Rockies rough up Lincecum in 7-4 win over Giants
AP Sports Writer
DENVER – Carlos Gonzalez capped a five-run sixth-inning outburst with a three-run homer off an unusually wild Tim Lincecum and the Colorado Rockies rallied for a 7-4 win over the San Francisco Giants on Monday night.
Seth Smith also homered off Lincecum (3-4), who set up the Rockies’ big inning with a throwing error on a potential double-play comebacker that led to four unearned runs.
Lincecum allowed seven runs, three of them earned, on nine hits and walked six in 5 2-3 innings, a far cry from his last trip to Coors Field in April, when he flirted with a no-hitter.
The Rockies turned four double plays, Clay Mortensen (1-0) pitched six solid innings for his first win in a Rockies uniform and Huston Street closed out the ninth inning for his 13th save in 14 tries.
Lincecum’s start was pushed back a day when the Giants were rained out Sunday at Chicago, so instead of facing the Cubs, he got to see the struggling Rockies, who had lost 10 of 13 games this month.
“Maybe it’s an omen,” Rockies manager Jim Tracy said before the game, reasoning they were going to have to snap out of their funk against someone, so why not the two-time Cy Young Award winner?
His words proved prophetic as the Rockies beat the Giants for just the second time in seven tries.
Lincecum, who allowed three hits in 7 2-3 innings at Coors Field on April 18, gave up a hit to the Rockies’ second batter, Jonathan Herrera, ending that bit of drama. But he was still dealing it, stretching his scoreless inning streak to 21 before giving up Troy Tulowitzki’s bases-loaded two-run single that put Colorado ahead 2-1 in the fifth.
Those were the first runs Lincecum had allowed since April 29 at Washington.
Colorado’s lead vanished quickly as Andres Torres led off the sixth with his first homer of the year, a no-doubt drive down the right field line off Mortensen, and then Nate Schierholtz sent a change-up into the same section for a two-run homer, his third of the season, that gave the Giants a 4-2 lead.
That’s when things fell apart for Lincecum, who served up Seth Smith’s fourth homer leading off the bottom of the inning and then threw wildly to second base on a potential double-play comebacker off the bat of Jose Morales, putting runners at first and second with nobody out.
After pinch-hitter Alfredo Amezaga struck out, Dexter Fowler singled home the tying run.
Herrera followed that with a single to center that seemingly loaded the bases. But when Morales reached third he had to keep going because Fowler never slowed down rounding second, figuring Morales would be waved home when Torres bobbled the ball in center. First baseman Aubrey Huff’s relay throw to the plate beat him by several steps.
No matter, Gonzalez sent Lincecum to the showers when he drove his 2-2 slider in the rock pile in center field for a three-run shot, his fifth, that gave Colorado a 7-4 lead.
The Giants put the tying run at the plate with two outs in the eighth but Matt Lindstrom struck out pinch-hitter Pat Burrell looking.
Mortensen, who was acquired from Oakland last winter, allowed four runs on seven hits in six innings.
Early on, Mortensen matched Lincecum pitch for nasty pitch, but one of those skipped past Morales in the second inning, allowing Miguel Tejada to score from third base just two pitches after Gonzalez’s on-the-money throw had kept him from tagging up on Torres’ fly ball to left.
Notes: Fowler had a tough day on the bases, getting picked off in the first and thrown out in the ninth in addition to his sixth-inning blunder. … Tracy had a closed-door meeting in the clubhouse with his players before the game to address their bad stretch. … Tracy started Morales behind the plate because he wanted Chris Iannetta to catch Ubaldo Jimenez on Tuesday.