Giants Vs. Rockies: Colorado Avoids Sweep On Strength Of Spilborghs, Wigginton Home Runs, De La Rosa Start

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Giants Vs. Rockies Final Score: Ryan Spilborghs, Ty Wigginton Lead Colorado To 10-2 Victory Over San Francisco

The Colorado Rockies were able to salvage their three-game series with the San Francisco Giants with an offensive showing in the 10-2 victory on Wednesday afternoon. Ty Wigginton struck the first big blow of the game when he hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the second inning for a 4-1 lead (It was Wigginton's first home run with the Rockies and his 1,000th career hit). In the bottom of the seventh, pinch-hitting for the pitcher, Ryan Spilborghs sent one over the right field wall for three more runs and the game's final score.

Seth Smith continued his hot hitting with two RBI singles and he scored three times. Troy Tulowitzki also scored three runs as well as collecting three hits. Two of Tulowitzki's hits were doubles off of Matt Cain, who allowed six runs in 4 2/3 innings. He struck out six Rockies, half of the team's total for the game.

Rockies starter Jorge De La Rosa (3-0) avoided the first-inning trap that Esmil Rogers and Ubaldo Jimenez fell into in the previous two games. Overcoming one run allowed in the first inning, De La Rosa settled down and didn't allow another run until the sixth inning. Using his slider exceptionally well, De La Rosa went seven innings and allowed two runs on four hits and two walks. He struck out six and has an ERA of 3.00.

Relievers Rafael Betancourt (1 IP, 2K) and Huston Street (1 IP, 2K) kept the Giants off the board to finish the game. Street struck out Pat Burrell to end the game.

The Giants were without Pablo Sandoval because he suffered a triceps strain during batting practice. The club sent Brandon Belt down to the minors while activating Cody Ross off the disabled list. He hit fifth and went 0-for-4.

The Rockies (13-5) hold a three-game lead over the Giants for the NL West lead. Following and off day on Thursday, the Rockies will take to the road for a three-game series with the Florida Marlins starting Friday night.

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Giants Vs. Rockies: Ty Wigginton Three-Run Blast Gives Colorado Lead

Entering Wednesday's game with the San Francisco Giants, Colorado Rockies pitchers had allowed nine runs over the first inning of the previous two games. Jorge De La Rosa stemmed the tide, though he did allow one run on a Buster Posey single to left field. But Aubrey Huff attempted to reach third on the play, only to be thrown out.

Instead, the Rockies struck against Matt Cain in the second inning with a multi-run inning. Troy Tulowitzki doubled to start the inning and was soon joined on the base paths by Todd Helton when he was hit by a pitch. After Seth Smith singled in Tulowitzki, Ty Wigginton hit a home run to left field to give the Rockies a 4-1 lead. It was his first home run of the season and his 1,000th career hit. Troy Tulowitzki came around again to bat in the inning, but a hard hit ball to center field resulted in an out.

At the end of three innings, the Rockies hold a 3-1 lead.

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Giants Vs. Rockies: Colorado Looks To Avoid Sweep

The Colorado Rockies enter Wednesday's game with the San Francisco on a two-game losing streak, both losses coming against the Giants. They will need to avoid the sweep, but no matter the outcome the Rockies will still hold a one-game lead over the Giants for the division lead.

Jorge De La Rosa will look to stop the bleeding when the two teams play at 1:10 p.m. MT. De La Rosa will want to avoid a rough first inning, as that has been the undoing for the Rockies in the first two games. Esmil Rogers allowed five runs in the first in Monday's game and then Ubaldo Jimenez gave up four runs in the first in Tuesday's game.

Certainly pitching has been an issue early in both games for the Rockies, but the lack of hitting is hurting the Rockies more. Troy Tulowitzki is 0-for-7 with three strikeouts so far, as Tim Lincecum, Jonathan Sanchez and the bullpen have been able to keep the star shortstop down. The team has seven total hits, led by Dexter Fowler and Todd Helton with two each. Fowler had two hard-hit doubles in Tuesday's game, plating two on the second one.

