DENVER, CO - APRIL 20: Seth Smith #7 of the Colorado Rockies hits an RBI single to score Troy Tulowitzki of the Rockies as catcher Buster Posey #28 of the San Francisco Giants backs up the plate in the seventh inning at Coors Field on April 20, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Even though it’s only April, Colorado viewed this game as a chance to send a message to the world champions: The road back won’t be easy and the Rockies are going to be along for the ride.
Jorge De La Rosa overcame a shaky start to pitch seven sharp innings and Ty Wigginton tied a career high with four RBIs, including a three-run homer, as the Rockies beat the San Francisco Giants 10-2 on Wednesday to salvage the finale of a three-game series.
This was a statement game of sorts for the Rockies. More so for confidence than anything else, especially after being outscored by the Giants 14-4 in the first two games.
“If we come out here and lose, it’s not like we’re saying our season’s over. We’re still in first place and have one of the best records in the game,” said Troy Tulowitzki, who was 3 for 5 with two doubles. “On the other hand, you don’t want another team coming into your home field and sweeping you.
“We know it’s going to be a long race. They’re going to be right there with us the entire year.”
De La Rosa (3-0) turned in his best outing of the season, finally putting to rest the talk about a bothersome blister that’s plagued him all season.
It didn’t hamper him at all as the left-hander gave up two runs and four hits. He had every pitch in his arsenal working to perfection.
“Very good stuff today,” he said. “We needed this. I hope we can stay playing like we did today.”
This game might have done the trick to snap the slumping Wigginton out of his doldrums.
Wigginton, hitting .214 entering the game, showed signs of breaking out of his offensive funk by lining a three-run homer to left off Matt Cain (2-1) in the second inning and bringing in another on a ground out in the fifth. It’s the ninth time Wigginton has driven in four runs in his career.
“I’ll continue to grind it out,” Wigginton said.
Cain was far from his best, wrestling with his command as he lasted just 4 2-3 innings, allowing six runs and nine hits. The righty had been so crisp and efficient in his last three outings, giving up just three runs in 19 innings.
Cain’s clunker was against a team he has typically fared well against, too. In four starts last season, he went 3-0 with a 1.69 ERA against the Rockies.