Stratton’s 2-hitter snaps S.F. skid
They won’t have to endure a dirty dozen.
The Giants lugged a San Francisco-record 11-game losing streak into Friday night’s series opener against Colorado at AT&T Park.
Chris Stratton made sure that skid ended as he threw the first complete game of his career and the Giants’ first this season. He fired a two-hitter in a 2-0 victory. The Giants picked up their first win of September.
Stratton retired the final 12 Colorado hitters. He struck out seven and walked two.
As he walked off the mound in the eighth, Stratton received a nice ovation from many of the 37,800 fans. Once he reached the dugout, he received several high-fives from his teammates, which normally would indicate that his night was over.
Instead, manager Bruce Bochy let Stratton take the mound for the ninth.
“I thought I was done,” Stratton said, “but I’m glad he gave me a chance to go back out there and do it.”
Stratton (10-9) became the Giants’ first pitcher to reach double-digit victories since 2016, when Johnny Cueto (18), Madison Bumgarner (15) and Jeff Samardzija (12) all did so.
Stratton’s shutout was the Giants’ first since Samardzija threw one at San Diego on Aug. 28 of last year.
Stratton began 2018 solidly; through June 1, he was 7-3 with a 4.50 ERA.
He then struggled, and twice was demoted to the minors. The first demotion came after back-to-back starts against Colorado in which he allowed a combined 13 runs on 19 hits in 92⁄3 innings.
On Aug. 14, Stratton made his final appearance for Triple-A Sacramento, giving up a run in six innings at Reno. During his minor-league stints, he didn’t lose faith in himself.
Said Stratton: “If you don’t believe in yourself, then who can believe in you? I appreciate them sending me down and giving me some guidance and letting me work through some things. Hopefully, I can continue to build on this, going into next year as well.”
Since returning to face the Mets on Aug. 21, Stratton has allowed eight earned runs in 341⁄3 innings (2.09 ERA).
The Rockies got only one man as far as second base Friday night. Stratton received some help from his defense, particularly from Gregor Blanco.
With one out and a man on in the sixth, Nolan Arenado smoked a ball to deep left. Blanco raced back and made a high, backhanded grab on the warning track, robbing Arenado of extra bases.
The Giants continued to struggle at the plate. Austin Slater’s single off Tyler Anderson (6-9) in the second brought home Nick Hundley and Joe Panik (two hits apiece).
With that hit up the middle, Slater delivered more runs (two) than the Giants had scored in any of their previous five home games (one apiece).
In fact, the last time they scored more than one run at home was their previous win: a 7-0 dusting of the Mets on Aug. 31.
Blanco, who was part of two World Series title teams, acknowledged how pumped he and his teammates were simply to get another victory.
“It seems like we just won a World Series, something like that,” Blanco said. “It was a huge win for us. You can see how excited everybody was.”
Meanwhile, the Rockies’ lead in the NL West dwindled to a half-game over the Dodgers, who prevailed 3-0 in St. Louis.
Chris Stratton of the Giants (34) celebrates with catcher Nick Hundley after pitching a two-hitter to beat the Rockies.