Rockies 1, Blue Jays 0
Jason Hammel is proving he's a solid second act to Ubaldo Jimenez.
Hammel pitched eight sharp innings and scored the only run and the Colorado Rockies beat the Toronto Blue Jays 1-0 Saturday night in a rare low-scoring game at Coors Field.
It was only the ninth 1-0 game at Denver since the ballpark opened in 1995. The previous one came last July 6 when the Rockies beat Washington. The Rockies are 6-3 in 1-0 games at Coors Field.
``If you're going to win 1-0 there's no room for error,'' Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. ``From the pitching and defense side, there was no error. We were perfect.''
Pitching in 50-degree weather, Hammel (4-3) was masterful all night. He allowed just three hits, struck out six and walked three in his longest outing of the season. He is 4-1 with a 2.41 ERA since coming off the disabled list May 15 with a strained right groin.
``I'm happy for him,'' catcher Miguel Olivo said. ``He's got all the pitches working. We used all of them today.''
Hammel has come on strong after starting the season 0-2 with a 9.16 ERA in his first four starts.
``This is the Jason Hammel we had for the entire spring training,'' Tracy said. ``It's really good to see. He's got great stuff and tonight his slider was terrific and his fastball command to both sides of the plate was terrific.''
Hammel's last six starts have followed Jimenez, who leads the majors with 12 wins and a 1.16 ERA. Pitching behind the team ace has energized Hammel.
``When one guy goes out and pitches really well, obviously you want to follow with a good outing yourself,'' he said. ``That's how momentum builds and teams go on winning streaks.''
Hammel provided the lone run in the sixth. He led off with a walk, went to third on Todd Helton's one-out single and scored on a sacrifice fly by Carlos Gonzalez.
``I've got to do everything here,'' Hammel said with a laugh.
Manuel Corpas worked around a hit in the ninth for his eighth saves in 10 chances.
Fred Lewis had a double and walked twice for the Blue Jays.
The Rockies threatened again in the seventh. Olivo led off with a double down the left-field line to finish Toronto starter Brandon Morrow (4-5). Reliever David Purcey retired Ian Stewart on a popup and intentionally walked Clint Barmes. After Hammel put down a successful sacrifice bunt, Jonathan Herrera grounded out.
Morrow allowed five hits, walked three and struck out six.
``He did everything he could,'' Toronto manager Cito Gaston said. ``The only mistake he made was walking the pitcher. He had no run support.''
Hammel had a lot to do with that. Lewis was the only runner to reach third and the Rockies pitchers held the Blue Jays to four hits.
``We're a better hitting team than this,'' first baseman Lyle Overbay said. ``I think their staff is learning how to pitch here. You don't see many sliders or curveballs here and when you do, they are breaking a lot.''
Both teams had chances to score early. Lewis opened the game with a double off Ryan Spilborghs' glove in left field but was stranded at third when Vernon Wells popped out to first to end the inning.
Hammel said the tape around his right groin bothered him in the first inning, but after getting out of the jam he was able to get the leg rewrapped and settled down.
Helton doubled to lead off the fourth, just missing a home run when his ball bounced off the top of the right-center field wall and back into play. Helton was cut down at third trying to advance on Gonzalez's groundout.
NOTES: Rockies SS Troy Tulowitzki was scratched from the lineup with a sore right groin. ... Colorado has eight shutouts as a team this season. ... The Rockies agreed to terms with 11 players they selected in the 2010 draft, including 1B Mark Tracy, son of Colorado manager Jim Tracy.