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SF@SD: Morse ties the game with a home run to center

Past performance isn't always the best indicator for how a team will perform in any series. Ask Giants right fielder Hunter Pence, who likes to quote a motivational speech by Ray Lewis in which the former All-Pro linebacker says, "I'm not the same man I was five minutes ago."

But if track record means anything at all, the Giants should have a good chance at sustaining the momentum they built in Sunday's series finale at San Diego when they travel to Denver to begin a three-game series Monday against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field.

Five Giants with at least 20 at-bats accumulated at Coors Field -- Michael Morse, Buster Posey, Brandon Belt, Joaquin Arias and Hector Sanchez -- are batting over .300 at the hitter-friendly ballpark in their careers.

Morse's average stands at an even .500 (20-for-40) with two homers and 11 RBIs. Posey has been prolific from a run-producing standpoint, hitting .402 at Coors Field with seven home runs and 22 RBIs. Belt (.305, four homers, 11 RBIs), Arias (.429) and Sanchez (.353) also have been robust hitters in the Mile High City.

Angel Pagan hasn't topped .300 at Coors Field but has been productive all-around. He's hitting .294 in 22 games at Coors Field with 17 runs scored and 13 RBIs.

Third baseman Pablo Sandoval, who's likely to rejoin the Giants' lineup after receiving a "mental break" from manager Bruce Bochy on Sunday, owns a .503 slugging percentage at Coors Field with 23 runs scored and 25 RBIs in 40 games. Sandoval also hit for the cycle at Coors Field on Sept. 15, 2011. Likewise, Pence has 21 runs scored and 22 RBIs at Coors Field in 35 games.

Jorge De La Rosa will attempt to stop the Giants. Colorado's Opening Day starter is still looking for his first win of the season in his fifth start Monday.

De La Rosa was much improved in his most recent start, allowing just two earned runs in six innings but taking the loss as the Rockies fell, 4-2, in San Diego. He threw 90 pitches, his second-highest pitch count of the season, though it was the first time he'd completed five or more innings this year.

The Rockies ace had given up five, four, and six runs in his first three starts, lasting 4 1/3 innings each time out. The damage has come on four hits each start, with De La Rosa enduring some poor timing and efficient rallies. He has yielded four home runs, one in each start, and all to right-handed hitters. De La Rosa is holding lefties to a .188 average.

De La Rosa was dominant at home in 2013, going 10-1 with a 2.76 ERA, the lowest ERA ever by a Rockies pitcher at Coors Field. That eclipsed Ubaldo Jimenez's previous mark of 3.19 set in 2010. He is 5-1 with a 3.81 ERA in eight career starts at Coors Field against the Giants, and the Rockies are 7-1 at home in his starts, though the Giants tagged him for six runs on the road in a 6-5 Rockies loss on April 11.

Giants: Trying to improve Coors Field karma
San Francisco went 3-7 at Coors Field last year, a performance they'll obviously try to reverse.

The Giants lost in all kinds of fashions at Coors Field, where they own a 71-87 mark all-time. Last May 17 they dropped a 10-9 decision in a typical Coors Field game, falling behind 10-5 after six innings before closing the gap. One day later, the Giants again allowed 10 runs but scored just twice.

San Francisco then lost three games in a row at Coors Field by decreasing margins: 5-0, 4-1 and 2-1. In the Giants' final Coors Field appearance of the season, Jhoulys Chacin no-hit them for 6 2/3 innings before Brandon Crawford singled sharply to center field. Colorado held on to win, 5-4.

Rockies: Starters seeking health
The Rockies' rotation has struggled to stay healthy at the start of the season, with Chacin and Tyler Chatwood starting the spring on the disabled list and Brett Anderson joining them on the DL after his third start.

But the Rockies climbed above .500 for the first time since last June 23 as the staff put together a string of five quality starts from Tuesday through Saturday.

Juan Nicasio pitched six innings and allowed two earned runs Tuesday in San Diego, followed by De La Rosa's six innings and two earned runs Wednesday, Franklin Morales' six innings and one earned run Thursday, and Chatwood and Jordan Lyles both pitching seven innings without allowing an earned run Friday and Saturday, respectively, at home against the Phillies.

"The game tends to fall into place when you get starting pitching," manager Walt Weiss said Sunday. "We had some guys step up. We're talking about missing three of the top guys in our rotation to start the season. If you did that to any rotation in baseball, it would be a challenge."

Lyles, Chatwood and the bullpen kept the Phillies from recording a single extra-base hit in the first two games of the series.

Worth noting
• Giants right-hander Santiago Casilla has allowed two unearned runs while appearing in a team-high 10 games.

• Opponents are 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position against Giants left-hander David Huff.

• Giants closer Sergio Romo continued his success against the Padres on Sunday by recording his seventh save against them in as many chances. He has allowed San Diego two earned runs in 37 career innings (0.49 ERA).

• Nolan Arenado's run-scoring single in the third inning Sunday for Colorado extended his hitting streak to a career-high 11 games. His previous high of 10 games was set Aug. 2-13, 2013. Arenado was 2-for-5 on the day and is hitting .372 (16-for-43) with four runs, four doubles, and five RBIs over the course of his streak.

• Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki reached base five times Sunday, going 3-for-3 with two doubles, two runs, an RBI and two walks, one intentional. He is hitting .337 (33-for-98) in 28 career games against the Phillies.

• Colorado's Justin Morneau had five RBIs Sunday, the ninth time in his career he's hit five or more RBIs in a game. He now has 12 RBIs in his last five games and is 8-for-19 with three doubles, three homers, and five runs during the span.

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