DENVER (AP) – For Tim Lincecum, the shortest outing of his career felt like forever.
“A lot of pitches thrown in 2 1-3,” Lincecum said after his laborious 76-pitch effort in San Francisco’s 17-8 loss to the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday night.
“Just sloppy baseball for me,” Lincecum said. “Not really executing pitches, missing a lot, and it’s going to hurt you, especially in this park.”
Lincecum was tagged for six earned runs on eight hits and two walks in just 2 1-3 innings and he left trailing 6-0. About the only thing he had going for him on this night was that he didn’t also get tagged with the loss thanks to the Giants’ seven-run rally in the fourth inning off Rockies starter Jeremy Guthrie.
Other than that, it was all Rockies. They pounded 22 hits, half of them for extra bases as they broke out of their offensive funk in a big way and sent the Giants to their fourth loss in five game so far.
Looking to bounce back from a poor performance at Arizona in the season opener, Lincecum instead was knocked around, his ERA ballooning to 12.91.
“I actually thought his stuff was a little crisper, he was just up,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “He left a lot of pitches up, a lot of mistakes when he was up in the count. Tough time putting hitters away, really across the board with the staff. Rough night for the staff.”
Bochy said he wasn’t worried about the former Cy Young award winner.
“He’ll find a way to come out of this,” Bochy said. “Overall, his stuff was better.”
Lincecum said he’s not overly concerned either about his two bad outings.
“I don’t think it’s a matter of finding the answers, per se, I think it’s a matter of grinding through it and knowing that at some point during the season we go through these,” he said. “It’s just a matter of trying to get them out of the way now.”
After watching teammate Barry Zito throw the first shutout by a Giants pitcher at Coors Field 48 hours earlier, Lincecum never saw this coming.
He was hit especially hard by Carlos Gonzalez, who tagged him for a triple to left and one to right.
“Bad location on both of them, a 1-2 fastball up and allowed him to get his arms extended. On the changeup it just sat in the middle of the zone,” Lincecum said.
What the Rockies did best was lay off Lincecum’s tantalizing pitches out of the zone that they’ve chased so many times before.
“We made him throw strikes,” said Gonzalez, who drove in four runs and scored three times, leading the Rockies’ offensive outburst that recalled the pre-humidor days at cavernous Coors Field.
“That’s a pretty good way to break out offensively,” Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. “That put a smile on a lot of peoples’ faces tonight.”
“That’s the first save of my life,” Chatwood said. “And I had a nine-run lead in the ninth!”
Guillermo Mota (0-1) took the loss in relief of an ineffective Lincecum.
Guthrie gave up nine hits, walked two and allowed two homers in 3 1-3 innings. He’s allowed back-to-back homers in each of his two starts for the Rockies. This time, Nate Schierholtz and Brandon Crawford went deep to spark the Giants’ seven-run fourth inning outburst.
The Rockies responded with a seven-run rally of their own, in the fifth.
Against Lincecum, Gonzalez hit a high, outside pitch for an RBI triple to left-center and scored on Troy Tulowitzki‘s groundout in the first. In the second, he pulled a changeup to right for his second triple. He scored when Lincecum’s second wild pitch bounced away from rookie catcher Hector Sanchez, whose throw to the pitcher covering the plate was wide.
Sanchez was starting in place of Buster Posey, who has shingles.
Ramon Hernandez‘s RBI single made it 6-0, and after Lincecum walked Chris Nelson to load the bases with one out and the pitcher coming up, Bochy brought in right-hander Daniel Otero, who got Guthrie to ground into an inning-ending double play.
Guthrie returned to the mound and suddenly couldn’t locate his pitches properly, retiring just one of the next seven hitters.
After Melky Cabrera‘s RBI single and Pablo Sandoval‘s run-scoring double made it 6-4, Reynolds replaced Guthrie, walked his first hitter to load the bases and then surrendered a two-run single to Sanchez and a sacrifice fly to Schierholtz that gave the Giants the lead.
Gonzalez said the Rockies weren’t worried.
“We got to Lincecum, who’s a really good pitcher and when you see all those guys coming from the bullpen early in the game, you have a lot of opportunity there,” Gonzalez said.
Sure enough, the Rockies regained the lead in the bottom half of the fourth on Gonzalez’s run-scoring groundout, Tulowitzki’s RBI single and Michael Cuddyer‘s RBI double off Mota that made it 9-7.
The Rockies scored seven times in the fifth to put this one out of reach as Matt Belisle threw a scoreless inning and Chatwood gave up one run on two hits in the final three lock-down innings. His only mistake was a fastball that Schierholtz hit for his second homer, leading off the seventh.
NOTES: The Rockies had eight doubles, three by Cuddyer, who tied his career high, and three triples but no homers. This is the most extra-base hits they’ve ever had in a game without a home run. … Posey pinch-hit in the eighth, flying out to the track in right. … Schierholtz’s other two-homer game was last July 6 vs. San Diego.
By ARNIE STAPLETON, AP Pro Football Writer
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