SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – With only a handful of wins over the past two years, the Colorado Rockies have grown to loathe their annual visits to AT&T Park.
A five-run ninth inning against Giants closer Sergio Romo might just change how manager Walt Weiss’s club views its road trips to San Francisco.
D.J. LeMahieu hit a tiebreaking single after going hitless in his first three at-bats, and the Rockies rallied to beat the Giants 7-4 on Friday night.
“It’s a tough place to play, not only for us but for everybody,” said Weiss, whose club had dropped 15 of 18 at the Giants’ waterfront ballpark.
“The Giants are always tough at home. To win a game like that, not only the first game of the series but the way we won it, (is) big for our club.”
The Rockies had gone five straight innings without a hit before scoring five times off Romo (3-2), who went into the night tied for most saves in the majors.
Troy Tulowitzki had a leadoff single, but was replaced by Charlie Culberson after injuring his foot reaching first base. After Justin Morneau singled, Romo retired Wilin Rosario on a fly to center field. He then intentionally walked Corey Dickerson to load the bases.
Pinch-hitter Ryan Wheeler hit a two-run single before LeMahieu’s soft single to center drove in Dickerson.
“(Romo) does such a good job of keeping the ball down,” Wheeler said. “Even the pitch I hit, I think it was a ball. I hit the barrel and it went up the middle.”
“This team knows what to do and we continue to hold each other accountable, but you still have to get it done,” Belisle said. “Tonight, that’s what happened.”
The Rockies had to overcome an injury-shortened night by starter Jorge De La Rosa. The left-hander, who had lost his previous two starts, was forced out of the game after the third inning due to tightness in his lower back.
The Rockies bailed him out with their huge ninth, marking the eighth time this season Colorado has won in its final at-bat.
“They found a way to find the holes,” Romo said following his third blown save this season. “I have no explanation for that other than it was their night. I felt fine. I needed a groundball and it didn’t work out.”
Up to that point, Weiss’ team hadn’t done much.
Tim Lincecum worked six solid innings for San Francisco. The two-time NL Cy Young Award winner allowed three hits and two runs, retiring his final 10 batters.
Three relievers combined to shut out Colorado over the next two innings before Romo’s collapse in the ninth.
Morneau finished with two hits, the only Rockies player with multiple hits.
De La Rosa struggled even before his back acted up.
He had to strike out Lincecum to escape a bases-loaded jam in the second, then gave up a leadoff double toAngel Pagan in the third. After Hunter Pence‘s RBI single, De La Rosa retired the next two batters but threw one pitch to Michael Morse before summoning team trainers and Weiss to the mound.
Umpires allowed De La Rosa to make a few warmup pitches before Morse hit a tying single.
Morse also doubled off Tommy Kahnle in the fifth, and Pence doubled and scored on a wild pitch by Chris Martin in the seventh.
NOTES: C Rosario got hit in the face by a ball he fouled off that hit the ground and bounced straight up in the second inning. A team trainer came out to check on Rosario, who stayed in the game. … Colorado RHP Christian Bergman (0-1) will make his second major league start on Saturday. The rookie allowed two runs in six innings in his pro debut on Monday. RHP Ryan Vogelsong (4-3) pitches for San Francisco.
– By MICHAEL WAGAMAN, Associated Press
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