Giants batter Rockies for series sweep
AT&T PARK — Some things seem to remain constant over the years, like the Giants beating up on the Rockies at home.
Wednesday’s matinée finale was no exception as the Giants jumped out to a 2-0 lead en route to a 10-0 blowout of the Rockies and a series sweep.
Buster Posey was a home run shy of the cycle and had three RBIs. Barry Zito pitched seven shutout innings and helped his own cause with a run scoring single in the fifth inning.
The Giants broke the game open in the second inning when they sent ten men to the plate. Brandon Crawford doubled to right, eventually scoring on a sac fly by Marco Scutaro.
Zito would reach on a bunt, followed by an Angel Pagan walk. Posey would double, scoring Zito. Then Hunter Pence reached on a fielder’s choice, but a throwing error by third baseman Chris Nelson allowed Pagan to score, with Pence and Posey advancing to second and third base, respectively.
After an intentional walk to Joaquin Arias, Andres Torres delivered a two run single with the bases loaded. That would be the knockout punch sending Rockies pitcher Jeff Francis to an early shower.
San Francisco added two more runs in the fifth. Torres doubled to right center. He advanced to third and scored on a single to left by Zito. Posey would then knock in Zito with a line drive single to left.
The Giants capped the scoring in the sixth. Brandon Belt doubled to left center with one out and scored on a force out.
Zito (2-0) scattered seven hits, issued only one walk and struck out four in his seven innings of work. The Giants have won Zito’s last 16 starts dating to August 2 vs. the New York Mets:
Giants pitcher Barry Zito
“I settled in pretty good in the last few innings and was feeling pretty comfortable with my pitches. For me I’ve just got to grind it out every pitch and if I can get into a nice run where I’m making a hand full of pitches in a row, that’s good but it’s not easy by any means.”
Posey finished 3-for-5, finishing a home run shy of the cycle. He said postgame that Zito succeeds because of his work ethic:
Giants catcher Buster Posey
“I think it starts with his preparation. He’s got a great game plan going into every game and he’s been able to execute it. You combine those two things together, you’re going to have some success. For awhile he’s been pitching with a lot of confidence and that’s a big key.”
The Giants have won nine straight against the Rockies, the longest current winning streak for any MLB team against a division rival.
Rockies losing pitcher Jeff Francis (1-1) had the worst outing of his career, lasting 1-2/3 innings while giving up seven runs, walking two and fanning two:
Rockies pitcher Jeff Francis
“It’s a trend the last few times we’ve been in here. It doesn’t change the way we prepare. We still come in here, we still have a lot of battle in us and we come in here and expect to win. It hasn’t happened the last few times here but the next time we come, we’ll have the confidence we can come in and win.”
Colorado is 41-80 all-time in China Basin. Francis admits the Giants ballpark has been a chamber of horrors for the Rockies:
“They’re certainly a good team and certainly a team we’ve had trouble with. It was a tough day, yesterday was a tough day too. The first game here we played a good game here but came out on the wrong end so it wasn’t a good trip for us here.”
Javier Lopez and Chad Gaudin recorded the final six outs in order to complete a 4-2 homestand.
The Giants take to the skies to begin a seven-game road trip. A four-game series begins in Chicago Thursday afternoon. Burlingame native Scott Feldman takes the ball for the Cubs against Ryan Vogelsong (1-0, 8.44). First pitch from Wrigley Field is at 11:20 a.m.
Zito has a 14.0 inning scoreless streak to begin the season, most by a Giants starter from the start of Opening Day since Ryan Jensen’s 14-1/3 scoreless innings streak in 2002. Zito had two hits, the first time he’s had a multi-hit game in his career. The Giants have won the last 16 starts by Zito (including the postseason), matching the all-time franchise record when they won 16 in a row by Hall of Famer Carl Hubbell from July 17-Sept. 30, 1936 for the New York Giants (according to Stats LLC). … Pence was 0-for-5 ending his hitting streak at seven games.