Crawford leaves with injury as SF Giants’ homestand starts with a thud

SAN FRANCISCO – The Giants have been the definition of average since they owned a 14-7 record and sat in first place in the National League West at the end of April.

From the beginning of May to the end of their 10-game road trip over the weekend, the Giants went 15-17. They’ve had two five-game losing streaks and one six-game win streak. Some days it looks like they can slug it out with any team in baseball. On others, the offense barely makes a peep.

Perhaps this season-long nine-game homestand represents an opportunity for the Giants to regain some of that early-season swagger and climb a bit closer to first place.

That march will have to start another day.

Left-handed reliever Jose Alvarez gave up a three-run home run to Charlie Blackmon in the top of the sixth inning and the Giants never recovered in a 5-3 loss to the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday at Oracle Park.

Alvarez replaced righty Zack Littell, who had allowed singles to Jose Iglesias and Randal Grichuk to start the sixth. Blackmon, coming in as a pinch-hitter, then blasted an 82 mph changeup off Alvarez 423 feet into McCovey Cove for his 200th career home run.

The Giants didn’t manage any runs after a three-run first inning as they lost for the fourth time in six games to fall to 29-25 overall.

San Francisco’s homestand continues with games against Colorado on Wednesday and Thursday, a three-game set with the NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers from Friday to Sunday, and a three-game series with the Kansas City Royals next week.

The Giants entered Tuesday 5 1/2 games back of the Dodgers.

Shortstop Brandon Crawford exited Tuesday’s game in the bottom of the fifth inning with what the Giants said was tightness in his right quadriceps muscle.

It’s unclear when exactly Crawford felt the injury. He was due to hit in the bottom of the fifth with runners on second and third base and two out, but Thairo Estrada had to enter as a pinch hitter.

Estrada then lined out to Rockies shortstop Jose Iglesias to end the threat as the Giants failed to expand on its 3-2 lead. Estrada remained in the game and starting in the top of the sixth inning, played second base as Donovan Walton moved to shortstop.

Crawford swung a hot bat in the Giants’ four-game series with the Miami Marlins, going 3-for-8 with a double, a triple and a home. He had five RBI in the series, which included his fifth career grand slam.

Wilmer Flores homered in the first inning. After Connor Joe’s solo home run in the top of the first, Flores took a Germán Márquez sinker over the left field wall for a 2-1 Giants lead. Luis González later singled to score Joc Pederson from second base for a two-run San Francisco advantage.

Giants starter Carlos Rodón had his second-shortest outing of the season, throwing 98 pitches and lasting just four innings. He allowed two earned runs and struck out five.

Rodón had a 3-0 record and a 1.17 ERA with 38 strikeouts in April, but has mostly struggled since. In May, he went 1-4 with a 5.67 ERA with 26 strikeouts in May, as opponents had a .292 batting average with three home runs.

Contributed by local news sources

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