SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – When Michael Cuddyer thinks back to missing the final two months last season, a minimum 15-day stint on the disabled list hardly seemed like a long layoff.
He sure didn’t lose his power stroke while nursing his troublesome neck the past two weeks.
Cuddyer homered and hit a two-run double after being activated earlier in the day, Tyler Chatwood beat San Francisco for the second time in seven days and the Colorado Rockies blanked the Giants 5-0 on Friday night.
“Good, good, the neck’s good,” Cuddyer said. “It felt great. Being able to go out there and help us get the win was nice. I felt comfortable in the box, I didn’t feel like I’d missed much time. In the grand scheme of things I really didn’t miss that much time.”
Carlos Gonzalez also hit a solo homer and D.J. LeMahieu added an RBI single as the Rockies beat two-time NL Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum (3-4) for the second time in a week.
Gonzalez was fortunate to play at all. Before the game, a fan threw him a ball point pen to sign an autograph and it hit Gonzalez – who didn’t see it coming – just under the left eye.
“I still signed it, with a bloody pen,” he said, chuckling. “Incredible, ahhh?”
The Rockies, swept in a three-game series at AT&T Park last month, won their fourth in a row in the rivalry for the first time since 2006.
Colorado also snapped a nine-game losing streak at AT&T Park with its first win in the waterfront ballpark since Aug. 10, 2012. San Francisco was shut out at home for the first time since that same game, also started and won by Chatwood (3-0) – he beat Lincecum that day, too.
“It’s pretty neat to do that against that lineup,” Chatwood said. “They’re a great hitting team. Any time you can have success against a lineup like that, it’s big.”
Cuddyer’s two-out double in the first gave Colorado a quick cushion, then he connected for his eighth home run with a solo shot leading off the sixth. He also scored two runs after returning to the Rockies’ lineup from the 15-day disabled list.
Cuddyer, batting fifth and playing right field after missing time with an inflamed cervical disk, went 2 for 4 with three RBIs. Gonzalez homered leading off the eighth against Sandy Rosario, Gonzalez’s team-leading 12th clout.
“I felt pretty good physically,” Lincecum said. “Mechanically I felt good. Just a couple of pitches that got away from me and they really made me pay for it.”
Lincecum struck out eight and walked two over seven innings in his second consecutive start against Colorado and third in all this year. The right-hander allowed four runs and seven hits after taking the loss against the Rockies at Coors Field last Saturday.
He has defeats in four of his past five decisions. He has allowed 16 earned runs in his past 18 innings against the Rockies this season for an 8.00 ERA.
“I just have to stop making mistakes up in the zone against them,” he said. “If I miss with my spots they have to be down or away. But things are right in the middle of the plate.”
Chatwood allowed four hits in six scoreless innings, struck out four and walked one in another lopsided Rockies result against the reigning World Series champions. Colorado shut out San Francisco 5-0 in the series finale in Denver last Sunday.
The Rockies (27-21) remained in a first-place tie with Arizona atop the NL West standings after the Diamondbacks beat San Diego in Phoenix, with the Giants one game back.
“They’ve dominated us every time here,” Gonzalez said. “That gives us a lot of confidence when you can win a series against a team that won the championship a couple of times the last few years.”
San Francisco’s Marco Scutaro went 0 for 3 after having hit safely in each of his previous 15 games against Colorado, his former club before being traded to the Giants last July. But the Giants generated few opportunities against Chatwood and the Colorado bullpen.
Wilton Lopez, the Rockies’ third reliever, finished the five-hit shutout.
Notes: Rockies manager Walt Weiss said RHP Rafael Betancourt would not need a DL stint for his groin injury. He threw a light bullpen before the game and was available to close the game. … San Francisco starter Ryan Vogelsong, who had surgery on his broken right hand Tuesday, is keeping his sense of humor about an injury that will sideline him about two months. “I hit myself in the face last night, sleeping with it,” he said of the heavily wrapped hand. “That didn’t feel too good.” He wears a sling sometimes, which “kind of tells everyone not to run into me.” Manager Bruce Bochy said the Giants would announce their fill-in for Vogelsong’s spot Tuesday at Oakland after Sunday’s finale with Colorado. … A decision about whether Giants RHP Santiago Casilla would have arthroscopic surgery was expected soon. … Weiss plans to continue resting young C Wilin Rosario for day games after night games to keep him fresh. … The Giants lost in one of Lincecum’s starts for only the fifth time in the past 16 dating to last season.
– By JANIE McCAULEY, AP Baseball Writer
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