Then in the top of the seventh of Sunday's game, Michael Tucker emphatically broke the Giants out of the offensive slump by launching his second grand slam of the season, catapulting San Francisco to an 8-6 victory over Colorado.
"That's what we were looking for," said Tucker, who hit his homer off loser Byung-Hyun Kim. "Something big to happen in one of the innings here and we got one."
The Giants (6-5) needed that one to come back from a 5-3 deficit late in the game against Rockies starter Jason Jennings who, up until that point, was cruising. He ended up surrendering five runs on seven hits in 6 2/3 innings, before giving way to Kim (0-2).
Jennings' counterpart, Kirk Rueter, lasted just three innings, while giving up five runs on 10 hits. He was relieved by a Giants bullpen that had been struggling early in the season, but pitched surprisingly well this series, continuing with six innings of one-run ball Sunday.
"Our bullpen really picked us up," Giants manager Felipe Alou told the Associated Press after the game. "They gave us six strong innings when we needed it."
The lone run came off the bat of Todd Helton in the bottom of the ninth off Giants closer Armando Benitez, who made it interesting before slamming the door on the Rockies (2-9) for his third save of the season. Matt Herges (1-0) picked up the win in relief.
"It's huge considering what happened in Los Angeles," San Francisco color commentator Mike Krukow said. "They come here right into Colorado, a team that's been stumbling and they won a series on the road, so now they've got momentum going into the series in San Diego."
The Giants hope to ride some momentum as they travel to PETCO Park for a short two-game set with the Padres beginning Monday. Brett Tomko (0-2, 5.91 ERA) will oppose Jake Peavy (1-0, 1.32 ERA) in his hometown city of San Diego.
Game Notes: Lance Niekro, who was out Saturday with a sprained right foot, pinch-hit for Tyler Walker in the sixth inning, flying out to deep center field. Niekro took anti-inflammatory drugs which have stopped the soreness in his foot. … Moises Alou said he "felt good" after 10 minutes of legwork. Trainer Stan Conte said "Mo is doing really good" and will increase the intensity of his workouts this week. Alou is set to come off the 15-day disabled list on April 22. … Mike Matheny took the day off as previously planned. … Marquis Grissom celebrated his 38th birthday on Sunday by going 1-for-4 with an RBI single. … Edgardo Alfonzo continued his torrid pace with a 3-for-4 performance with three runs scored and a run batted in. His batting average did dip below the .500 mark (.488), but no one seems to be complaining in the Giants dugout.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org to air out your frustrations or, more likely, songs of praise.
The views expressed in the columns do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the site's publisher, writers, or other staff members. The content on this site may not be redistributed without the expressed consent of SFDugout.com.