against the Cardinals. He was an All-Star in 2014, when he posted a 2.89 ERA and struck out 186 batters, but struggled to a 4.04 ERA in '15.
Things to know about this game
• Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper has hit Teheran hard throughout his career, hitting .440/.533/1.040 with four home runs against the righty in 30 plate appearances. Left fielder Jayson Werth, on the other hand, has hit only .172/.235/.172 against Teheran.
• With Hector Olivera on the restricted list, infielder Daniel Castro is back on the Braves' active roster. Castro could see some time at shortstop for Atlanta, as Erick Aybar has struggled defensively so far.
• Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman has excellent career numbers vs. Strasburg, hitting .387 with three home runs and a 1.203 OPS in 39 career at-bats against the All-Star. Like the rest of the Braves' roster, Freeman has limited experience facing Petit, having struck out in their only meeting.
The Giants and Rockies send a pair of veteran southpaws to the hill for Thursday's series finale as Matt Cain takes on Jorge De La Rosa. Though De La Rosa is off to a slow start and hasn't pitched more than four innings in his previous two starts, he is the all-time wins leader at Coors Field, with a 48-17 record and a 4.25 ERA. Cain is 6-3 with a 4.45 ERA in 15 games and 89 innings pitched in Colorado.
Three Things to Know • Charlie Blackmon is a career .353 hitter (6-for-17) against Cain, with a double, a homer, two RBIs and two steals. He has not fared so well against the rest of the Giants staff, hitting them for a combined .257 (48-for-187) with six home runs and 25 RBIs throughout his career.
• Hunter Pence has been a tough out for De La Rosa, hitting him at a .318 (7-for-22) clip over the course of their career match-ups, with two doubles, two homers, and seven RBIs. The Giants played .673 ball (35-17) in games Pence started last season, as opposed to playing at a .445 pace (49-61) when he did not. The Giants remain successful with Pence in the lineup, playing 6-2 ball through his first eight games this season.
• Buster Posey has missed the first two games of the series, but he has the highest batting average of any active player at Coors Field, starting the series as a career .396 hitter (67-169) in Colorado.
The Brewers and Cardinals will each re-insert a slumping hitter to the lineup for Thursday's finale of the opening series at Busch Stadium. Milwaukee's Wily Peralta matches up against St. Louis starter Jaime Garcia in the rubber match of the three-game set.
For the Cardinals, second baseman Kolten Wong is likely returning to duty after beginning the season 6-for-27 without an extra-base hit. St. Louis manager Mike Matheny sat Wong on Wednesday to give him a mental break after Wong went hitless in nine at-bats on Sunday and Monday.
"Right now, just kind of letting him sort through," Matheny said. "I think he's been kind of fighting a little bit even through this spring. Also, I think we all are victims of having real short memories. He almost had five hits the other day [Saturday] when we were in Atlanta. You forget about those in a hurry when you have a couple games that don't feel quite right."
For the Brewers, it's center fielder Keon Broxton returning to the lineup. A rookie who made his first Opening Day roster, Broxton has one hit -- a single -- in his last 31 at-bats going back to Spring Training. Manager Craig Counsell said Broxton has been too passive at the plate, but noted he's had only 11 regular-season at-bats so far.
Things to know about this game:
• Peralta earned his first Opening Day start but has been ineffective in each of his Brewers starts so far. Opponents are batting .394 (13-for-33) with three home runs against the right-hander, who is 0-2 with a 10.80 ERA. He's 4-8 with a 4.74 ERA in 13 career starts against the Cardinals, including 0-4 with a 5.73 ERA last season.
• Garcia is 10-3 with a 2.34 ERA in 21 career April starts, including his no-decision in Atlanta on April 8. He's 9-4 with a 2.90 ERA in 17 career games, 16 starts, against the Brewers. Last season, he went 3-1 with a 1.91 ERA against Milwaukee.
• Garcia is the third left-handed starter the Brewers have faced in their first nine games. The Brewers lost to the Giants' Madison Bumgarner on Opening Day but beat the Astros' Dallas Keuchel on Sunday.
