April 12, 2019 / 4:55 AM / 11 days ago

Samardzija dazzles as Giants blank Rockies

EditorsNote: deletes last three words of third graf

Apr 11, 2019; San Francisco, CA, USA; Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Jon Gray (55) throws against the San Francisco Giants in the first inning at Oracle Park. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

Right-hander Jeff Samardzija pitched seven shutout innings, and Kevin Pillar produced the only run of the game with a leadoff home run in the seventh Thursday night, sending the San Francisco Giants to a 1-0 victory over the Colorado Rockies in the opener of a four-game series.

Samardzija (1-0) outdueled Rockies righty Jon Gray (0-3), who took a four-hit shutout in the seventh before serving up Pillar’s third home run since joining the Giants in a trade last week.

Left-hander Tony Watson worked a 1-2-3 eighth inning for the Giants before closer Will Smith recorded his fourth save with a perfect ninth.

The win was the Giants’ second in their past three games. They have lost all four series they’ve played so far this season.

Losing for the 10th time in their past 11 games, the Rockies got just one baserunner into scoring position. That came against Samardzija in the fifth inning, when Garrett Hampson beat out a bunt with one out and took second on Tony Wolters’ ground ball.

Samardzija then struck out Gray to end the threat.

The Giants veteran allowed three hits and one walk. He struck out seven.

The combined shutout was Samardzija’s first since he went the distance in a 3-0 win at San Diego on Aug. 28, 2017. He pitched a three-hitter that day.

Gray was pulled two outs into the seventh inning, charged with one run on five hits. He walked three and struck out six.

Pillar’s three homers have come in nine games for San Francisco. He totaled just 15 in his 142 games for Toronto last season.

The Giants threatened multiple times against Gray, including in the fourth after Brandon Belt led off with a double.

San Francisco went hitless with runners in scoring position in the game, going 0-for-9.

Up 1-0, the Giants also threatened to tack on against the Colorado bullpen in the bottom of the eighth when Joe Panik singled and Buster Posey drew a walk with no one out.

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The baserunners reached second and third on Brandon Crawford’s infield out, the second out of the inning, before Carlos Estevez got Pablo Sandoval to ground out, retaining the Rockies’ one-run deficit.

The Giants out-hit the Rockies 6-3, with Panik getting two hits for San Francisco and Hampson collecting two for Colorado.

—Field Level Media

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