- Associated Press - Sunday, May 8, 2016

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Jeff Samardzija had another solid performance for San Francisco. Eddie Butler was just a little better.

Samardzija pitched into the eighth inning, but the Giants managed just six hits in a 2-0 loss to Butler and the Colorado Rockies on Sunday.

“A really impressive outing,” San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. “That’s a tough loss for him. We didn’t do enough offensively to help him out. He did a great job of saving the bullpen.”

Samardzija (4-2) struck out nine in 7 2/3 innings and was charged with two runs and eight hits. The right-hander had won each of his last three starts.

“I love facing those guys,” Samardzija said. “That lineup brings it every single time. They’re smart hitters. I try breaking balls away and they went that way with them.”

Nolan Arenado had three hits, helping the Rockies salvage a split of the four-game series. Butler pitched six innings of four-hit ball for his first win since being promoted from the minors.

Arenado, the majors’ leading home run hitter, just missed hitting for the cycle for the first time in his career. The star third baseman hit a run-scoring triple off the brick wall in right-center in his first at-bat, singled in the third and doubled in the eighth.

“He’s on top of the plate and he knows he can handle the ball in,” Samardzija said. “He hits off-speed pitches in the zone well. Your best bet is to keep him off balance and off the sweet spot of the bat. You sort of pick your poison with him.”

Hunter Pence had three hits for San Francisco, breaking out of a 3-for-15 slump.

Butler (1-1) struck out six in his first win since May 30, 2015. Butler, a first-round pick in 2012, has five career victories - three against San Francisco.

The Giants couldn’t get much going in the series finale.

“The early going hurt us with some empty at-bats and runners on,” Bochy said. “We couldn’t push anything across. That’s two days in a row no runs after nine innings. I didn’t see that coming.”

San Francisco had a runner thrown out trying to steal third in the first, left the bases loaded in the second and stranded a runner at third in the seventh when Brandon Crawford and Mac Williamson struck out swinging.

The Giants also put two on in the eighth before Chad Qualls got Buster Posey to fly out. Posey is scheduled for a day off Monday.

“It’s fair to say he’s been out of synch the past few games,” Bochy said. “He’s not seeing the ball like he normally does.”

NEAR SPOTLESS DEBUT

San Francisco’s Albert Suarez made his major league debut with a scoreless ninth inning. He gave up a single and then got the next guy to hit into a double play.

“He threw the ball well,” Bochy said. “He used all four pitches. He lost the first guy but didn’t lose his poise and came back to get the double play. We need someone like him to pick up innings for us.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Giants: RHP George Kontos (right flexor strain) threw 21 pitches and gave up one hit for Triple-A Sacramento in his first rehab appearance.

UP NEXT

Giants: RHP Jake Peavy (1-3) pitches against Toronto on Monday at AT&T; Park. Peavy gave up four home runs in his previous start and has a 9.00 ERA.

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