SAN FRANCISCO (AP) As Ian Desmond scuffled through an early season slump, he got a reminder from a friend this week that he has overcome bad starts like the one he’s on this year to put up a big year in the past.
He’s hoping the game he had against the San Francisco Giants will be the catalyst for that kind of turnaround.
Desmond homered and drove in four runs to back another strong start by Kyle Freeland and the Colorado Rockies beat the Giants 6-1 on Friday night.
”Sometimes I just get in these funks and then snap out of them and put them behind me,” Desmond said. ”That’s what I’m hoping for here.”
Desmond came into the game with a .167 average on the season and in a 3-for-33 rut with one RBI in his previous nine games. He likened it to 2014 when he was batting .214 in mid-May for Washington before ending the season with a Silver Slugger award.
The night didn’t start off well for Desmond, who hit into fielder’s choice with a man on third and one out in the second to cost Colorado a chance to score. But he quickly made up for it by hitting a three-run homer in the fourth inning against Derek Holland (2-5) and then adding an RBI double in the sixth.
”He got the ball out front and squared them up,” manager Bud Black said. ”That was something we had seen but not consistently from at-bat to at-bat and game to game.”
That was more than enough support for Freeland (4-4), who allowed a leadoff homer to Gorkys Hernandez and nothing else in 6 2/3 innings to win for the fourth time in his past five starts.
The Giants have lost three straight and nine of 11.
”We just have some guys that aren’t quite locked in right now,” manager Bruce Bochy said. ”It’s tough when you get a little streak where guys aren’t quite swinging like they normally do. We just couldn’t get much going. Started out great with the home run. You’re feeling pretty good about how it’s going to go. Their guy settled down and kept us off balance.”
Freeland allowed five hits and struck out five, lowering his ERA to 1.59 in his last five starts.
Charlie Blackmon added a two-run homer in the ninth for the Rockies, who improved to 18-9 on the road.
Nolan Arenado started the first two rallies for the Rockies, drawing a leadoff walk in the fourth inning and hitting a double to lead off the sixth. The five-time Gold Glove winner also made a spectacular play in the field at third base when he slid into foul territory to stop a hard grounder and then threw Kelby Tomlinson out from his knees with a strong throw across the diamond.
”You can’t get anything by that guy,” Freeland said. ”He’s incredible. He’s going to wow you every single night with what he does out there. That was an incredible play.”
Giants: 1B Brandon Belt was held out of the lineup despite homering in four straight games. Bochy said Belt banged up his knee sliding into second base earlier this week and could use a break. Belt came on as a pinch-hitter with two on in the seventh inning and struck out against Bryan Shaw. … OF Mac Williamson has been sent on a rehab assignment to Triple-A Sacramento. Williamson has been out since suffering a concussion April 24 and will likely need a week to 10 days before being ready to return. … 2B Joe Panik (left thumb sprain) could begin a rehab assignment next weekend. He went on the DL April 28.
The Giants have been upset by late-inning called strikes the previous two games. Belt was called out to end a loss to Cincinnati on Wednesday and complained after the game that he felt like plate umpire Doug Eddings was eager to end the game. Brandon Crawford was called out in the 12th inning Thursday by Chris Segal and ejected after dropping his bat near home plate.
Joe Torre from the commissioner’s office called Belt this week to talk to him about the comments but Bochy said he didn’t know if there was any discipline handed down.
Chris Stratton (4-3) takes the mound for the Giants against Jon Gray (4-5).
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