SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants' 3-2 victory Monday night over the Colorado Rockies looked like a revival of 2010-style torture, but it really was all about the here and now.Numerous Giants, including Gregor Blanco, Buster Posey, Joaquin Arias, Brett Pill and all four pitchers who appeared, proved integral to the club's third consecutive victory. Such collaborative efforts will be necessary while Pablo Sandoval remains sidelined, Aubrey Huff keeps trying to revive his skill and Freddy Sanchez continues searching for his elusive health. "When you lose a core player, guys step up," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said after Blanco, Arias, Posey and Pill led a tiebreaking, two-run rally in the eighth inning. Those performers who are newcomers to the forefront -- save for Posey, who's among the more prominent Giants -- should take their success in stride, starter Ryan Vogelsong insisted. "I don't think they should look at it as taking advantage of playing time," said Vogelsong, who lasted seven innings despite struggling at the outset. "We need these guys to win and we need them to play the way they can play for us to win. And they've done that." The Giants rewarded AT&T Park's 100th consecutive regular-season sellout crowd with some late-inning thrills. After Sergio Romo (2-0) preserved a 1-1 tie by striking out Michael Cuddyer with two on and two out in the eighth, Blanco, who went 3-for-4, beat out an infield hit off reliever Rex Brothers (1-2) to open the Giants' half of the inning. After Matt Belisle relieved Brothers, Arias laid down a bunt that rolled almost halfway up the first-base line without veering foul. Catcher Wilin Rosario finally pounced on the ball and fired a high throw that grazed the glove of second baseman Jonathan Herrera, who was covering first base. Blanco sped to third base while Arias pulled in safely at first. After Melky Cabrera popped up, Posey drilled a 2-2 slider up the middle to deliver Blanco. Posey went 2-for-4 to interrupt a 3-for-25 (.120) skid in his previous six games. "I was looking at staying in the middle of the field," said Posey, who did exactly that.
Of his weeklong descent at the plate, Posey said, "It's just one of the things you go through during the course of the year. It's just part of the ups and downs and you keep on grinding."Pill added an RBI single one out later, which proved critical in the ninth. Arias' two-base error on Marco Scutaro's sharp grounder narrowed the difference to a single run and left Rockies on second and third base with one out. But Santiago Casilla responded to the challenge by striking out Dexter Fowler and retiring Chris Nelson on a grounder. Fittingly enough, it went to Arias, who calmly handled the tricky slow chopper. "In that kind of situation, when I made the error, I'm hoping that the ball would come right to me, because I wanted to make the play," Arias said through an interpreter. Earlier, the activity was much more monotonous. Vogelsong courted trouble constantly in the first three innings, running up full counts on seven of the first 14 hitters he faced while walking five. Yet Vogelsong allowed just three hits and faltered only when Rosario yanked the first pitch of the fourth inning halfway up the left-field stands for his fifth home run of the season. Vogelsong tinkered with his pitching mechanics almost ceaselessly.
"I was just trying to survive until I found something that worked," he said. "I gave up that home run and I kind of found something while I was warming up between innings. It wasn't really one thing. It was kind of something different each inning."Meanwhile, Rockies left-hander Christian Friedrich began his second Major League start with three perfect innings, striking out six in that span. He finished with 10 strikeouts in seven innings and inspired Bochy to liken him to Sandy Koufax. "That's as good a starting pitching performance as we've had all year long," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. "He was phenomenal." But Friedrich met his match in Blanco, who beat out a fourth-inning infield single for the Giants' first hit before delivering his third Major League homer in the sixth. It was only the sixth home run by a Giant in 16 games at AT&T Park this season. "I was trying to hit a line drive through the middle and it worked out better," said Blanco, who ranked his effort as one of the top three games of his career.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.