Ubaldo Jimenez was so good last season, racking up 15 wins before the All-Star break, tossing the first no-hitter in Colorado history and finishing with the lowest ERA ever for the Rockies.
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Nothing went right to start this season.
So Jimenez went to the video. He watched himself from last year before Wednesday night’s start against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The reruns paid off, with Jimenez pitching a four-hitter to win for the first time this season as the Rockies won 3-0 to snap a three-game losing skid.
”I saw a couple things and I said, `This is what I’m going to work on,’ ” he said. ”I been working really hard. It’s not like it came one day.”
Jimenez (1-5) struck out seven and walked none for the first time this season in his 10th start. He retired 14 in a row en route to his third career shutout, and first since May 31, 2010, at San Francisco.
”It feels great. It’s been a long time,” he said, a big smile never leaving his face. ”It was really special and hopefully it stays the same.”
The right-hander owns the lowest road ERA on the Rockies’ staff, but it hadn’t helped him much. He had received a total of five runs of support in 19 previous innings away from home.
”We’ve been waiting for that,” Colorado manager Jim Tracy said. ”He had command of his fastball from the first pitch he threw. He used his fastball to set up all his other pitches. His strikeout to end the game was at 98 mph.
”We can’t win without this guy being the performer he was for us last year.”
After scoring 23 runs in their previous three wins, the Dodgers’ four hits – all singles – tied a season low. Sluggers Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp were a combined 1 for 8, with Kemp striking out to end the game.
”He had us off-stride all night,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said of Jimenez.
Jon Garland (1-5) gave up five hits and three runs in six innings, struck out two and walked one. The right-hander has lost six of his last seven starts, with his lone victory coming on April 20 against Atlanta.
”I felt like I was keeping it down better, for the most part,” Garland said. ”I feel like I could have mixed in a few more off-speed pitches early in the game because it looked like they were coming out swinging. They got a guy on and moved him over. And when you run into a buzzsaw like Ubaldo was, that’s always tough.”
In a bid to shake things up after losing eight of 10 games, Tracy had his club skip batting practice.
After scoring a total of six runs in their previous three losses, the Rockies needed just three runs to end their frustration.
Todd Helton homered into the lower right field seats to lead off the seventh inning, extending Colorado’s lead to 3-0.
The Rockies got sacrifice flies from Jose Morales in the second and Carlos Gonzalez in the third.
NOTES: Colorado 3B Ty Wigginton extended his season-best hitting streak to nine games and is batting .344 during the streak, which began on May 24. … The Dodgers were shut out for the fifth time this season. … The Rockies snapped their six-game road losing streak to NL West opponents. … The Dodgers’ season-high-tying, three-game winning streak ended. … Green Bay Packers linebacker and former USC star Clay Matthews attended the game on the first bobblehead night for Mattingly.