DENVER -- A Rockies offense that dominated Wednesday night to the tune of 22 hits and 17 runs went mysteriously missing for much of Thursday afternoon. But there was no mystery as far as center fielder Dexter Fowler was concerned about his key misplay in the Rockies' 4-2 loss to the Giants."I just missed it," Fowler said. Ryan Theriot's fly ball to lead off the fifth inning should have been an easy out, but instead it bounced off Fowler's glove for an error that led to a two-run inning and a 4-0 lead against ageless lefty Jamie Moyer, who battled through 112 pitches in 5 1/3 innings of a decent outing (eight hits, four runs, two earned) despite defensive miscues and no run support. The Rockies' offense finally woke up after Tyler Colvin's triple with one out in the sixth for the first hit off Madison Bumgarner (1-1), who gave up four hits and one run in 7 1/3 innings. Colvin also drew a bases-loaded, two-out walk from Giants closer Brian Wilson (first save) before Marco Scutaro flied to right to end the potential comeback. The error does not blur the woes of the Rockies, who dropped two of three to the Giants in their first National League West series and will face the D-backs starting Friday and the Padres starting Monday in three-game sets to complete the season-opening homestand.
The Rockies have managed all of one earned run against a left-handed starter in three games. They beat the Astros' Wandy Rodriguez on unearned runs in the season opener, were shut out by Barry Zito in Monday's opener of the three-game set with the Giants, and couldn't solve Bumgarner.
However, they came close to swinging Thursday's game with a late rally, which started with Troy Tulowitzki's double and included singles by Michael Cuddyer and Jordan Pacheco and the Colvin walk against Wilson -- who labored through pain from a left ankle that he twisted while facing Colvin.
Also, pinch-hitter Todd Helton's one-out, bases-loaded line drive nearly landed in right field but instead curved into the glove of Giants second baseman Emmanuel Burriss.
But all that simply made the error loom larger.
"The whole situation would have changed if it would have been a 2-1 ballgame," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said.
Fowler's easy gate and stylish flourishes no doubt made the boos of the fans more vociferous. That it was a day game gave apologists an opportunity to make an excuse.
"There was the sun there, but I was trying to keep it out of the sun," said Fowler, who atoned to a degree by driving in the Rockies' first run on a two-out single after Colvin's triple. "It was a ball that should've been caught. Stuff like that happens.
"Nothing you can do to bring it back."Errors are hurting Moyer (0-2) as he attempts to supplant Brooklyn's Jack Quinn (49 years, 70 days) as the oldest pitcher in history to earn a win. Chris Nelson committed a throwing error on first-inning leadoff man Angel Pagan's grounder that didn't cost a run but forced Moyer to eventually pitch out of a bases-loaded jam. And Fowler's error was the fifth the Rockies have committed in Moyer's two starts.
The two earned runs scored on what Moyer called "backbreaker" hits -- Brett Pill's end-of-the-bat single with two on in the third, and Melky Cabrera's dribbler through the middle with two out in the fourth.Moyer did not cast blame.
"As long as my teammates are giving the best effort, and I feel that they are giving a great effort, all I can do is pitch," Moyer said.
Tulowitzki said, "That's why he made this club. He keeps us in the game, gives us a chance to win. Without those costly errors, we're right there."
Moyer, at 49 years and 146 days, is 26 years and 256 days older than Bumgarner, 22 years and 255 days old. Thursday marked the biggest age difference between starts since Satchel Paige started for the Athletics on Sept. 25, 1965, when he was 30 years and 35 days older than the Red Sox's Bill Monboquette.Bumgarner showed respect for his elder.
"He knows how to pitch," Bumgarner said. "He's a competitor, even at that age."
But Bumgarner was better. In five games against the Rockies since the start of last season, Bumgarner has given up three earned runs in 34 1/3 innings.
Colvin had the triple, later had a 13-pitch at-bat against Bumgarner and played a role in the ninth.
"For us to come back like that, to be just a base hit away from tying the ballgame, it psychs me," Colvin said.
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.