Crisp air, slow bats in ex­tras

San Francisco Chronicle Late Edition - - GIANTS - By Henry Schul­man Henry Schul­man is a San Francisco Chron­i­cle staff writer. Email: hschul­man@sfchron­i­ Twit­ter: @han­kschul­man

The frigid wind that whis­tled through China Basin on Thurs­day night gave AT&T Park a bit of an Oc­to­ber feel. The first Giants-Rock­ies game of the sea­son did, too, at least until the num­ber of seag­ulls over­took the num­ber of fans in at­ten­dance.

The sec­ond- and third-place teams in the NL West played a white-knuck­ler that made the ball­park a fun place to be.

In the end, the Rock­ies had the most fun as they won 5-3 in 12 in­nings on Car­los Gon­za­lez’s two-out, two-strike, two-run sin­gle off Cory Gear­rin.

Gear­rin left a sinker up and Gon­za­lez floated it over sec­ond base­man Kelby Tom­lin­son’s glove to punch the Giants for walk­ing the bases loaded.

Pierce John­son, in his sec­ond in­ning, had walked pinch-hit­ter Chris Ian­netta and Char­lie Black­mon with one out. Gear­rin got a fly­ball from Ger­ardo Parra be­fore walk­ing Nolan Are­nado to load them for Gon­za­lez.

Bran­don Craw­ford and man­ager Bruce Bochy were ejected in the bot­tom of the 12th af­ter Craw­ford ar­gued a called third strike, a sen­si­tive topic these days. The Giants were out of po­si­tion play­ers. A pitcher would have had to play a po­si­tion had the game gone to the 13th.

Af­ter the game, Bochy said called third strikes are “frus­trat­ing” be­cause guys are do­ing such a great job lay­ing off pitches, “and they’re balls.” Craw­ford’s was the Giants 13th strike­out of the night, in­clud­ing four by Andrew McCutchen.

Loss aside, this game might be re­mem­bered as a turn­ing point for Jeff Sa­mardz­ija.

The right-han­der spot­ted the Rock­ies three runs in the sec­ond in­ning on a two-run dou­ble and an RBI sin­gle by the bot­tom two hit­ters in the or­der, sec­ond base­man Daniel Cas­tro and pitcher Chad Bet­tis.

But Sa­mardz­ija locked down the mound and did not al­low an­other run through the rest of his sea­son-high 62⁄3 in­nings, fi­nally pitch­ing like the in­terim staff leader needs to pitch.

The of­fense re­sponded in kind by get­ting him off the hook. They scored a third-in­ning run on a Gorkys Her­nan­dez sac­ri­fice fly then tied it 3-3 on Bran­don Belt’s two-run homer in the sixth, orig­i­nally ruled a dou­ble be­fore a video review al­lowed Belt to com­plete his trot.

Belt has home­red in four straight games, his sec­ond such streak of the sea­son. The last Gi­ant to do that was Barry Bonds in 2004. Belt has 10 homers for the sea­son.

Bochy said af­ter the game Belt has had some knee stiff­ness and that he was plan­ning to give him Fri­day off, but he will wait to see how he feels be­fore bat­ting prac­tice.

Will Smith re­tired Ger­ardo Parra to strand Sa­mardz­ija’s fi­nal run­ner, in the sev­enth. Sam Dyson pitched a score­less eighth de­spite Evan Lon­go­ria’s throw­ing er­ror to start the in­ning. Hunter Strick­land was per­fect in the ninth and Tony Wat­son sur­vived two scratch sin­gles in the 10th.

In other words, Giants re­liev­ers held their own until the 12th against the Rock­ies’ Bil­lion Dol­lar Bullpen (a slight ex­ag­ger­a­tion), which got six shutout in­nings from Bryan Shaw, Adam Ot­tavino, Jake McGee and Wade Davis, who got his 16th save. Ot­tavino had to sur­vive a Buster Posey drive to the wall cen­ter to end the eighth.

Sa­mardz­ija’s start was his first since he came within a strike of a six-in­ning, three-run game. That one ended with five runs in 52⁄3 when he al­lowed a two-run Francisco Cervelli homer.

Ben Mar­got / As­so­ci­ated Press

Home plate um­pire Chris Se­gal ejects Bruce Bochy in the 12th in­ning af­ter the Giants man­ager ar­gued a called third strike against Bran­don Craw­ford, the Giants’ 13th strike­out of the night.

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