SAN DIEGO -- Don't look back, Giants. Something might be gaining on you, and it's the Colorado Rockies.

For the third time in four years, the Rockies are staging a September rally to climb back into the postseason picture. They've won a season-high seven consecutive games to put pressure on the Giants, who are immediately ahead of them in both the National League West and Wild Card standings.

Last year, the Rockies fended off the Giants in the Wild Card race by winning 10 of 11 games at one juncture in the final month. In 2007, they won a remarkable 21 of 22 games en route to the World Series.

Having spent part of 2006 and all of 2007 with the Rockies, Giants left-hander Jeremy Affeldt understands the mentality that enables them to win an unusual number of games with late rallies.

"When you're running with that kind of confidence, where you never feel like you're out of a game, that's a really big thing to have," Affeldt said. "They don't shut down when they get behind."

In fact, if the Giants stay in the postseason picture through the next couple of weeks, their next high-profile series after this one could be a Sept. 24-26 set at Denver's Coors Field.

"We'll have to figure out a way to beat them back a little bit," Affeldt said.

Sandoval's mother safe after San Bruno fire

SAN DIEGO -- Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval confirmed a report that his mother, Amelia, was evacuated from a home he's renting in the San Bruno neighborhood that was ravaged Thursday night by a natural gas explosion.

Sandoval learned after the Giants' 7-3 victory over San Diego that his mother was safe.

"She's all right," Sandoval said. Amelia Sandoval took shelter in San Jose, where another son and Pablo's brother, Michael, is playing for the Giants' Class A affiliate in the California League playoffs.

Bay Area television station KTVU initially reported that Amelia Sandoval was among the residents who were forced to leave the area.

"My prayers are with everybody up there," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.

Bochy expected Padres to contend

SAN DIEGO -- The San Diego Padres' success has surprised numerous so-called experts, but Bruce Bochy isn't among them.

The Giants manager maintained during the offseason and in Spring Training that the Padres would have to be reckoned with in the National League West.

"I thought they were a very underrated club, based on the second half they had last year," Bochy said Thursday, basing his logic on San Diego's 37-25 finish in 2009.

Asked if he knew that the Padres would be in first place at this juncture, Bochy wouldn't go that far.

"Pretty much every year, this division's going to be tight," said Bochy, San Diego's manager from 1995-2006. "I thought this was the most balanced division in the National League."

Burriss plans busy start to winter

SAN DIEGO -- Having missed large portions of the last two seasons with fractures in his left foot, Giants infielder Emmanuel Burriss intends to play at least one month of winter ball to help reacclimate himself to the game.

Burriss, 25, will perform for Gigantes del Cibao in the Dominican Republic.

"I feel like I basically lost a whole year," said Burriss, who appeared in 78 games with the Giants and Triple-A Fresno in 2009 before playing 72 games this season. "I want to try to get some of the at-bats that I missed."

Burriss, who played in the Arizona Fall League in 2007-08, believes that he'll benefit from almost any type of game-related activity.

"I need to get the instincts back that have kind of been lacking from taking a whole year off," he said.

Giants bring up infielder Rohlinger

SAN DIEGO -- The Giants expanded their active roster to 33 players Thursday by adding infielder Ryan Rohlinger, who was recalled from Triple-A Fresno.

Rohlinger's arrival was delayed by a few days as he recovered from a concussion caused by a beaning.

Rohlinger hit .311 with eight home runs and 48 RBIs in 77 games for Fresno this year. He also hit .214 (3-for-14) with one RBI in 11 games spanning two previous stints with the Giants.

In another development, first baseman Brandon Belt was selected to The Sporting News' all-Minor League team. Belt, who played at Class A San Jose and Double-A Richmond before finishing the season with Fresno, hit a combined .352 with 43 doubles, 10 triples, 23 homers and 112 RBIs.