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Question of the Day
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.
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.
Many Rockies regulars sat out, too. No injured Carlos Gonzalez or Troy Tulowitzki, the two stars who received hefty new contracts last winter from big-spending Colorado. Todd Helton is hurt, too.
The Rockies completed their season-ending seven-game road trip at 3-4, bouncing back from a 7-0 shutout a night earlier to avoid a sweep.
Giants reliever Dan Runzler left the game in the top of the seventh with an injury.
NOTES: Rafael Betancourt pitched the ninth for his eighth save in 12 chances as Colorado won the final game of the season for the first time since 2007. … Both teams’ hitting coaches are going under the knife soon. Colorado’s Carney Lansford needs a full right hip replacement, while Hensley “Bam Bam” Meulens of the Giants will undergo surgery on his right knee to repair the meniscus. … The Giants‘ final, franchise-record attendance at 12-year-old AT&T Park was 3,387,303. The team sold out all 81 home games for the second time in franchise history, also done in 2000 for the first year of the waterfront ballpark. … DeRosa _ along with Oakland A’s pitcher Dallas Braden _ will serve as guest studio analyst for MLB Network during the postseason.
By Mark Davis
The nation founders, the Lone Star State thrives
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