Sanchez, Jimenez clash in Coors matinee

Sanchez, Jimenez clash in Coors matinee
May 17, 2011, 1:15 pm

May 17, 2011

GIANTS (22-18) vs.
COLORADO (21-18)

Coverage begins at 11:30 A.M. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area

DENVER (AP) -- The only time this season Colorado's Ubaldo Jimenez has looked remotely like the pitcher that won 19 games in 2010 was in his last outing against the San Francisco Giants.

Still searching for his first win of 2011, Jimenez on Tuesday will try to lead the Rockies to a two-game sweep of the visiting Giants on Tuesday. If he does, Colorado will regain its perch atop the NL West from the reigning World Series champions.

Jimenez (0-3, 6.67 ERA) continues to struggle after setting Rockies records for wins, ERA (2.88) and strikeouts (214) last season. The right-hander allowed five runs and walked six in 3 2-3 innings of a 9-5 home loss to the Mets on Thursday.
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"The only thing I can do is keep working hard every day and keep trying to get better," Jimenez said. "I'm not going to get frustrated. I know I'm not doing anything good for the team, but hopefully there's a time where I'll start doing good."

Jimenez worked on his delivery during a weekend bullpen session.

"Mechanically, he's out of sync just a little bit," manager Jim Tracy said. "There is no doubt that what we're dealing with is mechanical in nature."

Jimenez did not have many problems when he allowed a run, two hits and struck out seven in six innings at San Francisco on May 6, but did not factor in the decision of a 4-3 loss. However, he yielded four runs in five innings of a 6-3 loss to the Giants at Coors Field on April 19.

Scheduled Giants starter Jonathan Sanchez (3-2, 3.68) gave up two earned runs and two hits in 6 1-3 innings to beat Jimenez in April. Those are the only runs he's allowed while winning three straight starts at Coors, limiting the Rockies to seven hits over 17 1-3 innings in those outings while striking out 21.

The left-hander gave up three runs and struck out seven in six innings of a 4-3 victory over Arizona on Wednesday.

"I thought he had a better tempo going," manager Bruce Bochy told the Giants' official website. "He just looked more confident out there. Still not quite as good as he will be, but overall, his presence out there was better."

Sanchez will try to help the Giants (22-18) bounce back after Colorado scored five times off Tim Lincecum in the sixth inning en route to a 7-4 victory Monday.

REWIND: Rockies rough up Lincecum, beat Giants

Carlos Gonzalez hit a three-run homer in the pivotal frame as the Rockies (21-18) won for just the fifth time in 16 games but moved within one-half game of the first-place Giants. Colorado, which held the West lead from April 6-May 10 and again last Thursday, is 2-5 versus San Francisco in 2011.

"Against that team, and trailing them in the division and them beating us up the whole year, it was a big answer for us," said Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, who had two RBIs.

Gonzalez is batting .234, but has three homers and seven RBIs in his last six games. However, he's 0 for 14 with six strikeouts versus Sanchez.

Nate Schierholtz hit a two-run homer and Freddy Sanchez added three hits Monday for the Giants, who have dropped two of three after winning six in a row. Sanchez is batting .300 in his last 10 games, and is also a .300 lifetime hitter in 30 at-bats against Jimenez.