German Marquez pitched six one-run innings for his first win since Aug. 4, and the visiting Colorado Rockies scored early and often against San Francisco Giants ace Johnny Cueto en route to a critical 7-2 victory in the opener of a four-game series Monday night
The win came hours after the Rockies (24-29) formally ruled star Nolan Arenado out for the rest of the regular season due to left AC joint inflammation. He was placed on the injured list.
Colorado responded to the bad news by picking up valuable ground in the National League wild-card race, including moving ahead of the New York Mets (24-30) and into fifth place in the duel for two playoff spots.
The loss dropped the Giants (26-27) into a tie for third place in the wild-card race with Milwaukee (26-27), one game behind Cincinnati (28-27) and a half-game behind Philadelphia (27-27). Colorado is now just two games back of San Francisco.
Marquez (3-6) was staked to a 2-0 lead before even taking the mound, then took a three-hit shutout into the bottom of the fifth inning, by which time the advantage had expanded to 7-0.
He allowed five hits with one walk and three strikeouts in his second victory of the season over the Giants.
Former Giant Kevin Pillar homered and Elias Diaz lashed a two-run single for the key Colorado hits, eight of which came off Cueto (2-2) in his 4 1/3 innings.
Pillar also singled to ignite the two-run first inning, with Josh Fuentes and Ryan McMahon driving in the runs with two-out hits.
Pillar's homer, his sixth of the season, came leading off the third.
Cueto balked home a run in the fourth to make it 4-0 before the Rockies busted the game open with a three-run fifth. Garrett Hampson capped the uprising with a run-scoring single after Diaz's two-RBI hit.
Cueto was charged with seven runs. He walked three and struck out four.
Alex Dickerson, in his first game back from paternity leave, had a solo home run, his ninth, in the seventh inning for the Giants. Donovan Solano drove in San Francisco's other run with a fifth-inning single.
Pillar and Fuentes finished with two hits apiece for the Rockies, who won their second straight.
Dickerson (single, double and homer) and Solano (two singles) combined for five of the six hits for the Giants, who have lost three of four.
--Field Level Media