Zito, Giants beaten 6-1 by the Rockies

Barry Zito was very good throughout last season, and even better

in the postseason when he went 2-0 with a 1.69 ERA in three playoff

starts.

Now, the San Francisco left-hander can only shake his head in

disbelief as he struggles through this season.

In his second start since returning to the Giants’ rotation,

Zito allowed five runs and nine hits and struck out one in four

innings of San Francisco’s 6-1 loss to the Colorado Rockies on

Monday night.

He is 0-8 with a 9.61 ERA on the road this season and has no

answers for his troubles.

”I don’t know. I don’t know,” Zito said. ”I’ve looked at tape

of my starts in the playoffs and my starts this year. I’ve made

more pitches this year without the results.”

Colorado’s Todd Helton homered to move within three hits of

2,500. Juan Nicasio tossed six shutout innings and added an RBI

single, and Charlie Blackmon also homered for the Rockies.

”He left some pitches up and he paid for them,” San Francisco

manager Bruce Bochy said of Zito (4-10). ”He had trouble with the

left-handed hitters.”

Buster Posey singled and reached base for the 49th straight game

against Colorado.

Zito worked out of trouble in the first inning before the

Rockies got to him in the second.

Nolan Arenado led off with a bloop single – one of his three

hits – and Helton crushed a 1-1 curveball into the Rockies bullpen

to give Colorado a 2-0 lead. It was Helton’s ninth homer of the

season and the 363rd of his 17-year career.

Blackmon, who entered the game in the second inning for Dexter

Fowler, led off the third with his fourth homer to give the Rockies

a 3-0 lead. Colorado tacked on two more runs in the fourth on a

bases-loaded single by Nicasio and a ground out by Blackmon.

”I looked the film on the home runs. Buster had his glove on

the ground and that’s where the pitches were,” Zito said. ”I

wanted the curveballs down and away and that’s where they

were.”

The Giants got a scare when right fielder Hunter Pence crashed

into the wall trying to track down Michael Cuddyer’s triple in the

first inning. Pence lay on the warning track before San Francisco’s

trainers came out to tend to him. After a brief examination he

stayed in the game.

”He hit the wall pretty good, I mean really good, and got the

wind knocked out of him,” Bochy said. ”Once he got his wind back

he was all right.”

Pence and the Giants couldn’t do much against Nicasio (8-6), who

tied a season high with nine strikeouts and allowed four hits. He

worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the first inning and pitched

around two hit-batters before leaving after 95 pitches.

Nicasio finished his night by striking out Brandon Crawford with

runners on first and third to end the sixth.

The Giants spoiled the shutout attempt on Joaquin Arias’ two-out

RBI double off Jeff Francis in the ninth.

NOTES: The outfield sprinklers came on briefly while the Giants

were in the field in the fourth inning. … Giants LHP Jeremy

Affeldt (left groin strain) threw a bullpen session in Arizona on

Monday. He next will go on a rehab assignment. … San Francisco OF

Andres Torres (left Achilles strain) flew to North Carolina to see

a specialist. … Giants RHP Yusmeiro Petit (0-0) will face

Colorado RHP Chad Bettis (0-2) on Tuesday night.