In nine career starts at Coors Field, Matt Cain has one complete game and has struck out 53 batters in 56 innings. He's allowed five home runs, tied for third most on the road in his career. That complete game came on Sept. 26, 2010, when he had a no-hitter broken up in the eighth inning by Jay Payton. Melvin Mora then torched Cain for a home run, but the Giants pitcher picked up the victory with eight strikeouts in the three-hitter. Let history not repeat itself.

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Giants Vs. Rockies Final Score: Jonathan Sanchez Tames Colorado In 6-3 Victory

The San Francisco Giants did it again to the Colorado Rockies, this time beating them, 6-3, on Tuesday night. Jonathan Sanchez (2-1) provided an outstanding start for the Giants, keeping the Rockies down for 6 1/3 innings. He struck out four, his lowest total of the season so far, and walked four.

But it is Sanchez's heralded counterpart, Ubaldo Jimenez (0-1), who will be dissected for his performance on Tuesday night. In the first inning, he allowed four runs on a Buster Posey RBI single and a Pablo Sandoval three-run home run, needing 41 pitches to do it. But over the next four innings, Jimenez used 51 pitches and kept the Giants to zero runs on two hits. Jimenez's velocity was down during the game, but there was a 96 m.p.h fastball toward the end of his start. His final line was five innings pitched with four runs allowed on six hits and two walks. He struck out six batters.

Offensively for the Rockies, Dexter Fowler had a double off of Sanchez to start the bottom of the first, but with the way Nate Schierholtz played it, an error was possible but not given. After that, the Rockies weren't able to do anything against Sanchez until the fifth inning. Sanchez walked Ty Wigginton and then went to a full count on Chris Iannetta. On ball four, catcher Buster Posey made a throw to second base, which Freddy Sanchez didn't get. Wigginton moved to third base. Seth Smith then hit a sacrifice fly to put the Rockies on the board for their first run.

Sanchez left in the bottom of the seventh with one out after he walked Jose Lopez and then surrendered a single to Ty Wigginton. With Ramon Ramirez pitching, Fowler came through with a hard double to score both runners, putting the score at 6-3 (Franklin Morales had given up a two-run home run to Aubrey Huff in the top half of the inning). With Jonathan Herrera and Fowler in scoring position, Ryan Spilborghs struck out to end the inning.

The Rockies (12-5) are on their first losing streak of the season and have dropped their first series of the season. They will complete this set with the Giants on Wednesday afternoon at 1:10 p.m. MT. Jorge De La Rosa pitches against Matt Cain.

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Giants Vs. Rockies Score: San Francisco Gets To Ubaldo Jimenez Early, Holds 4-0 Lead

There were some signs of rust with Ubaldo Jimenez when he pitched in the first inning. It showed as theSan Francisco Giants had a 4-0 lead over the Colorado Rockies at the end of the first inning. He started with hitting Aaron Rowand with a pitch and then had runners on the corner after Freddy Sanchez hit a single to center field. Buster Posey singled in the first run of the game, but it was Pablo Sandoval who delivered the big blast. He hit a three-run home run to right field for the 4-0 lead.

But in the next three innings, Jimenez allowed just a single and struck out three batters (four total). As a result of the long first inning, Jimenez has 75 pitches, 41 coming in that frame.

The Rockies have just one hit and one walk against Jonathan Sanchez so far. Dexter Fowler led off the bottom of the first with a double, but haven't had anything since Ty Wigginton's two-out walk in the second inning,

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Ian Stewart Optioned To Colorado Springs

The Colorado Rockies announced on Tuesday afternoon that third baseman Ian Stewart has been optioned to the Triple-A Colorado Springs Sky Sox. This was hinted at when Stewart was not in today's starting lineup (see below). Stewart has had a rough start to the season, collecting just two hits in 26 at-bats (.077 batting average) and striking out 11 times.

