Jose Valverde has been OK in save situations. Tie games, well, they don’t stay tied for very long.
Valverde was charged with six runs — one earned — in two-thirds of an inning Friday as the Rockies broke out with eight runs in the 10th inning and beat the Tigers 12-4, snapping an eight-game losing streak.
It was the most runs scored in an extra inning since the Angels scored nine in the 13th against the Orioles on Aug. 16, 2009.
Valverde dug his own hole tonight. Eric Young Jr. attempted a sacrifice bunt after Michael Cuddyer singled to lead off the 10th, and Valverde threw the ball away, giving the Rockies runners on first and third. The Tigers were able to cut down the go-ahead run at home plate on another grounder afterwards, but Wilin Rosario broke the tie with a two-run single.
Valverde remained in after that, but he wishes he didn’t. He was finally replaced after a walk, a sac fly and an RBI single. Luis Marte took over and immediately gave up back-to-back homers to Carlos Gonzalez and Michael Cuddyer, scoring the final four runs of the frame.
The Tigers fell to 30-34 with the loss.
The Rockies had been 0-9 against American League teams this season.
The Giants placed outfielder Hunter Pence on the 10-day disabled list with a right thumb sprain, per an official announcement on Friday. Pence initially sustained the injury during the club’s home opener on April 3, when he dove to intercept a line drive double from Robinson Cano and jammed his thumb. Weeks of playing through the pain hasn’t worked, so he’ll take a breather while the Giants give outfielder Mac Williamson a chance to start in left after getting called up from Triple-A Fresno.
Pence, 35, wouldn’t pin his recent struggles on his injury, but it’s clear that he’s having difficulty finding his footing this year. He slashed a meager .172/.197/.190 through 61 plate appearances in 2018, collecting just one extra-base hit and two walks during the Giants’ dismal 7-11 stretch. While it’s far too early in the season to make any final judgments, it doesn’t look like the veteran outfielder will be replicating the .275+ average, 4.0+ fWAR totals of years past (at least, not anytime soon).
Williamson, meanwhile, has gotten off to a hot start in Triple-A. Prior to his call-up this weekend, the 27-year-old batted an incredible .487/.600/1.026 with six home runs and a 1.626 OPS through his first 50 PA. A hot Triple-A bat doesn’t always survive the transition to the majors, but the Giants will use all the help they can get — especially as they take on the AL West-leading Angels this weekend.