Scutaro’s HR In 9th Lifts Rockies Past Giants 5-4
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Jim Tracy kicked his shoes off, popped out the front of his jersey and leaned back in his chair. After everything the Colorado Rockies have endured lately, forgive the manager if he needed a moment to soak in a victory.
It hasn’t happened much.
Marco Scutaro homered off closer Santiago Casilla to lead off the ninth inning and lift the Rockies past the mistake-prone San Francisco Giants 5-4 on Tuesday night. Scutaro smacked a 92 mph fastball from Casilla (0-2) just over the left-field wall for his first home run of the season after Colorado blew a three-run lead.
“It took some character, which I think this team has a lot of,” Tracy said. “Now we didn’t necessarily have to do it in the fashion that we did.”
Just the typical Rockies way.
“Losing is no fun,” Scutaro said. “It gets tired real quickly. Hopefully this will spark us.”
After building a 4-1 lead, Colorado almost collapsed.
Rex Brothers (2-2) struck out Brandon Belt and Melky Cabrera with the bases loaded in the eighth. Rafael Betancourt struck out Nate Schierholtz looking with two on in the ninth – following a questionable check swing a pitch earlier that had Tracy infuriated – for his seventh save in eight chances.
“Stuff like that,” Brothers said, “it hasn’t been easy yet.”
Solid outings by both starters were washed away.
Colorado’s Jeremy Guthrie – a former Stanford standout – allowed four hits and one unearned run in 5 1-3 innings in his first start since April 22. He had gone on the disabled list after falling off his bicycle on the way to the ballpark last month.
Tim Lincecum lasted seven innings, striking out seven and walking three for the Giants. At the very least, Lincecum’s lethargic starts this season finally disappeared.
Not much else about the final result did.
A night after taking a foul ball from teammate Dexter Fowler off his left leg, Tulowitzki played through soreness and singled in the fourth to score Gonzalez from second for the tying run. Gonzalez’s one-out double that landed inches inside the left-field chalk was the first hit off Lincecum, who gave up little on a cold, foggy night under the lights in San Francisco’s windy waterfront ballpark.
“It’s not a step forward or backward. It’s just another game,” Lincecum said. “I put myself in tough situations and I couldn’t put a stop to it.”
The Giants defense handed Colorado the rest.
Giants third baseman Joaquin Arias left in the fourth after a pitch hit his left forearm. X-rays showed no break, and the team diagnosed Arias with a bruise. Charlie Culberson replaced him at second, moving Emmanuel Burriss to third.
Burriss blew an infield pop by Tyler Colvin for what should’ve been the final out of Colorado’s fifth. He was charged with an error, but San Francisco caught a break when Pacheco – who had reached on a double – only advanced to third on the play. Jonathan Herrera flied out to center to end the inning.
The Rockies refused to let another gift go unwrapped.
Tulowitzki’s line-drive single to center in the sixth rolled under the glove of a charging Angel Pagan, allowing the slow-footed Tulowitzki – who might’ve scored if healthy – to easily jog to third on the error when the ball rolled all the way to the 399-foot sign. Cuddyer followed with an RBI double and Pacheco’s sacrifice fly put the Rockies ahead 3-1.
Even still, San Francisco had its shots.
Cabrera’s two-run double off Josh Outman highlighted a three-run seventh for the Giants. Pagan’s two-out single against Matt Belisle evened the score at 4-all before Culberson struck out with Pagan at third.
“It’s good to win,” Tracy said, “but let’s be mindful of what is still not right.”
NOTES: The Rockies optioned RHP Carlos Torres to Triple-A Colorado Springs to make room for Guthrie to come off the disabled list. … San Francisco opens a two-game series Wednesday against St. Louis, while Colorado returns home for a pair with Arizona.
By ANTONIO GONZALEZ, AP Sports Writer
(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)