The Colorado Rockies turned to their Big Os—Ubaldo, CarGo and Tulo—to snap out of their funk and send a message to the San Francisco Giants that they’re not going to fade away.
Carlos Gonzalez’s two-run single off Javier Lopez capped a four-run eighth-inning rally and the Rockies surged back into first place in the NL West with a 5-3 win Tuesday over the Giants.
With the two-game sweep, the Rockies, who also got a solo homer from Troy Tulowitzki, moved a half game ahead of San Francisco in the division, and they snapped a streak of nine straight losses in games started by ace Ubaldo Jimenez.
Although he’s still searching for his first win since Sept. 17, Jimenez showed signs of his old self, giving up three runs and eight hits in seven innings, striking out seven and walking just one.
“It felt really good to have a game like that,” Jimenez said. “The last five games that I had have been really bad and today I was able to locate the fastball.”
Jimenez said the outing gave him confidence that he’s getting back to being his old dominant self.
Through seven innings it appeared as though the Giants were going to get their sixth win in eight tries against the Rockies and leave town with a 1 1/2 -game lead over their rivals.
“It’s nice to walk out of here being in first place,” Tulowitzki said. “They have been beating us up the whole year, so it’s nice to kind of answer back, throw a few punches and prove to them that we’re going to be in this thing for the long haul.”
Gonzalez, whose three-run homer off Tim Lincecum propelled Colorado past the Giants 7-4 on Monday night, grounded a fastball to right field to snap a 3-3 tie in the eighth and make a winner of Matt Belisle (4-2), who worked one inning of relief.
It was the first time all season that the Rockies won a game in which they trailed after seven innings.
Huston Street pitched the ninth for his 14th save in 15 tries. He gave up a one-out single to Cody Ross but started a game-ending double play on Andres Torres’ screaming comebacker.
Jonathan Sanchez (3-3) allowed three hits and didn’t walk a batter over the first seven innings but gave up back-to-back singles to Ryan Spilborghs and Chris Iannetta leading off the eighth, then threw away Alfredo Amezaga’s sacrifice bunt, allowing Spilborghs to score from second base and pull Colorado to 3-2.
“It was an easy out at first,” Sanchez said. “I should have made that play I think that’s why we lost. Amezaga is pretty fast and I just wanted to make sure I got him out and I threw the ball away.”
His blunder was reminiscent of the night before, when Lincecum’s throwing error led to four unearned runs.
“That’s the third time on this road trip where we’ve thrown the ball away and it’s hurt us,” said Giants manager Bruce Bochy, who promised his pitchers would be doing some spring training drills this week.