Giambi homers, Jimenez shines Rox win | SummitDaily.com

Giambi homers, Jimenez shines Rox win

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

PHOENIX – Jason Giambi homered for the second consecutive game and Ubaldo Jimenez outpitched Dan Haren to help the Colorado Rockies tighten their grip on the NL wild card with a 5-1 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday.

Colorado expanded its lead on its three nearest pursuers because San Francisco, Florida and Atlanta all lost. The Rockies lead the Giants by 4 1/2 games, the Marlins by five and the Braves by 5 1/2.

In the NL West race, Colorado remained five games behind the first-place Los Angeles Dodgers.

Giambi, who had a three-run, pinch-hit homer in the ninth inning of Colorado’s 10-4 victory Saturday night, added a two-run shot off Haren in the eighth. That gives him 11 RBIs in his 12 games since joining the Rockies.

Jimenez (14-11) gave up a run on five hits through seven innings, striking out eight and walking three.

After a tough start, Colorado won two of three in Arizona to finish the road trip 4-5. The Rockies open a nine-game homestand on Tuesday.

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Haren (14-9), who drove in Arizona’s run with a second-inning single, retired his first 12 batters and had a two-hit shutout until the Rockies scored three in the seventh, the last run on Clint Barmes’ suicide squeeze. Haren gave up five runs and eight hits, striking out seven and walking two.

After Haren put Arizona up 1-0, the Diamondbacks loaded the bases with two outs, but Justin Upton struck out.

Haren threw four perfect innings before Giambi’s leadoff single in the fifth. Giambi was erased by a double play and Haren escaped a jam in the sixth.

But Colorado broke through in the seventh on RBI singles by Yorvit Torrealba and Ian Stewart, followed by Barmes’ effective bunt.

Troy Tulowitzki led off the inning with an infield single, then advanced to second on shortstop Stephen Drew’s throwing error. Haren fanned Giambi, but Ryan Spilborghs singled to put runners at first and third.

Torrealba singled to right to tie it, then Stewart singled under the glove of first baseman Brandon Allen to put Colorado up 2-1. Torrealba beat Haren’s toss to the plate on the surprise squeeze to make it 3-1. Strangely, Barmes didn’t run to first on the play and Arizona didn’t notice. Finally, Barmes started to run and catcher Miguel Montero threw him out.

Colorado threatened in the sixth when Stewart led off with a walk and Barmes reached on an infield single. Jimenez advanced the runners with a sacrifice bunt, but Stewart didn’t try to score on Carlos Gonzalez’s fly ball to strong-armed Gerardo Parra in short left field. Seth Smith lined out to second to end the inning.

NOTES: Arizona’s Mark Reynolds struck out for the 203rd time this season, one shy of the major league record he set last year. … The Diamondbacks dedicated the broadcast wing of their press box to Hall of Fame broadcaster Joe Garagiola Sr. in a ceremony before the game. He drew a standing ovation when introduced to the crowd. … Colorado won the season series 11-7 after going 3-15 against Arizona last year. … Tulowitzki’s string of four homers in four games came to an end.