DENVER -- The Giants held a hitter's meeting prior to Tuesday's 3-2 victory at Coors Field, and of course, reporters are not invited to such gatherings.
So there's no telling whether it was all fire and brimstone or involved audio-visual equipment or if any chickens lost their lives.
But before a word was spoken, the Giants already understood the point: they needed to hit more. And they did. Barely.
Kelby Tomlinson took an 0-2 fastball on the fists and turned it into a rainmaker. His jam-shot single to left field scored Buster Posey, who had reached on a two-base error, and the Giants snuck out of Coors Field with a victory that kept them clinging to the N.L.'s top wild card entry.
Jeff Samardzija dominated over seven innings while matching his season high with nine strikeouts and Eduardo Nez knocked in the Giants' other two runs, hitting a home run in the third inning and then an RBI ground out that erased a one-run deficit in the eighth.
Santiago Casilla, still trusted with a one-run lead in the ninth inning despite an NL-most seven blown saves, might have earned back a speck of faith. He got noted Giant slayer Nolan Arenado to fly out, and recorded his 31st save when Gerardo Parra hit into a double play.
The Giants (74-64) remained a half-game ahead of the Cardinals and 1 games in front of the Mets in the N.L. wild-card picture after their two closest pursuers both won.
The Giants were 4-50 when trailing after seven innings. They did not exactly blast their way to this comeback win.
They took Samardzija off the hook for an undeserved loss when they squeaked across the tying run in the eighth. Gorkys Hernandez singled to right for the Giants' fifth hit of the evening -- the most they've had in six games on this road trip -- and Trevor Brown hit a hard grounder that Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado smothered with a diving stop to his left.
It had the makings of another rally-killing, luck-deprived double play. Instead, Arenado's throw pulled DJ LeMahieu off second base. Pinch hitter Ehire Adrianza put down a sacrifice bunt, and Hernandez scored on Nez's ground out to short.
They used even less muscle to score the go-ahead run in the ninth. Rockies shortstop Daniel Descalso fielded Posey's grounder and threw wildly for a two-base error. Hunter Pence followed with one of his patented Baltimore chop singles over the pitcher's mound.
Brandon Crawford struck out against tough left-hander Boone Logan, and the Giants thought so little of Tomlinson's chances that they attempted a suicide squeeze -- with Posey running from third, mind you -- that the September call-up fouled off.
But Tomlinson's quick and short swing got enough of a pitch on his hands as Posey trotted home.
Samardzija appears to be immune to the Coors Effect. He entered with a 2.01 ERA in 221/3 career innings here over five games (two starts), and he had the kind of stuff Tuesday that would've played in any environment.
Samardzija had one of his liveliest fastballs of the season and paired it with his curve and slider to overpower the Rockies. But a shutout here is an ambitious ask.
The Rockies scored the tying run in the third inning on a play that was emblematic of the Giants' fortunes in this second half. Raimel Tapia drew a leadoff walk, which are dipped in frog toxin here, and stole second base. DJ LeMahieu followed with a hard ground ball up the middle and shortstop Brandon Crawford made a sensational, diving stop that seemingly would prevent the run from scoring.
Tapia, perhaps assuming the ball had gotten through, kept on running. Crawford never had a chance to throw him out, as the ball popped out of his glove as he attempted to transfer.
The Rockies took a 2-1 lead in the fifth. Tony Wolters led off with a double that clanked off the right field scoreboard, advanced on a sacrifice bunt and scored the tying run on a sacrifice fly.
Samardzija yielded nothing more. He held the Rockies to four hits, walked one and matched a season high with nine strikeouts in seven innings.
Prior to the game, somebody had to say something. The Giants entered Tuesday having produced four or fewer hits in five consecutive games. Not only had that never been done in modern franchise history, but it matched the longest such streak by any major league club in baseball history.
Their .099 average over those five games marked just the second time a major league team has hit under .100 in a five-game span. The Minnesota Twins batted .096 from May 1-6, 2012 (stats courtesy of the Elias Sports Bureau).
Those factoids probably weren't read aloud from a lectern during the hitter's meeting. Honestly, it's hard to imagine that Tony Robbins or Robin Williams or Ted Williams could say any magic words.
There are only bare facts, including this: if it doesn't turn around soon, this will be the most disappointing even year in Giants history.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy already had signaled that Brandon Belt would be on the bench against Rockies lefty Tyler Anderson, who quietly has been one of the N.L.'s more effective pitchers in the second half. Bochy also rested two other lefty hitters: Joe Panik yielded to Tomlinson and Denard Span (0 for his last 20) took a seat for Hernandez.
"Let me tell you, hitting is one of the toughest things, if not the toughest thing, in all of sports," Bochy said. "It can be tough to get back on track. It can be contagious. Self doubt can creep in there. You can do a lot of drills in the cage, the soft toss, the tee ... and still, when you're seeing live pitching, you've got to have the confidence to carry it into the game. Still, when things get into game speed, you can get back into those bad habits."