D-backs trounced by Rockies 7-3
DENVER (AP) — Even without overpowering stuff, Ubaldo Jimenez is tough to beat.
Jimenez threw eight shutout innings, Seth Smith homered twice and the
Colorado Rockies beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 7-3 on Wednesday night.
Jimenez (9-1) continued his dominant start to the season, extending his
current scoreless streak to 16 1-3 innings and dropping his ERA to
0.88, the best in baseball. His nine wins lead the major leagues.
“It’s not easy to have an ERA like that young man has this late into
the season,” Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. “I’ve heard the term
microscopic used and I think it applies.”
Carlos Gonzalez homered and Miguel Olivo had three hits for the Rockies, who have won a season-high four straight.
Mark Reynolds hit his 12th home run and Gerardo Parra had two hits for the Diamondbacks, who have lost three in a row.
Jimenez looked vulnerable early. The Diamondbacks were hitting
Colorado’s ace, they just couldn’t cash in on their opportunities.
Their best chance came right away.
Johnson led off the game with a double. With two outs, center fielder
Carlos Gonzalez had to make a running catch at the wall to retire
“I thought I had it. At least
a double, but Gonzalez made the play,” Drew said. “You never know what
happens after that. He ran the perfect route.”
“A tremendous catch to end the first inning on the ball that Drew hit,” he said.
Arizona had runners on in the second and third innings but Jimenez kept the Diamondbacks off the board.
“At the beginning of the game they were hacking every first-pitch
fastball and they were hitting it good,” Jimenez said. “After the third
inning I got better. I was using a couple of breaking balls because
they were looking for the fastball.”
he made the adjustment, the opportunites dried up for Arizona. The only
other batter to reach second was Drew, who doubled with two outs in the
sixth but was stranded.
“He is becoming a
little more of a pitcher,” Arizona manager A.J. Hinch said. “He mixed
in his off-speed pitches a little more now than when he was younger.”
While he was finding his groove, his teammates were giving him runs to
work with. Smith homered with one out in the first to give the Rockies
a 1-0 lead.
Gonzalez led off the third
with a walk and stole second. After Lopez retired the next two batters,
Troy Tulowitzki walked and Brad Hawpe followed with a triple to
right-centerfield to make it 3-0.
“A 3-0 lead with the way this guy’s pithing right now can appear to be insurmountable to the other side,” Tracy said.
The Rockies added another run in the sixth when Tulowitzki led off with
a double and scored on Olivo’s single to right in Rodrigo Lopez’s last
Lopez (2-3) gave up four runs and five hits, struck out three and walked four.
“Once he got the lead he could pitch pretty aggressively and go after
us,” Hinch said of Jimenez. “I felt we put some at-bats against him,
but when runners were on the line and money was on the table he beat
Gonzalez and Smith greeted reliever
Juan Gutierrez with back-to-back homers to lead off the seventh and
made it 6-0. It was the second time this year the duo has hit
Ian Stewart’s RBI single with two outs scored Tulowitzki from second to make it 7-0.
Staked to the big lead, Tracy pulled Jimenez because the right-hander
will face two-time Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum of the San Francisco
Giants on Monday afternoon, a matchup Jimenez is looking forward to.
“Yeah, why not?” he said. “I always want to be there for a big game.”
The Diamondbacks broke through when Reynolds hit a three-run homer off Rafael Betancourt in the ninth.
Jimenez became the fourth Colorado pitcher with 500 career strikeouts.
… Tulowitzki extended his hitting streak to 10 games. … Gonzalez
and Smith went back-to-back against Washington on May 15. … Arizona C
Miguel Montero (right knee sprain) ran the bases and did some defensive
drills. He has been on the 15-day DL since April 11.
Updated May 26, 2010