Rewind: Giants At Rockies, Game #2

You had to think the Giants would've had the advantage in this one. They were sending up a pitcher who was undefeated in the monster known as Coors Field, and he was their ace, too. Well, so much for that streak.

Something had to give. The Colorado Rockies entered Saturday’s game in the midst of an eight-game losing streak, showing no signs of life and fading fast into the depths of the National League West cellar.

Meanwhile, Jason Schmidt was a perfect 4-0 lifetime at Coors Field, undefeated in eight career starts and poised to pitch his team to another victory.

“He’s been terrific in this yard,” San Francisco play-by-play announcer Duane Kiper said. “When he’s pitching, you just expect the Giants to win.”

You would think the San Francisco Giants had the advantage heading into the contest.

Instead, the Rockies, behind starter Joe Kennedy’s stellar pitching performance and unexpected hitting, eked out a win against the Giants, 5-4, in front of 23,439 fans in Denver.

When Schmidt (2-1) faced Kennedy in San Francisco last Sunday, the two-time All-Star got two hits off the left-hander, en route to an 11-4 thrashing of Colorado.

This time, Kennedy (1-1) made sure to return the favor.

A lifetime .156 hitter, the Rockies ace pitcher got two hits of his own against Schmidt, one of which led off the bottom of the third inning and ignited a four-run rally. Preston Wilson delivered the big blow, a two-run scoring double down the right-field line.

Wilson later scored on a Brad Hawpe single to center, which Marquis Grissom misplayed by making a bad read on the ball. Colorado batted around in the decisive inning, forcing Schmidt to throw 34 pitches in the frame.

“I labored too much and made some really bad pitch selection, really got away from the game I wanted to throw,” Schmidt told the Associated Press after the game. “I should have stayed with my strengths when I should have.”

When all was said and done in the bottom of the third, the Rockies were up 4-1 and never looked back.

The Giants made it close in the top of the sixth on a Pedro Feliz homerun, inching closer at 4-2. Feliz’s second homer in as many days was the 400th in Coors Field history.

The Rockies tacked on another run in their half of the sixth when Matt Holiday tagged Jerome Williams, who was making a rare relief appearance, with a run-scoring single to left field to put Colorado up 5-2.

San Francisco battled back and made it interesting in the top of the ninth off Rockies closer Chin-hui Tsao. After one out, Mike Matheny doubled and Michael Tucker followed with a deep blast to right-center field to make it 5-4.

After Jason Ellison popped out to the second baseman, Omar Vizquel hit a double to right field to set up the tying run at second base for Ray Durham, who was batting in an unfamiliar spot in the order – third.

Durham, however, could not cash in on the RBI opportunity and popped out to short center field, ending the game and the Rockies’ eight-game losing streak.

“It felt good to get off that skid, get another one under our belts,” Kennedy told the AP.

Colorado notched just their second win (2-8) of the young season, while the Giants fell to .500 (5-5). Tsao picked up his first save of the season.

The two teams square off again at Coors Field Sunday to close out the three-game series. Giants fans can catch the game locally on Fox Sports Bay Area at 12:05 p.m.

Game Notes: Lance Niekro was originally penciled in to start Saturday’s ballgame, but was scratched due to a sprained right foot. Giants trainer Stan Conte said the injury doesn’t seem serious and cleared Niekro for pinch-hit duties. … San Francisco manager Felipe Alou hit Durham third in the lineup in hopes of jump-starting the struggling leadoff batter (.192 batting average). … Rockies shortstop sensation Clint Barmes made a questionable bunt attempt in the bottom of the fourth inning. With one out, Colorado had a runner on second base and in scoring position, but Barmes laid down a bunt to advance the runner to third, making the second out of the inning. What was even more questionable was the official scorer’s decision to give Barmes a “sacrifice” on the play.

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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