The boomerang of emotion circled back at Jeff Samardzija in 5.2 seconds. The Giants’ goateed right-handed pitcher hurtled a home run to the bullpen in the fifth inning at Coors Field in a two-ball count. No takes for this guy. Swing away. He flipped his bat into the dirt in celebration.
A few minutes later, the deed was returned. Rockies first baseman Ian Desmond hit a home run to right field off Samardzija that just over five seconds to leave the park. Just that quickly, the Rockies were back on top. Samardzija spiked the dirt in outrage.
Colorado’s 10-8 victory Friday — a club record seventh in a row against San Francisco — was a relay play through a surging lineup. The Rockies ebbed (they fell behind 4-1 at one point) and they flowed (a five-run fifth) and they continued to surge through June.
DJ LeMahieu finished 4-for-4 at the plate for eight hits in two nights, Charlie Blackmon hit his career-high 10th triple, Trevor Story nailed a pinch-hit home run and Desmond hit his first homer at Coors Field this season as the Rockies held off the Giants.
“Not to sound greedy,” Desmond said, but I think there’s more in this lineup. There’s a lot there. It’s a really good lineup. When we all get clicking, it’s going to be fun.”
The Rockies (44-26) remained atop the National League West. They improved the second-best winning percentage in the majors (.629). They have more wins in 70 games than any Rockies team in 25 years. They have not been in first place this late in a season since 2006.
They are cruising through the NL West, with a 22-11 record. And 24 hours after surviving a vicious Giants rally that turned a 9-1 lead into a gasping 10-9 walk-off victory, the Rockies scored 10 more Friday in front of 46,632 fans in much breezier fashion.
Rockies 22-year-old rookie Antonio Senzatela fell behind four pitches into the game when Joe Panik homered to right-center field. Denard Span’s homer in the third put Senzatela behind by two. But solo homers, the saying goes, will not beat you. Not at Coors Field anyway. Even after Samardzija hit a two-run shot for a 4-1 lead.
After Blackmon and LeMahieu doubled consecutively in the third for a run and catcher Tony Wolters blooped a single to lead off the fifth, the runs streamed out. Blackmon tripled off Samardzija for a run. LeMahieu singled him in and his consecutive four-hit games were the first among Rockies since Carlos Gonzalez did it in 2010. Nolan Arenado singled to go with an earlier double. Then Desmond blasted a three-run home run for a 6-4 lead.
“Our pitchers are working hard. They’ve been carrying us all year long,” Desmond said. “I just want to pick them up. It’s what we all want to do.”
Senzatela improved his record to 9-2 — his win total is tied for most in the majors, sharing the NL lead with only Clayton Kershaw — after pitching through six innings on six hits and five runs. He struck out six and walked just one. The solo homers did not beat him.
“It was not a really good game for me,” Senzatela said. “But they supported me. And we won.”
Samardzija was rattled, on 11 hits and eight runs over six innings. Giants right fielder Hunter Pence fared worse, misplaying two hits his way. He got chewed up once Thursday and once again earlier this season at Coors Field.
For evidence of how neatly things are unfolding for the Rockies, witness their opposite. Giants manager Bruce Bochy got ejected in the seventh by home-plate umpire Gary Cederstrom for arguing borderline, but fair, balls and strikes. Samardzija was stumbling. The Rockies were about to score three more. The Giants were about to fall 17 1/2 games out of first place in the NL West cellar. San Francisco has not been that far back before the all-star break since 1985.
Losing stings. Winning, the Rockies are learning, is fun.