Rays right-hander Chris Archer looks to rebound after a sluggish start to his season when Tampa Bay hosts Cleveland in the rubber match at 1:10 p.m. ET Thursday at Tropicana Field.
Archer is 0-2 with a 7.20 ERA in two 2016 starts. He hasn't gone beyond five innings in his appearances against the Blue Jays on April 3 and Orioles last Friday. In Baltimore, he allowed six runs, 10 hits and a career-worst four home runs in the Rays' 6-1 loss. In eight starts dating back to last September, Archer is 0-5 with a 6.15 ERA. It marks the longest losing streak of his career.
"When you have a bad outing, it's bouncing back and trusting your ability," Archer said. "Trusting your stuff. And I've bounced back from tough outings before. It's not a foreign thing. I know and trust that if I fill up the strike zone, I'll get the ultimate goal, and that's a team win."
Indians manager Terry Francona hopes Archer becomes comfortable some other time.
"The really good ones kind of figure it out, and he is one of the really good ones," Francona said. "I hope he doesn't figure it out until after we leave."
Added Indians first baseman Mike Napoli: "As a hitter, you want to face someone that's not as crisp as they can be. But it could be the one start that he's just on. Usually, pitchers like that don't really have long periods or starts where they're not going to be successful. I'm not going to go in there like, 'He's struggling. I'm going to do good today.' It's obviously going to be a battle."
Meanwhile, right-hander Danny Salazar will start for Cleveland. He had a solid performance in his lone outing this season, allowing one run on two hits with seven strikeouts and three walks in 5 1/3 innings during the Indians' 7-1 victory over the White Sox last Friday at U.S. Cellular Field.
Three things to know about this game
• The Indians selected Archer in the fifth round of the 2006 Draft, beginning a path that included him being traded to the Cubs in 2008 and then to the Rays in 2011. The right-hander has never beaten Cleveland in three career starts, going 0-3 with a 5.40 ERA.
• After Thursday, the Rays and Indians won't meet again until closing their season series with a three-game set from June 20-22 at Progressive Field.
• This will be Salazar's second career start against Tampa Bay. He allowed two runs (one earned) on two hits in 7 2/3 innings on June 30, 2015, at Tropicana Field.
Mat Latos hopes to prove the regular season is much different than Spring Training when he starts for Chicago in the finale of the three-game series at Minnesota, looking for the sweep.
The veteran right-hander makes his second start, after holding the A's to one hit over six scoreless innings. Latos had struggled mightily over his three Cactus League starts.
Said White Sox general manager Rick Hahn on Wednesday: "It's funny, though, I was sitting with [Jim] Thome at some point toward the end of spring, and he reiterated the old axiom: Don't fall too in love with a young player or too out of love with a veteran player in Spring Training. And I thought of that the other day when I was watching Mat throw in Oakland."
The Twins, seeking their first win of 2016, will counter with right-hander Ervin Santana (0-0, 2.25 ERA), who will be making his third start. Santana went six innings and allowed two earned runs in his last outing at Kansas City.
Things to know about this game
• Minnesota is looking to snap its longest losing streak in a single season since May 14-24, 2013, when it lost 10 straight. The franchise mark for a winless start to a season dates back to the 1904 Washington Senators, who started the season 0-13-1.
• The White Sox have the most quality starts in baseball over the last two seasons at 104.
• Tyler Saladino will start at shortstop for Chicago. Avisail Garcia also will return to the lineup.
Phillies manager Pete Mackanin considers Vince Velasquez the only power pitcher in his starting rotation. That could spell trouble for the Padres in the finale of a four-game series on Thursday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park.
Against pitchers with similar repertoires and fastball velocities (93-plus mph average fastball) -- Clayton Kershaw, Kenley Jansen and Jake McGee among them -- San Diego has combined for just six hits in 69 at-bats (0.087 average). Velasquez will have the advantage of relative anonymity as well since no Padres hitter has faced the 23-year-old pitcher.
Set to oppose San Diego starter Drew Pomeranz, Velasquez will be looking to top a stellar season debut -- shutting down the Mets with six scoreless innings and nine strikeouts on April 9.
