History-making shortstop Brandon Crawford gets a crack at a struggling rookie pitcher when the San Francisco Giants and Colorado Rockies continue a four-game series on Tuesday night in Denver.
Crawford became the first shortstop in major league history to record five hits and eight RBI in the same game, accomplishing the feat in the opener of San Francisco's doubleheader sweep on Monday.
The Giants followed the 19-2 shellacking with a 2-1 win in which, fittingly, Crawford produced the difference-making run with his third home run of the day, a solo shot in the fourth inning.
The nightcap was more exciting, but all involved afterward felt compelled to talk about the wild opener, which also featured a tense moment that in the end produced some comic relief to a blowout.
Crawford, whose previous career-high was six RBI, got a seventh and eighth with a ninth-inning single off Mark Reynolds.
The eight-RBI day earned him a piece of the Giants' San Francisco-era record, which he now shares with Orlando Cepeda and Willie Mays.
"I hit with a lot of guys on base. That was nice. The whole lineup contributed," Crawford said, initially deflecting credit to his teammates.
"I've been feeling good," he continued. "I'm seeing the ball well. You expect to get hits when that happens."
The man assigned to deal initially with Crawford on Tuesday night will be Peter Lambert (2-1, 6.67 ERA), who has never faced the Giants.
The 22-year-old right-hander pitched brilliantly in his first two big-league starts, allowing just two runs and seven hits while striking out 12 in 12 innings.
However, he has since been torched for 20 runs and 30 hits in 17 2/3 innings over four starts, a stretch during which he has allowed eight home runs and fanned just eight.
The Giants will counter with a high-ERA starter of their own, Drew Pomeranz (2-9, 6.42 ERA).
The 30-year-old left-hander has faced the Rockies twice this season, getting a no-decision in a 3-2 win in April and a loss in a 2-0 defeat in June.
Pomeranz is 2-1 with a 2.25 ERA against the Rockies in six career games, including four starts.
The setback against Colorado on June 24 began a three-start stretch in which Pomeranz has allowed just six runs in 14 innings while striking out 21.
Chances are Pomeranz will get a chance to face Reynolds, and he probably will do so with Buster Posey behind the plate. It could make for an interesting encounter.
Reynolds hit Posey with a pitch during his ninth-inning stint Monday, after which the former All-Star catcher appeared angry as he took his base.
Posey soon lightened the mood, though, by chuckling after getting Reynolds' attention, and afterward the mild-mannered San Francisco veteran made sure his act wasn't taken the wrong way.
"He just texted that he acted like he was mad at me, but he was messing around," Reynolds told the media afterward. "When I went to hit (in the bottom of the ninth), I told him I was just trying to steal a strike with a little curveball down and away. He just laughed."
--Field Level Media
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