Stewart's 2011 campaign never got off to the right start as he injured his knee early in Spring Training and didn't return until the end of March. And with the emergence of Jonathan Herrera at second base, Jose Lopez has received playing time at third base. Ty Wigginton has cut into Stewart's time on the diamond as well. But as Rob Neyer argues, Stewart may just be better than Lopez and Wigginton, given the struggles of all three.

In 2010, the Colorado Rockies optioned catcher Chris Iannetta in early May to Triple-A in order to get him consistent at-bats. He came back and hit adequately in June and July, but struggled over the last two months of the season. How will Stewart respond?

Ubaldo Jimenez coming off the disabled list is the expected corresponding move.

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Giants Vs. Rockies: Ubaldo Jimenez Makes 1st Start Since Opening Day

Ubaldo Jimenez will return to the mound for the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday night in his first start since Opening Day. Jimenez never quite looked like himself in that game, struggling to throw in the mid- and upper-90s. He departed the game after six innings, having allowed six runs. As it was revealed the following day, Jimenez suffered a cut cuticle on his right thumb, an injury that cropped up first during the opening days of Spring Training.

And this return couldn't come at a better time. The Rockies were nearly no-hit by Tim Lincecum in Monday's 8-1 loss. It wasn't until Carlos Gonzalez broke through with a single in the top of the seventh inning that the Rockies could avoid being on the wrong end of that feat. Lincecum struck out 10 batters in a dominant performance.

The Giants will put Jonathan Sanchez, who has 24 strikeouts in 16.2 innings, on the mound. On April 13, Sanchez threw six innings of three-run ball and struck out nine Dodgers. One thing to look out for is how well he handles his fly balls. He had gotten 27 fly out, while he's only putting ground balls into play 32.6 percent of the time this season.

First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 p.m. MT, and ROOT Sports will have the broadcast.

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Giants Vs. Rockies: Tim Lincecum Dominates Colorado In 8-1 Victory

It lasted until the seventh inning, but Tim Lincecum's no-hitter was broken up by Carlos Gonzalez with a one-out single. Unfortunately, the Colorado Rockies still lost the game to the San Francisco Giants, 8-1.

Lincecum completely dominated the Rockies with 6 1/3 innings of no-hit ball before the Gonzalez hit. Todd Helton hit his 529th double to drive in Gonzalez to end the shutout bid (and he had No. 530 on a ground-rule double to center field with two outs in the bottom of the ninth).

Had Rockies starter Esmil Rogers turned in a better start, this could have been a close game. But Rogers just lost it early in the first inning. After an Aaron Rowand line out to start the game, Freddy Sanchez doubled and then scored on an Aubrey Huff single. Then with two outs in the inning, Pat Burrell hit a two-run home run, which was followed by a Nate Schierholtz blast. According to Tracy Ringolsby, before the home runs Rogers had faced 228 consecutive batters without surrendering a gopher ball.

Rogers would allow three more runs, including a Freddy Sanchez home run, before he left the game after the third inning. Clay Mortensen, who was recalled earlier on Monday, pitched the final six innings of the game. He didn't allow a baserunner until the seventh inning, when he walked two and allowed a single. He saw another single in the eighth, but it was erased on a double play.

The Rockies (12-4) will have Ubaldo Jimenez return to the mound on Tuesday when he faces Jonathan Sanchez and the Giants. First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 p.m. MT.

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Giants Vs. Rockies: Tim Lincecum Has No-Hitter Through Five Innings

San Francisco Giants starter Tim Lincecum has been unhittable against the Colorado Rockies on Monday night. Through five innings, Lincecum has given up zero hits and walked just two batters. He has used just 59 pitches to strike out five Rockies and complete five innings of work. He walked Dexter Fowler in the fourth and then Todd Helton in the fifth.

For the Rockies, Esmil Rogers couldn't compare with the Giants' ace. He allowed eight runs in three innings of work. In the first inning, he allowed runs on a single and then back-to-back home runs by Pat Burrell (3-R) and Nate Schierholtz (solo). He gave up a third homer to Freddy Sanchez in the second inning.

