Rewind: Giants vs. Rockies, Game #3

Without Barry Bonds and Moises Alou, the Giants knew they'd have to get offense from many different places. But their ace pitcher?

After three exciting late-inning wins this past week, it’s a nice change of pace to see a good old-fashioned laugher on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

During their opening homestand, San Francisco averaged a two-run margin of victory for their first three wins, thanks in part to an inconsistent offense.

“I [have to] believe that if you’re the Giants hitters, a game like today was kind of owed to you,” San Francisco color commentator Mike Krukow said. “Throughout the homestand, they really didn’t get a lot of breaks.”

The Giants got plenty of breaks Sunday as they scratched and clawed their way to an 11-4 rout of the Colorado Rockies to complete a three-game sweep at the ballpark on Third and King in front of 38,588 fans.

Playing without sluggers Barry Bonds and Moises Alou, San Francisco implemented “small ball” tactics in the opening innings to provide run support for starter Jason Schmidt.

Jason Ellison led off the bottom of the first with a well-placed bunt single down the third base line. He later advanced to third on a failed pick-off attempt by Rockies starter Joe Kennedy, which credited Ellison with a stolen base.

The speedy outfielder later scored on a Deivi Cruz groundout to deep short, giving the Giants an early 1-0 lead.

San Francisco tacked on another run in the bottom of the second inning when the slimmer and trimmer Edgardo Alfonzo manufactured a run with his newfound foot-speed.

Alfonzo led off the inning with a solid single to center, and then aggressively took second base on a wild pitch from Kennedy. A Marquis Grissom single advanced Alfonzo to third, who later scored on a double-play grounder off the bat of Lance Niekro.

“We have to do all that to stay afloat,” Giants manager Felipe Alou told the Associated Press. “We can't wait for the long ball, even though we've won a couple games with the long ball.”

San Francisco didn’t need the long ball Sunday as they opened the floodgates in the bottom of the fifth inning with seven runs, the big blow coming from a bases-loaded single by Marquis Grissom to plate two runs.

“We made good contact and we had a little favor go our way,” Grissom said. “Jason (Schmidt) went out and threw a good ballgame.”

The San Francisco right-hander pitched six superb innings, allowed just two hits and struck out seven batters. He left after throwing 103 pitches and surrendering just an unearned run to the Rockies. He improves to 2-0 for the season and 8-2 lifetime against Colorado.

The Rockies have now lost four in a row and have been swept in San Francisco for seven times in their franchise career, their most in any city. The Rox travel to Arizona to face the D-Backs for a three-game series, beginning Monday.

The Giants, meanwhile, moved into a first-place tie with the Los Angeles Dodgers, who lost to the D-Backs on Sunday, 5-4.

San Francisco is off Monday, but will open a short two-game set with the Dodgers on Tuesday in Chavez Ravine.

“We got to go back in there and kind of redeem ourselves a little bit,” said Grissom, referring to the opening series against the Dodgers. “They kind of whooped on us the last two games.”

In addition to their propensity for walk-off homeruns, Grissom and Co. can seek redemption against the hated rivals knowing they have found a new way to win – a new brand of Giants baseball – small ball.

Game Notes: Before the game, the Giants two biggest stars, Bonds and Schmidt, received trophies for player’s choice awards. Bonds won Overall Player of the Year and National League POY, while Schmidt was voted NL Outstanding Pitcher of the Year for 2004. … San Francisco announced that Bonds and fellow disabled list partner Moises Alou will make the trip with the team to LA. … Ray Durham was out of the lineup to rest his tender legs and take full advantage of Monday’s day-off. … Because the Giants will also get Thursday off this coming week, fifth starter Jerome Williams may be skipped in the rotation and might not pitch again until April 19 in San Diego.

Phil Delacruz was a transplanted Giants fan, buried in the Southland. After four strenuous years in College, studying (read: partying), he's back in the beautiful "City by the Bay" – San Francisco. Do you think he should move back to LALA land? Or do you like him where he is now and appreciate the good reads? Either way, send him an e-mail at to air out your frustrations or, more likely, songs of praise.

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