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Giants hold NL West lead, top Rockies

San Francisco Giants catcher Curt Casali,
right, holds up the ball as Colorado Rockies’ C.J.
Cron slid safely home in the seventh inning of
a baseball game in Denver on Sept. 26, 2021
(September 27 in Manila). AP PHOTO

DENVER: The San Francisco Giants moved closer to a division title with a clutch win. Now they hope their home run leader can help them capture the crown.

Brandon Crawford homered to cap a four-run ninth inning and the Giants held their lead in the NL West, beating the Colorado Rockies 6-2 but lost first baseman Brandon Belt to a hand injury.

The Giants, who have won 15 of 19, have a two-game lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers, who beat Arizona 3-0. San Francisco now heads home to Oracle Park with a chance to clinch their first division title since 2012.

Belt left the game in the seventh inning after getting hit on the left hand with a pitch while squaring to bunt. Giants manager Gabe Kapler said a scan was inconclusive and Belt will get X-rays back in San Francisco.

“It’s not time to reflect on us losing Brandon Belt,” Kapler said. “We’re just not there yet.”

Crawford was optimistic Belt wouldn’t be out long.

San Francisco had to work for its sixth straight win at Coors Field, and its 102nd victory overall — its most since winning 103 in 1993.

It was 2-all when reliever Daniel Bard (7-8) walked Steven Duggar and Wilmer Flores, and pinch-hitter Tommy La Stella lined an RBI single with one out.

Rockies manager Bud Black turned to Tyler Kinley to keep it close instead of allowing Bard to face Crawford.

Crawford spoiled the strategy with his 23rd of the season.

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