Clayton Mortensen came in to relieve Esmil Rogers in the fourth inning and kept the Giants down after that point. He got the Giants to go nine up, nine down over the next three innings.

Can the Rockies get a hit off of Lincecum in the bottom of the sixth?

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Clayton Mortensen Recalled; Alan Johnson Sent To Colorado Springs

The Colorado Rockies announced on Monday afternoon that pitcher Alan Johnson was optioned to Triple-A Colorado Springs, while pitcher Clayton Mortensen was brought up to complete the move .Mortensen will have a short stay with the Rockies as he is around to provide long relief for the club, until Ubaldo Jimenez is activated off the disabled list on Tuesday.

Johnson was recalled last week to make a spot start for the Rockies after they had a doubleheader on Thursday. Not wanting any starter to go on three days' rest, Johnson made his big league debut on Sunday afternoon against the Cubs. A huge success to finally see the majors after joining the organization as an undrafted free agent in 20065, Johnson made it through four innings and allowed five runs. He took a no-decision in the win.

Mortensen, acquired in the offseason from the Oakland Athletics for prospect Ethan Hollingsworth, has made two starts for the Triple-A Colorado Springs Sky Sox. However, the results have not been pretty so far: 12 earned runs in four innings pitched.

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Giants Vs. Rockies: 2010 World Series Champion San Francisco Visits Coors Field

The Rockies used a late-game offensive explosion to defeat the Cubs, 9-5, on Sunday, but now they host the 2010 World Series champions, the San Francisco Giants. But for now, the Colorado Rockies are ahead of the Giants in the NL West standings.

Monday's game features a Tim Lincecum-Esmil Rogers start, which is a bit of a letdown. Well, a letdown when one recalls that Ubaldo Jimenez was originally scheduled to pitch the first game of this series. A Jimenez-Lincecum matchup would have brought up reminders of their May 31, 2010, duel in San Francisco on Memorial Day. That was when Jimenez threw a complete game shutout for the Rockies in a 4-0 win. Jimenez threw "The Best Pitch Ever" that game.

Instead, Rockies manager Jim Tracy elected to move Jimenez to Tuesday and have Esmil Rogers start on Monday. Had he not been moved to Monday, Rogers would have had nine days off between starts.

The Giants enter this series having won four of their last six games (two wins each against the Dodgers and the Diamondbacks). On Sunday, the Giants dropped a 6-5 decision to the Diamondbacks i 12 innings. Dan Runzler walked two batters before he exited the game. Javier Lopez entered and allowed the game-winning single to Stephen Drew.

The Rockies will need to be wary of catcher Buster Posey (.296 BA, .840 OPS) and the revived Pablo Sandoval (.340 BA, .971 OPS, 4 HR). Aubrey Huff is finding plenty of opportunities to drive runs in, tied for second with 10. Four of Pat Burrell's eight hits are home runs.

Offensively, the Rockies will look for Troy Tulowitzki to continue his hot hitting. After going 10-for-16 with four home runs and eight RBI against the Mets, Tulowitzki collected four hits (one triple) against the Cubs. Will he hit home run No. 100 this series.

Here are the pitching matchups:

Monday, April 18, 8:40 p.m. MT


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Tim Lincecum 1-1 3 3 0 0 0 0 19.1 14 5 4 1 4 22 1.86 .93


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Esmil Rogers 2-0 4 2 0 0 0 0 13.0 11 4 4 0 5 9 2.77 1.23

Tuesday, April 19, 8:40 p.m. MT


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Jonathan Sanchez 1-1 3 3 0 0 0 0 16.2 18 8 6 1 7 24 3.24 1.50


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Ubaldo Jimenez 0-0 1 1 0 0 0 0 6.0 7 6 5 2 1 1 7.50 1.33

Wednesday, April 20, 3:10 p.m. MT


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Matt Cain 2-0 3 3 0 0 0 0 19.0 14 3 3 1 4 10 1.42 .95


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Jorge De La Rosa 2-0 3 3 0 0 0 0 17.0 10 6 6 1 8 14 3.18 1.06

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