Rockies 3, Diamondbacks 2
Even when he's not at his best, Ubaldo Jimenez is awfully good.
The hard-throwing Dominican right-hander became the majors' first 11-game winner despite losing his scoreless innings streak after a franchise record 33, and the Colorado Rockies had to hold on for a 3-2 victory Sunday to avoid being swept in three games in Arizona.
``Today wasn't an easy game like probably a couple that I had before,'' Jimenez said, ``but it's always good when you win, especially that kind of game.''
Jimenez (11-1) escaped a first-inning bases-loaded jam and blanked the Diamondbacks through seven innings, then gave up just his second home run of the season, a two-run shot by Conor Jackson in the eighth. It was Arizona's first score against Jimenez in 27 innings dating to last August.
``Luck of the draw, I guess,'' Jackson said of his first homer in 194 at bats. ``It was a 3-1 change-up. It definitely wasn't 100 (mph) so that probably helped a little bit.''
Chris Snyder of Arizona had his streak of 240 games without an error, the third-longest by a catcher in major league history, end when he overthrew second on Brad Hawpe's steal attempt in the sixth inning.
Arizona set a franchise record with its seventh consecutive one-run game. Colorado had lost three in a row, matching its longest skid of the season.
Jimenez threw 118 pitches after a 128-pitch effort in a complete-game shutout at San Francisco a week ago. He has seven outings of 115 pitches or more this season, and his 11 wins are three more than any other pitcher has in the majors.
``I'm just really happy,'' Jimenez said. ``As a starter, you only pitch every five days so it's so hard, especially when you're having a season like this. You can't wait for your next start to come.''
Rafael Bettancourt held the Diamondbacks scoreless the remainder of the eighth, then Manny Corpas pitched a perfect ninth for his sixth save in eight tries. He blew a save in Arizona's 7-6 victory Friday night.
Carlos Gonzalez had a two-run single and Troy Tulowitzki a solo homer for the Rockies, who completed a 3-3 road trip.
No one had loaded the bases against Jimenez this season before Arizona did it in the first, yet it resulted in another zero on the scoreboard.
``We made him work,'' Arizona manager A.J. Hinch said. ``Just when you think you've got him on the ropes though you look up and it's still zero. That's the tough part. That's what an ace does. That's the type of season he's having.''
With one out, Jackson reached on the shortstop Tulowitzki's fielding error, then Adam LaRoche singled and Mark Reynolds walked on a 3-2 pitch. Jimenez, though, threw a 99 mph fastball that Chris Young hit sharply to second for an inning-ending double play.
``In years past, that kind of jam would shake him up a little bit,'' Tulowitzki said. ``Now he's pitching his best pitch to get a ground ball whereas before he'd try to strike guys out. That shows his maturity. He's getting better all the time, which is scary.''
Jimenez threw 29 pitches in the first inning.
``We're a foot away (on Young's' hit) from not only scoring runs first but also making Jimenez get to maybe 40 pitches in the first inning, which changes the entire complexion of the game,'' Hinch said.
Kelly Johnson led off the eighth with a double off the top of the Arizona bullpen fence in left, the only hit Arizona got on a Jimenez fastball. Jackson followed with his homer on a 3-1 pitch. Jimenez then walked LaRoche and his outing was through.
Rodrigo Lopez (2-4) matched Jimenez through four.
Todd Helton led off the Colorado fifth with a single, just his fourth hit in 25 at-bats. Clint Barmes followed with a one-out single, then the runners advanced to third and second on Jimenez's sacrifice bunt. Gonzalez lashed a 2-1 pitch into left field to bring both runners home.
Lopez allowed three runs on nine hits in seven innings, striking out six and walking one.
``I really believe offensively the best of us is yet to come,'' manager Jim Tracy said. ``It has not shown up yet.''
NOTES: Snyder was 13 short of Mike Matheny's NL record of 252 straight errorless games by a catcher. Mike Redmond has the longest at 253, a streak that ended May 18. ... Colorado's record for consecutive scoreless innings pitched had been 29 by Gabe White in 2000. ... Helton returned to the lineup after a day off but dropped from third to sixth in the batting order. ... Arizona RF Justin Upton, 0 for 15 against Jimenez and the major league leader with 76 strikeouts, had the day off. ... Diamondbacks SS Stephen Drew was out after hurting the middle finger of his throwing hand on the final play of Saturday night's victory. He appeared as a pinch hitter in the ninth.