video thumbnail

SF@COL: Rockies charge back for seven in the fifth

DENVER -- The Rockies saddled Giants star pitcher Tim Lincecum with the shortest start of his career Wednesday night, then let him off the hook, but still were able to celebrate.

The Rockies blew a six-run lead built in 2 1/3 innings against Lincecum by giving up seven in the top of the fourth. But the Rockies kept scoring no matter who pitched and rescued starter Jeremy Guthrie from his own forgettable performance, en route to a 17-8 victory at Coors Field.

"When you do that in the first three innings, you've got to believe you can do it in the other six," said Carlos Gonzalez, who knocked two triples and drove in four runs.

Belief wasn't an issue within the roster. But their fans were understandably having flashbacks to last year, when the offense came up small enough in big situations to be one of the culprits in the 73-89, fourth-place finish in the National League West.

The Rockies lost three of their first four games, including a 7-0 shutout at the hands of the Giants and pitcher Barry Zito in Monday's home opener. They entered Wednesday 3-for-20 with runners in scoring position, including an 11-at-bat hitless streak.

But Wednesday, the Rockies went 13-for-26 with runners in that situation. They finished with 22 hits, including Gonzalez's big night, a career high-tying three doubles by Michael Cuddyer and two doubles by Dexter Fowler.

Manager Jim Tracy said, "That put a smile on a lot of people's faces. The offensive side of things tonight, I don't know if we can do it any better in any aspect of the game."

About the only reason to fret about the offense was the Rockies set club records for most runs and hits without a home run. But did anyone miss the long ball?

"Everybody else is worrying, but we're not worried at all," said Fowler, who entered 1-for-11 but went 3-for-5 Wednesday. "We all know we can hit."

The Rockies riddled Lincecum, a two-time Cy Young Award winner, for six runs and eight hits, including both Gonzalez triples and doubles by Fowler and Cuddyer while building the 6-0 lead.

"A lot of pitches thrown in 2 1/3 [78] and just sloppy baseball for me," Lincecum said. "Just not really executing pitches and missing a lot. That's going to hurt you, especially here in this park."

It was the first Coors Field start for Guthrie, who had spent his previous career in the American League with the Indians and Orioles. His new home seemed fine at first, when he threw the first three innings scoreless. But Nate Schierholtz and Brandon Crawford opened the fourth with home runs. In all, Guthrie gave up five hits and a walk to the first seven batters of the inning.

"The balls I gave up would've happened in any yard, I suppose," Guthrie said.

Tracy noted Guthrie threw some bad pitches with two strikes. While it wasn't the walk-filled mess that Jhoulys Chacin offered in the home opener, it was still 80 pitches in 3 1/3 innings. Chacin threw 90 in four innings. It's the kind of starting pitching that can render the offense helpless. At least the bullpen stopped the Giants. Matt Reynolds stopped the damage with a spotless fifth, Matt Belisle threw a clean sixth with a strikeout, and Tyler Chatwood limited the Giants to one run -- Schierholtz's second homer of the game, in the seventh -- in three innings for his first career save.

However, the Rockies would score 10 runs on 11 hits over the next two innings after the Giants' outburst. Eric Young Jr. opened the seven-run fifth with a bunt single and recorded the seventh and final hit of the inning with a two-out RBI triple. The inning included RBI doubles from Marco Scutaro and Chris Nelson.

Guillermo Mota (0-1) absorbed five runs, four earned, and six hits in one inning, and onetime Rockies lefty Jeremy Affeldt gave up five runs, two earned, in two innings.

Young has lifted the Rockies in both victories. He entered the opener in Houston as a pinch-runner, stole a base and used his speed to force the error that allowed him to score the winning run. Wednesday, he just simply kept a good offense going.

"We've seen many things happen at this stadium, good and bad," Young said. "Playing the Giants so many times, we know they just keep coming at you. But we had the momentum and wanted to keep it going."

MLB.com Comments