Zito again struggles on road; Giants fall easily
The Associated Press
DENVER — Todd Helton homered to move within three hits of 2,500, and the Colorado Rockies beat the San Francisco Giants 6-1 on Monday night.
Juan Nicasio tossed six shutout innings and added an RBI single, and Charlie Blackmon also homered for the Rockies.
Buster Posey singled and reached base for the 49th straight game against Colorado.
The Rockies began a nine-game, 10-day homestand with a strong performance against lefty Barry Zito (4-10), who has struggled away from home this season. His numbers didn’t improve in his short outing at Coors Field.
Zito allowed five runs and nine hits and struck out one in four innings in his second start since being put back into the rotation. He is 0-8 with a 9.61 ERA on the road this season.
He worked out of trouble in the first inning before the Rockies got to him in the second.
Nolan Arenado led off with a bloop single — one of his three hits — and Helton crushed a 1-1 curveball into the Rockies bullpen to give Colorado a 2-0 lead. It was Helton’s ninth homer of the season and the 363rd of his 17-year career.
Blackmon, who entered the game in the second inning for Dexter Fowler, led off the third with his fourth homer to give the Rockies a 3-0 lead. Colorado tacked on two more runs in the fourth on a bases-loaded single by Nicasio and a ground out by Blackmon.
The Giants got a scare when right fielder Hunter Pence crashed into the wall trying to track down Michael Cuddyer’s triple in the first inning. Pence lay on the warning track before San Francisco’s trainers came out to tend to him. After a brief examination he stayed in the game.
Pence and the Giants couldn’t do much against Nicasio (8-6), who tied a season high with nine strikeouts and allowed four hits. He worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the first inning and pitched around two hit-batters before leaving after 95 pitches.
Nicasio finished his night by striking out Brandon Crawford with runners on first and third to end the sixth.
The Giants spoiled the shutout attempt on Joaquin Arias’ two-out RBI double off Jeff Francis in the ninth.
NOTES: Fowler left with a left lateral knee bruise. He is day to day. … The outfield sprinklers came on briefly while the Giants were in the field in the fourth inning. … Colorado SS Troy Tulowitzki (sore oblique) sat out his second straight game. He is expected to be back in the lineup on Tuesday. … Rockies RHP Tyler Chatwood (elbow) will make a rehab start with Triple-A Colorado Springs on Tuesday. He is scheduled to throw 75 pitches and could be back in the rotation this weekend. … Giants LHP Jeremy Affeldt (left groin strain) threw a bullpen session in Arizona on Monday. He next will go on a rehab assignment. … San Francisco OF Andres Torres (left Achilles strain) flew to North Carolina to see a specialist. … Giants RHP Yusmeiro Petit (0-0) will face Colorado RHP Chad Bettis (0-2) on Tuesday night.