Giants 6, Rockies 3
Facing San Francisco’s remarkable rotation is doubly difficult
when the Giants are staked to a big, early lead like they’ve been
the last two nights at Coors Field.
Jonathan Sanchez gave up two hits over 6 1-3 innings one night
after Tim Lincecum flirted with a no-hitter and the Giants beat
Colorado 6-3 Tuesday night, spoiling Rockies ace Ubaldo Jimenez’s
return from the disabled list.
San Francisco’s offense, which spotted Lincecum a five-run
first-inning cushion in an 8-1 win, gave Sanchez (2-1) a four-run
lead to work with thanks to Pablo Sandoval’s three-run homer before
the lefty even stepped foot on the mound.
”It’s great when you start the game 4-0,” Sanchez said. ”You
can just go out there and pitch, throw the ball and see what
Just as they did the night before, when Pat Burrell’s three-run
first-inning homer highlighted a 5-0 lead Lincecom had before he
walked out to the mound.
”It would be nice to not spot them four runs,” Rockies
shortstop Troy Tulowitzki said. ”It’s a tough uphill battle for
us, especially with the pitchers that they have.”
Aubrey Huff also went deep for the Giants, who go for the sweep
Wednesday when Matt Cain faces Jorge De La Rosa after cutting their
four-game deficit in the NL West in half by taking the first two
games of the series.
”He didn’t have that 98 mph fastball he had last year,” Huff
said of Jimenez. ”Obviously, coming off the DL he’s probably just
feeling it out a little bit. Still had some great offspeed stuff
tonight. Pablo jumped on him but he pitched well after that. After
that first inning he kind of settled down.”
Sanchez gave up three runs, two of them earned, on two hits over
6 1-3 innings, walking four and striking out four, stifling the
heart of Colorado’s batting order, which finished 0-for-12.
Sanchez allowed only one hit through the first six innings one
night after Lincecum took a no-hitter into the seventh. Dexter
Fowler led off the first with a double but the Rockies went hitless
after that until Ty Wigginton singled with one out in the seventh,
putting runners at first and second.
Ramon Ramirez replaced Sanchez and struck out Chris Iannetta
before walking pinch-hitter Jonathan Herrera to load the bases for
Fowler, who doubled home two runs to make it 6-3. Ramirez then
whiffed Ryan Spilborghs on three straight sliders to end the
Javier Lopez pitched a perfect eighth and Brian Wilson got the
final three outs for his fifth save in six chances.
The Giants have won nine of 12 since starting out 1-4.
Jimenez (0-1) went on the DL after an awful season opener, the
culprit a cut cuticle on his pitching thumb that prevented him from
getting oomph on his heater and spin on his breaking pitches. The
Rockies didn’t slack off during their ace’s absence, jumping out to
a 12-4 start.
After being dominated by Lincecum, the Rockies said they were
glad their own ace was back on the mound Tuesday night.
He was rusty, however, and once again the Rockies found
themselves playing catch-up against a very good pitcher – Sanchez
hasn’t allowed more than three earned runs over his last 11 starts
dating back to Aug. 30 of last season, forging a 1.75 ERA over that
Jimenez’s second pitch plunked Aaron Rowand, who came around to
score on Buster Posey’s single before Sandoval deposited an 84 mph
slider into the Rockies’ bullpen in right-center for a three-run
homer, his fifth.
Jimenez allowed just two more singles through five innings. He
walked two and struck out six.
”My velocity was a little bit off. It’s not like I’m going to
come back throwing 100 mph right away,” said Jimenez, whose
fastball topped out at 94 mph but found better control when he
dialed it back.
Jimenez was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the fifth and Seth
Smith’s sacrifice fly scored Wigginton.
”Looked like he settled down after the first inning,” Giants
manager Bruce Bochy said. ”He had good stuff, I thought Pablo hit
a good pitch. Our guys fought hard that first inning, turns out to
be the difference.”
Huff’s two-run homer off Jose Morales made it 6-1 in the
”It’s an important game,” Tulowitzki said of the series
finale. ”You don’t want anyone coming in here and sweeping you. At
the same time, it is April still.”
Notes: Rowand suffered a bruised left forearm when he was hit by
Jimenez and left the game after three innings, replaced by Darren
Ford. He’s day-to-day. … To make room for Jimenez, the Rockies
sent 3B Ian Stewart, mired in a 2-for-26 start, down to Triple-A
Colorado Springs to get more at-bats.