SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Kevin Kouzmanoff had three hits and drove in two runs and the Colorado Rockies sent the reigning World Series champions into an early offseason, beating the San Francisco Giants 6-3 Wednesday.
Drew Pomeranz (2-1) outpitched fellow rookie Eric Surkamp (2-2) in their second matchup in two weeks and Jordan Pacheco added a pair of RBI singles for the Rockies, who snapped a seven-game losing streak to the Giants.
San Francisco (86-76) wound up in second place in the NL West behind playoff-bound Arizona, becoming the first defending champion not to make the playoffs since the 2007 St. Louis Cardinals.
That didn’t keep the sellout crowd of 41,873 from taking every last chance to cheer the 2010 champs. The players returned to the field several minutes after the final out to show their appreciation.
Departing Giants managing partner Bill Neukom received a rousing standing ovation and a “THANK YOU BILL” tribute on the center-field scoreboard before the seventh inning. Newly promoted CEO Larry Baer likely will begin discussions soon with general manager Brian Sabean about a contract extension.
Pat Burrell, contemplating retirement if his troublesome right foot doesn’t fully heal, ran in from left field to a standing ovation before the start of the seventh. An emotional Burrell hugged and high-fived his teammates and came back out of the dugout for a curtain call, waving to the fans.
This was a drastic difference for San Francisco on the final day a year after the club clinched the NL West and the franchise’s first playoff berth since 2003 by beating the rival San Diego Padres. That led to an improbable postseason run and the first championship for the Giants since moving West from New York in 1958.
On Wednesday, San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy replaced slugger Carlos Beltran in the fifth inning, calling him in from right field and inserting Andres Torres. Beltran finished with a .300 batting average after he went 0 for 2. He becomes a free agent after joining the Giants in a July 28 trade from the New York Mets.
It was a disappointing day for the Rockies (73-89), too. They had plans _ and, on paper, all the talent _ to make a run at the division title.
These two clubs were considered the contenders to win the West when the season began back in April, and both have busy winters ahead to fill voids: Among the Rockies‘ top priorities is acquiring a front-line starter, while the Giants again need a big bat.
Bochy and Rockies manager Jim Tracy went with young lineups to evaluate who might make an impact come 2012.
San Francisco’s Wednesday lineup featured only one starter from opening day in Burrell and only two players who were even on the 25-man roster on March 31 at Dodger Stadium: Burrell and DeRosa.
San Francisco lost reigning NL Rookie of the Year catcher Buster Posey to a devastating season-ending leg injury in a home-plate collision with Florida’s Scott Cousins on May 25 and also went without second baseman Freddy Sanchez because of a shoulder injury that required surgery.
Bochy made a late switch to start Surkamp in the finale and gave workhorse Matt Cain a rest on the final day.