The Cove
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Instant Replay: Giants 9, Rockies 2

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    NEWSLETTERS

    BOX SCORE SAN FRANCISCO Pablo Sandoval hit a home run from each side of the plate, Buster Posey followed up Sandovals second with one of his own and the Giants rolled to a 9-2 win to sweep the Rockies out of AT&T Park and lower their magic number to four.Starting pitching report Barry Zito scattered 10 hits, but walked just one, and limited the Rockies to two runs in 5.2 innings to pick up his 13th win of the season. He left to a standing ovation with two men on and two out in the sixth.Zitos lone walk came with one out in the first, but he induced a double-play grounder from Carlos Gonzalez to erase it in a 12-pitch inning.Colorado tagged Zito for a run on two singles sandwiched around another catchers interference call on Hector Sanchez with Tyler Colvin at the plate. The Rockies rally forced Zito to throw 27 pitches before he headed back to the dugout.Zito gave up a leadoff double in the third, but a smart play by Joaquin Arias to nab Josh Rutledge trying to advance on a ball hit in front of him led to a force out at third on a fielders choice. Rutledge wouldve likely scored on Wilin Rosarios two-out single. Instead, Rosarios second hit of the afternoon led to nothing as Zito ended the inning with a strikeout.The Rockies tied the game against Zito in the fourth after he allowed another leadoff double. Once again, the opposing pitcher hurt the Giants at the plate, as Jorge De La Rosas one-out single scored Andrew Brown.After the Giants backed Zito with a six-run fourth, he returned the favor with a shutdown inning, working around a one-out single by Rosario and striking out Chris Nelson for the third time in three at-bats.Zito came out for the sixth, but couldnt finish the inning. Bruce Bochy turned to his bullpen after Rutledge singled with two outs to put runners at first and second.Zitos final line: 5.2 IP, 10 H, 2 ER, BB, 6 K. He threw 99 pitches, 67 of which were strikes and improved to 13-8 on the season.Bullpen report George Kontos inherited two of Zitos baserunners and quickly induced a fly out to right to end the sixth.Guillermo Mota worked a scoreless seventh after giving up a run in his last outing on Tuesday.Clay Hensley, who appears to be fighting for a spot on the playoff roster after some ugly outings over the last month, started the eighth and allowed a leadoff single. But he got a double-play ground ball and a strikeout to put together his first scoreless outing since Aug. 18.Brad Penny worked the ninth and ended the game with a double play.At the plate The Giants came into Thursdays game 61-19 when they score first and 43-21 when they hit at least one home run. They accomplished both when Pablo Sandoval went yard in the first inning for the second straight game. After hitting a three-run shot off the right-field foul pole Wednesday night, Sandoval connected on the first pitch he saw from Jorge De La Rosa and sent it over the wall in left for a solo shot. De La Rosa, making his first start of the 2012 season following Tommy John surgery, served up a 90 MPH fastball over the middle of the plate and Sandoval took advantage for his 10th home run of the season.After the Rockies tied the game in the top of the second, the Giants took another one-run advantage in the third thanks to a lot of luck. Angel Pagan hit a one-out double on a weakly hit fly ball that bounced barely fair in front of charging left-fielder Andrew Brown. It looked like Pagan would be left stranded when Marco Scutaro flew out to right and Sandoval followed with a fly ball in the infield. But Wilin Rosario, making his first start at first base, did the pop up dance before watching the ball glance off his glove. Rosario, normally the Rockies starting catcher, has been a butcher behind the plate so the misplay was not uncharacteristic. Pagan, running hard with two outs, took advantage of the error to score an unearned run against De La Rosa.The Giants blew the game wide open in the fourth inning, and Rosarios defense played a part again. Hector Sanchez and Xavier Nady started the inning with back-to-back singles and advanced on Barry Zitos bunt. Sanchez scored and Nady moved to third on a wild pitch for a 3-2 Giants lead, but the inning got a lot uglier for Colorado. After Pagan walked, Scutaro hit a sharp ground ball to third base that Chris Nelson gloved, but his throw was low and Rosario couldnt dig it out to get out of the inning. Nelson, not Rosario, was charged with the error and he had to feel even worse when Sandoval, this time swinging from the left side with right-hander Edgmer Escalona in to relieve De La Rosa, sent a ball into the arcade seats for a three-run homer. Buster Posey followed with a solo shot to left-centerfield for an 8-2 Giants lead. The back-to-back shots were the first for the Giants since Nate Schierholtz and Brandon Crawford connected consecutively on April 11 in Colorado. For Pablo Sandoval, his two-homer game was the fifth of his career and marked the first time he hit a home run from each side of the plate in one game. The last Giant to accomplish that was Randy Winn in 2008.The Giants tacked on another run in the sixth when pinch-hitter Aubrey Huff one-armed a ball down the right-field line. It looked like Huff was hesitant to try for a double, but the ball bounced around the visitors bullpen and allowed the slow-footed Huff to trot into second. Francisco Peguero pinch-ran for Huff and scored the Giants ninth run on Scutaros second hit of the day.The six-run fourth inning was the highest scoring frame the Giants have had at AT&T Park this season. The three home runs ties a season high. The Giants scored their nine runs on 14 hits.In field The story of the game defensively was more about what the Rockies failed to do rather than what the Giants did. The Giants turned three double plays, but neither was of the spectacular variety. They played error-free baseball, other than Hector Sanchezs catchers interference call.On the bases Who needs to steal bases when you hit three home runs?Attendance The Giants announced their 159th consecutive sellout with an announced attendance of 41,157.Up next The Giants welcome another N.L. West opponent to AT&T Park as the Padres come to town for the first of three games on Friday. San Diego will send RHP Casey Kelly (2-1, 5.85 ERA) to the mound opposite RHP Ryan Vogelsong (12-9, 3.65 ERA).