Rockies rally past Giants again
DENVER – Ubaldo Jimenez threw eight strong innings, outpitching Tim Lincecum, and Seth Smith hit a two-run homer in the seventh that carried the Colorado Rockies past the San Francisco Giants 4-2 on Sunday.
Held hitless by Lincecum for 5 1-3 innings, the Rockies rallied to move three games ahead of San Francisco in the NL wild-card race. Jimenez won his sixth straight decision for Colorado, which has taken two of three in a four-games series that concludes Monday night at Coors Field.
The reigning NL Cy Young Award winner, Lincecum (12-4) was working on a no-hit bid in the sixth when Todd Helton singled off the glove of shortstop Edgar Renteria. Brad Hawpe walked with two outs and Ian Stewart’s RBI single cut the Giants’ lead to 2-1.
Lincecum then walked Omar Quintanilla to start the seventh. After Jimenez’s sacrifice bunt, Smith hit a 1-0 changeup into the second deck in right to give Colorado a 3-2 lead.
Huston Street pitched a perfect ninth for his 33rd save in 34 chances.
In the first five innings, Lincecum wasn’t always sharp, but he was effective. He walked three batters and hit another with a pitch but allowed only one runner as far as second base.
Early, his most troublesome inning was the second when he walked Hawpe and Chris Iannetta, but Quintanilla lined out to left to end the inning.
Lincecum allowed three runs and three hits in seven innings. He walked a season-high five and struck out seven.
Jimenez (12-9) was sharp throughout. His only hiccup came in the second when he gave up a leadoff single to Ryan Garko and one-out homer to Renteria that gave San Francisco a 2-0 lead.
The Giants threatened to tie it in the eighth when Eugenio Velez led off with a double and moved to third on Randy Winn’s groundout. Jimenez got Pablo Sandoval to ground sharply to Helton at first for the second out, then retired Bengie Molina on a fly to left to end the inning.
Jimenez gave up six hits, struck out nine and walked two. It was the third straight game he has pitched eight innings and the 22nd consecutive start he has gone at least six.
The Rockies got an insurance run in the eighth. They loaded the bases with one out against reliever Jeremy Affeldt and, after Sergio Romo struck out pinch-hitter Garrett Atkins, he hit Clint Barmes with a 1-0 pitch to force in Troy Tulowitzki.
NOTES: Colorado OF Carlos Gonzalez was not in the lineup and is expected to miss about a week after sustaining a cut on his left hand. The Rockies said Gonzalez hurt himself when he caught a steak knife as it fell off a plate while he was putting a dish in the kitchen sink at home after Saturday’s win. He needed one stitch to close the wound. … Giants 2B Freddy Sanchez (sore left shoulder) missed his sixth straight game and is doubtful for the series finale.
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