April 19, 2011
GIANTS (9-7) vs.
Coverage begins at 5 P.M. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area
DENVER (AP) -- The Colorado Rockies have played excellent baseball without their ace, but the return of Ubaldo Jimenez figures to provide them with a big lift.
In his first start off the disabled list, Jimenez will take the mound for the Rockies on Tuesday night as they continue their series against the San Francisco Giants.
After going 19-8 with a 2.88 ERA last season, throwing a no-hitter and finishing third in the NL Cy Young Award voting, Jimenez (0-0, 7.50 ERA) was aiming to build off that breakout campaign this season.
However, his debut was a forgettable one as he gave up six runs and seven hits - including two homers - in six innings of a 7-6, 11-inning loss to Arizona on April 1.
Jimenez blamed a cut cuticle on his pitching thumb and was placed on the disabled list April 6.
He returns to the mound with his team tied for the majors' best record at 12-4. Despite missing its ace, Colorado's starters were 9-1 with a 3.60 ERA before a rough outing by Esmil Rogers in Monday's series opener led to an 8-1 loss.
"It's a group effort and just because one guy goes down doesn't mean the others can't pick him up," Troy Tulowitzki said. "I went down last year and we played just fine. Carlos (Gonzalez) has had his fair share of injuries and we've done all right. Ubaldo now, too."
Jimenez is 5-5 with a 3.13 ERA in 14 starts against the Giants. He went 2-1 in four last season with two complete games.
Jimenez will try to give the Coors Field crowd something to cheer about after Giants ace Tim Lincecum took a no-hitter into the seventh inning Monday before giving up a one-out single to Gonzalez.
Lincecum struck out 10 over 7 2-3 innings as San Francisco (9-7) won for the fifth time in six games, holding the Rockies to their fewest runs of the season.
REWIND: Lincecum flirts with no-hitter in 8-1 Giants win
"Well, the guy was dealing today," Gonzalez said. "That's why the guy has two Cy Young Awards. Whenever you have to face a guy like that you want to count on your starting pitcher because runs are going to be hard to come by."
Lincecum had plenty of help from the offense, which tagged Rogers for eight runs in three innings, scoring five in the first. Freddy Sanchez, Pat Burrell and Nate Schierholtz all homered in that inning.
The Rockies were limited to a season-low four hits, getting an RBI double from Todd Helton in the seventh.
Tulowitzki, who came in hitting .364, went 0 for 3 with two strikeouts.
It was the second time in three games Colorado was blown out after the team's previous two losses came in extra innings. The Rockies lost 8-3 to Chicago on Saturday.
With a tough act to follow after Lincecum, Jonathan Sanchez (1-1, 3.24) takes the ball for the Giants looking to build off his best start of the year.
Sanchez yielded three runs and struck out a season-high nine in six innings of a 4-3 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday.
Sanchez has 24 strikeouts over his first 16 2-3 innings, but he hadn't completed six innings in his previous two starts.
The left-hander is 2-1 with a 1.52 ERA and 27 strikeouts in his last four starts against the Rockies after going 1-3 with a 7.30 ERA in the first seven.
San Francisco has won five of the last six meetings.
These teams split their 18 meetings last season, however, the Giants have won four of the last five matchups between the clubs. ... San Francisco has won four of its last five games after opening the season with four wins in its first 10 contests. The Giants have scored exactly five runs in three straight and four of their last five games. ... The Rockies, who at 12-3 own the best record in the majors this season, have won eight of their last nine games. ... Tim Lincecum has seven wins in his career against the Rockies, which is tied for the most wins in his career against any opponent (7 vs. Arizona). ... Esmil Rogers, who has won each of his two starts this season, is 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA in two career starts against San Francisco. ... Todd Helton has 110 RBI in his career against the Giants -- the third-most in his career against any opponent. Helton is 10-for-28 with one homer and two doubles in his career against Tim Lincecum.