"It was fun to watch," Mackanin said. "He's going to be a good one. Coachable, great kid, a true competitor."
Pomeranz won his Padres debut, allowing two runs in five innings with seven strikeouts against the Rockies on Saturday.
Things to know about this game • Neither team swept a four-game series in 2015. Each won two of nine, including the Padres taking three of four in their first four-gamer of last season against the Giants.
• The Phillies have only combined for 15 total at-bats against Pomeranz. In 2012, Carlos Ruiz doubled and hit an RBI single while Pomeranz was still with the Rockies.
• Despite committing to platoons at first base and left field, the Phillies can't be looking forward to facing the lefty Pomeranz. In 60 at-bats this season, Philadelphia has posted only a .479 OPS against southpaws.
The Pirates and Tigers will wrap up what essentially has been a four-game, home-and-home Interleague series with what sounds like an old National League matchup. While Jordan Zimmermann returns to Senior Circuit surroundings to face Pittsburgh for the third time in his career, Gerrit Cole has his third meeting with the Tigers in what has become an annual Interleague meeting.
Zimmermann signed with the Tigers as a free agent last fall following seven seasons and 178 starts with the Washington Nationals. Yet he faced Pittsburgh just twice over that time, once each in 2012 and '14. The pitching lines were nearly identical, four runs on seven hits over six innings in defeat.
Zimmermann might focus more on following up his Tigers debut from last Friday, when he pitched seven scoreless innings while allowing two hits against the Yankees.
Cole, too, will be making his second start of the season after he admitted to being "a little rusty" in his opener, a 5-1 loss at Cincinnati last Saturday in which he gave up three runs on five hits and three walks over 4 2/3 innings.
The Pirates beat the Tigers twice in Cole's starts last season, during which he allowed three runs over 12 2/3 innings with two walks and 14 strikeouts.
Three things to know
• While the Pirates haven't seen much of Zimmermann, former Cardinals third baseman David Freese has seen him well. He's 3-for-7 with a home run and two doubles against the big right-hander.
• Nick Castellanos went 3-for-5 against Cole last year.
• Thursday's game will be broadcast on MLB Network for viewers outside of Pittsburgh and Detroit.
The Dodgers scored twice on botched double-play ground balls in the fifth inning Wednesday night and went on to beat the D-backs, 3-1, behind starter Alex Wood's seven innings and a five-out save from Kenley Jansen.
"Unfortunately it cost us a run and possibly the game," Goldschmidt said, "but hopefully it won't happen next time."
Arizona scored first when Ahmed, batting ninth, homered for the second consecutive game leading off the third inning. The Dodgers tied the game with one out in the fourth inning whenAdrian Gonzalez homered off starter Rubby De La Rosa, a former Dodger.
"The key is that [Wood] was working ahead and spinning the baseball," said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. "Sometimes he likes his fastball, he trusts his fastball, but that third time through he really kept them off-balance with the breaking ball, the change, and that set him up for the fastball."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Bad blood simmering: After Justin Turner was hit by a pitch for the second time in the game, jawing between both dugouts led plate umpire Brian Gorman to talk to both managers. Turner has been hit by pitches three times in the last week. The clubs have had an ongoing feud for years that included the Zack Greinke-Ian Kennedy brawl. More >
Nice pick: After allowing Ahmed's homer and a single by Jean Segura, Wood picked Segura off first base, a play that loomed larger one out later when he walked Goldschmidt before getting Welington Castillo to fly out. More >
Second time troubles: De La Rosa cruised through the first three innings. However, the second time through the order proved to be a bigger challenge for the right-hander. After not getting a hit the first time they saw him, Dodgers hitters went 5-for-9 the second time.
"I just think he worked quick, he didn't shake a lot, was hitting his spots, used his slider," D-backs manager Chip Hale said of De La Rosa. "Had some really good sliders early in the game to [Yasiel] Puig. I just thought he used all his pitches tonight. It was encouraging."
