SAN FRANCISCO | Keaton Winn had a career-high nine strikeouts in six innings to get his first major league win, and the San Francisco Giants completed a three-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies with a 6-3 victory Sunday.
Thairo Estrada, Mitch Haniger and Joc Peterson homered for the Giants. Estrada’s homer was his second in two games, while Haniger’s drive was his second in three days after missing 64 games with a broken right forearm.
The Giants edged back into the playoff race with three straight wins following a six-game losing streak that matched their season worst. San Francisco pulled within 1 1/2 games of Arizona for the final NL wild card.
With four of their final 19 games coming against Colorado next week at Coors Field, the Giants have to like their chances. San Francisco has won eight of nine against the Rockies this season and is 16-1 versus Colorado dating to Aug. 21, 2022.
“Obviously, a crucial stretch coming down last 20 games or so,” Haniger said. “We all know this and we’re meeting the challenge head on. The offense has been looking good.”
Winn (1-2), who began his career as a reliever and earned a four-inning save against the Cardinals in his big league debut June 13, was crisp against the Rockies in his third major league start. He didn’t walk anyone, allowed five hits, three runs and threw 62 of his 80 pitches for strikes.
“Stuff-wise, everything felt good the entire game,” Winn said. “There were no dips or anything. It’s amazing. Something I’ve dreamed of since I was a little kid.”
A fifth-round draft pick from Iowa Western Community College in 2018, Winn also avoided serious injury when he was hit on his left leg near the knee by a 108.4 mph line drive off Elehuris Montero’s bat in the second.
The ball ricocheted away from the pitcher and Montero was credited with an infield single as Winn crouched near the mound in obvious pain. After being checked out by an athletic trainer, Winn remained in the game and urged manager Gabe Kapler to keep him in.
“Just prepared all week for that game, so coming out in the second inning would have (stunk),” Winn said. “Just glad they trusted me enough to stay in the game.”
Kapler praised Winn for pitching through the pain and settling back down.
“You could tell that he was in a lot of pain,” Kapler said. “The interesting part is he lost a little command there for a minute and some balls got hit hard. After that, he settled in nicely. The strike-throwing was impressive. We don’t see that ratio of strikes to balls very often. He was just filling it up on the first pitch (and) was in count leverage all day.”
Nolan Jones followed Montero’s hit with a single before Hunter Goodwin’s two-run triple. Sean Bouchard’s sacrifice fly gave Colorado a 3-0 lead.
The Giants trimmed it to 3-2 in the bottom of the second following a fielder’s choice grounder by Brandon Crawford and an RBI single from Luis Matos.
Estrada led off the third with his 12th home run. Haniger’s two-out, two-run drive later in the inning gave the Giants a 5-3 lead.
Pederson hit his 13th home run in the fifth.
It was another indication that San Francisco’s offense has turned around after scuffling for so long. In the five games preceding the series with Colorado, the Giants scored 11 runs total. They outscored the Rockies 24-12 in the three games that followed.
Kapler credited the offensive turnaround to the normal ebbs and flows of a season, along with the Giants realizing the task at hand with the playoffs looming.
“Probably a combination of those two things, and I would add our lineup getting healthier and healthier,” Kapler said.
All three home runs by San Francisco came off starter Peter Lambert (3-7). Lambert, who missed all of 2020 and most of 2021 following Tommy John surgery, allowed six runs and eight hits in five innings.
Ryan Walker, Tyler Rogers and Camilo Doval each retired three batters to secure the win for the Giants.
Montero had three hits for Colorado. Leadoff batter Charlie Blackmon went 0 for 4, ending his streak of consecutive games reaching base at 22. It was the longest active streak in the majors.
The Rockies finished 1-5 on their road trip and are 9-32 against teams from the NL West.
LOOK MA, NO GLOVE
Giants third baseman Wilmer Flores made a barehanded grab of Ezequiel Tovar’s short hopper and a one-bounce throw to first baseman LaMonte Wade Jr., who made the scoop for the out.
Giants OF Michael Conforto (left hamstring strain) is day to day. Kapler expects Conforto back in the lineup soon.
Rockies: LHP Kyle Freeland (6-14, 5.09 ERA) faces the Cubs in Colorado on Monday. Freeland has lost three of his previous four starts against Chicago.
Giants: RHP Alex Cobb (7-6, 3.74) will start Monday’s home game against the Guardians. Cobb is 4-2 in his career versus Cleveland.