DENVER -- Jhoulys Chacin's bid for a no-hitter came up short. So did the Giants' attempt at a comeback victory.
After failing to get a hit off the Colorado Rockies right-hander through 62/3 innings Wednesday, the Giants rallied late but couldn't close the gap. They lost 5-4 in the rubber game between two teams far back in the National League West standings.
Chacin had the longest no-hit bid at Coors Field by a Rockie and the longest by any pitcher since Matt Cain went 71/3 hitless innings in 2010. It may have been Chacin who imitated Cain on Wednesday night, but the game's other starter was the one who has imitated Cain in the season's second half.
Madison Bumgarner has a 2.63 ERA since the All-Star break but has hit the kind of tough-luck skid that Cain dealt with for years. The Giants are just 1-7 with Bumgarner on the mound in the second half, and the young left-hander has just one win since July 11 despite consistently pitching well.
"You've got to try to separate that, but it's definitely been a rough patch here," Bumgarner said. "Today felt OK, it felt decent, and I made some pitches that happened to find a hole. I've been through some times like this already (in my career), and I know how to prepare mentally."
Bumgarner is still just 23, but manager Bruce Bochy said he wasn't worried about his left-hander's ability to deal with the lack of help on the field.
"He's a tough kid," Bochy said. "He was fine. He threw well, and he did a real nice job. Our defense got to us that one inning there."
Bochy was referring to the sixth, a nightmare of a frame that began with the teams tied 1-all. The Giants didn't have a hit at the time but scored in the fourth on a walk, error and grounder.
A leadoff single and walk started the trouble in the sixth, and after Bumgarner struck out cleanup hitter Michael Cuddyer for the third time, Wilin Rosario's single scored a run. Bumgarner was pulled, but the Giants appeared to be out of the inning a batter later. Jean Machi induced a grounder back to the mound and threw to second to potentially start a double play, but shortstop Brandon Crawford dropped the throw.
"It's a catch I need to make," Crawford said. "I didn't that time."
The missed opportunity proved costly. Former Giant Yorvit Torrealba followed with a two-run double, putting the Rockies up 4-1. A fifth run came across when Chacin, who still had a no-hitter going at the time, beat out the throw to first on the back end of what looked like a double-play grounder.
"That one inning just got ugly," Bochy said. "We got a couple of double-play balls and we got just one out on them. That hurt."
Chacin had kept the Giants off balance with a dominant slider, and given a four-run lead, he threw four of them to strike out Hunter Pence at the start of the seventh. Pablo Sandoval popped up on a slider, but Crawford took advantage of a fastball up and in, lining a clean single to center.
The hit assured that there would not be a second no-hitter at Coors Field (Hideo Nomo threw one in 1996) and that the Giants would not be no-hit for the second time this season. Cincinnati's Homer Bailey did it on July 2.
"It was just nice to get a hit and put something on the scoreboard," Crawford said.
The Giants weren't done. Gregor Blanco and Marco Scutaro lined back-to-back singles with one out in the eighth, and Brandon Belt's double brought a run home. The Giants scored their third run on Buster Posey's ground out and cut the deficit to one when Pence singled, but they couldn't finish the rally. They went down quietly in the ninth, falling to 25-39 on the road.
The series loss kept the Giants behind the Rockies and San Diego Padres at the bottom of the division. If they don't leapfrog either of those two teams in the final 29 games, the Giants will become just the second team since 1903 to finish last the season after winning a World Series title. The only team to have done it is a 1998 Florida Marlins group that was infamously dismantled a year after winning a ring.
Bochy said he hoped his club would be able to make a push to avoid joining the undesirable club.
"It's not what you set out to do, but considering where you are, it means you played better ball from this point on," he said. "I don't think anybody wants to finish in the cellar."
Giants (Tim Lincecum 7-13) at Arizona (Randall Delgado 4-4),
6:40 p.m. NBCBA