Unlikely pair of errors: It is surprising any time the D-backs commit a pair of erros in an inning, but it's even more so when it's Ahmed and Goldschmidt. Only Andrelton Simmonsand Brandon Crawford had more defensive runs saved among National League shortstops than Ahmed last season while Goldschmidt led all first basemen in defensive runs saved.
"We just uncharacteristically didn't play good defense," Hale said. "We usually make those plays." More >
UPON FURTHER REVIEW With one out in the first, Goldschmidt hit a grounder to short. Seager threw to Utley at second and Utley's throw to first doubled up Goldschmidt. The D-backs challenged the play, and it was overturned to prolong the inning. Arizona, though, was unable to capitalize on it as Castillo followed with a groundout to second.
With one out in the top of the fourth inning, Yasmany Tomas was called safe at first base by Mark Carlson on a grounder off Gonzalez's glove that was fielded by Utley, who threw back to Gonzalez at the bag. The call was overturned when replay showed that the throw beat Tomas.
In the fourth with two outs, D-backs outfielder Brandon Drury attempted to steal third base and was called out. The D-backs challenged the ruling, but the call stood after replay officials were unable to definitively determine if Turner's glove had made contact with Drury's foot before he reached the bag.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Dodgers challenged a neighborhood play at second base on Seager's grounder to Segura, claiming Ahmed wasn't on the bag. After a review, the call stood.
WHAT'S NEXT D-backs:Robbie Ray will make his second start of the year Thursday night in the series finale with the Dodgers at 7:10 p.m. MST. Ray showed some improved pitch efficiency in his first start aside from a 34-pitch third inning when he walked four batters.
Dodgers:Ross Stripling has a tough act to follow. In his Major League debut last week in San Francisco, he was removed after 7 1/3 hitless innings when his pitch count reached 100. First pitch on Thursday is 7:10 p.m. PT.
Nolan Arenado homered twice, drove in a career-high seven runs and finished a triple shy of the cycle, Carlos Gonzalez fell a homer short of a cycle, and the Rockies set a club record with four triples -- two by rookie shortstop Trevor Story -- in a 10-6 victory over the Giants at Coors Field on Wednesday night.
Arenado knocked a two-run homer off Jake Peavy (0-1) in the third inning, and a three-run shot off Josh Osich in the eighth. Arenado's RBIs fell one shy of the club's record of eight, shared by Andres Galarraga against the Dodgers June 27, 1996; Larry Walker against the Cardinals April 28, 1999; Ronnie Belliard against the D-backs Sept. 23, 2003; and Matt Holliday against the Padres on Sept. 20, 2005.
The Rockies had 18 hits and cracked a club record-tying 12 extra-base hits, last achieved July 30, 2010 against the Cubs. Peavy gave up 10 extra-base hits, a record for a San Francisco pitcher. Charlie Blackmon tripled to lead off the bottom of the first, Gonzalez tripled later in the inning and Story hit triples in the fourth off Peavy and the sixth off Chris Heston.
"We had quality at-bats, and we got 'Peav' out early," Arenado said. "He was not comfortable. He's tough. He gets fired up out there. I have a lot of respect for him. I have a lot of respect for all their pitchers."
Rockies starter Jordan Lyles nearly coughed up the early lead and left ahead, 6-5, after 4 2/3 innings. But lefty Chris Rusin (1-0) struck out three in 2 1/3 perfect innings. The Giants'Brandon Belt homered off Miguel Castro in the eighth -- just the second hit and first run in Castro's five appearances this season -- to cut the difference to 7-6. But Arenado's second homer provided a comfortable margin.
"We played some nice offense tonight," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "Our approach was really good, especially after a tough night. We had some great at-bats with two outs."
The Giants have homered in each of their nine games -- a club record. The Rockies have 19 homers to the Giants' 18.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Triple threat: The tone was set in the first inning for Peavy, who struggled to execute and couldn't put away hitters and end innings when he needed to. The Rockies got three extra base hits in the first inning, but put two runs on the board and signaling a relentless, record-breaking attack.
"Tonight I didn't start crazy well," Peavy said. "A couple triples. The Blackmon ball just carried and got there, but we got Story to take a swing we wanted. We get to 0-2 on Carlos Gonzalez, and I tried to throw a curve ball in the dirt there, certainly not up in the air where he can hit it. I simply overthrew it."More >
The big strikeout: A game in which a team has as many extra-base hits as the Rockies usually doesn't come to a pitcher coming through, but this is Coors. After Hunter Pence's two-out RBI single off Lyles in the fourth cut the difference to 6-5, Rusin entered and fanned Belt. The Rockies would say a step ahead of the Giants.
"I was just preparing for Belt in the bullpen, and I was able to get him out," Rusin said. "It's always good when you're a reliever and you come in and stop the momentum from the other team and put up zeroes. You keep our offense in the game, you see what happens."
Horseshoes and handgrenades: San Francisco rallied once to tie the game in the third and posted a three run rally against Lyles to come within one in the fifth. Angel Pagan led off with an infield single to second and scored on Trevor Brown's double to left. Brown moved to third on a groundout by pinch-hitter Gregor Blanco, and after Denard Span walked, Brown scored on a sacrifice fly from Joe Panik. Pence plated Span, and the Rockies went to their bullpen, bringing in Rusin to face cleanup hitter Belt, who ended the inning with a swing and a miss, a run shy of a tie ball game.
Get fired up: You never have to wonder about Arenado's emotions. He was especially demonstrative with his teammates in the dugout after his second homer, which came with the Rockies clinging to a one-run advantage.
"I was just pumped up," Arenado said. "The Giants keep coming back. To give our pitchers a little comfortability there just got me excited." More >
QUOTABLE "It's frustrating, but I know it's there. I've just got to do a better job that third or fourth time through the lineup." -- Rockies starter Lyles, who was rolling early but couldn't get through the fifth. It was his second short start in as many this season.
"This is a tough place to take the pitchers out early," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said of Peavy's outing. "I stayed with him there. We got within a run. The guys did battle back. It is confidence in the offense. I was hooping to get at least four or five out of Jake."
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS Peavy allowed 10 extra-base hits (six doubles, three triples, one home run). He is only the third big league pitcher to allow 10 or more extra-base hits in the last 50 years. Boston's Curt Schilling did it on Aug. 10, 2006 at Kansas City and Cleveland's Luis Tiant endured 10 extra-base hits on April 18, 1969 vs. Boston. The Major League record for the most extra-base hits allowed is 16 by George Derby of the Buffalo Bisons on July 3, 1883.
NEARLY MORE Blackmon was the first player to hit a ball off the newly elevated right field fences in front of the Rockies bullpen at Coors Field. The fences were raised 8 feet and 9 inches during the offseason, making the total height 16 feet 6 inches. Blackmon drilled a Peavy offering into the right-center gap and hit the fence on a bounce. Without the fence, the ball would have landed in the bullpen for a ground-rule double. Instead, the drive remained in play and Blackmon landed at third with a triple. He scored when the next batter, Story, lofted a sacrifice fly to right.
The fencing wasn't as kind to Story. He hit two balls to the deepest part of the park, just right of center, and had them blocked by the new fencing. They ended up two of the team single-game record four triples, but could have lifted Story's home run total -- currently seven, in his first eight Major League games.
"It's supposed to get the other team," Weiss quipped. "But that was a great sign. He hit the ball to the big part of the field, the other way, real hard multiple times tonight. That's who he is. When teams bust him inside, he hits the ball in the seats in left field. But he lives in that off gap." More >
WHAT'S NEXT Giants:Matt Cain climbs the hill Thursday at 12:10 PT in the series finale for the Giants. The left-hander has had good success at Coors Field, posting a 6-3 record with a 4.45 ERA in 89 innings over 15 career appearances. He earned a no-decision in his first start of the season, a six-inning, two-run affair the Giants eventually won in walk-off fashion.
Rockies: Lefty Jorge De La Rosa (0-1, 12.46 ERA) has struggled, but the Rockies, believing he will get going, juggled the rotation to have him start on four days' rest in the series finale with the Giants at 1:10 p.m. MT.