|San Francisco «||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||5||x||6||10||0|
SAN FRANCISCO -- One improbable rally has the San Francisco Giants believing again.
Lance Niekro broke out of a slump with a tiebreaking, two-run double in the eighth inning, and the Giants snapped a four-game losing streak with a 6-4 win over the Colorado Rockies on Thursday.
Afterward, music blared through the clubhouse, players laughed for a change, and shortstop Omar Vizquel signed autographs and socialized in the hallway for several minutes.
"That rally and win itself might help morale and the feeling here of defeat," Giants manager Felipe Alou said. "It's one win. I wish it had been five games. Hey, things start small like that -- who knows? There will be more confidence tomorrow."
The Giants showed some late-inning energy not exhibited from this downtrodden club in recent days, rallying for five runs on seven straight hits in the eighth to keep Colorado from its first three-game sweep in San Francisco.
After pinch-hitter Deivi Cruz flied out to start the eighth, the Giants broke loose. Dan Miceli failed to field consecutive infield singles by Randy Winn and Michael Tucker. Winn's ball glanced off Miceli's glove, then Tucker's hit the pitcher's left foot -- and Miceli looked in all directions in the air before discovering the ball on the ground.
"You've got a double-play ball if he catches it or lets it go," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said of the hit by Winn. "Then Tucker's ball hit his foot. If it was a double play, we wouldn't have run into all that other trouble. We had one bad inning in three days. We played good baseball here."
Alou hasn't seen such a crazy play since he was a player for the Giants in the 1962 postseason against the Dodgers and Willie Mays hit a ball that the pitcher picked up and dropped twice.
San Francisco tied it on Ray Durham's RBI single off Miceli (1-2) following a two-run single by Pedro Feliz. Niekro's hit ended an 0-for-13 slump.
It was a gloomy dugout -- the Giants had just three hits going into the eighth -- before the rally.
"It was pretty quiet in there," Niekro said. "It's hard not to get down when things aren't going how you want them to. I hope this puts a little pep in our step."
Scott Munter (2-0) pitched the eighth for the win and Tyler Walker got his 19th save in 24 opportunities.
J.D. Closser homered and Garrett Atkins hit a two-run double for the Rockies, who won the first two games of the series each by one run and earned back-to-back road victories for the first time this year. Colorado hasn't swept a three-game road series since July 23-25 last year in Arizona.
The bullpen blew it for starter Jose Acevedo, who pitched six strong innings for the third straight start and retired 11 of his final 12 batters.
Closser hit his seventh homer leading off the seventh. Atkins staked Acevedo to an early lead with his double in the first.
Feliz hit a sacrifice fly in the first for the Giants, but they couldn't muster much more until he hit a bases-loaded, two-run single in the eighth. Winn tripled in the first and doubled in the third, but the Giants left runners on second and third that inning.
Alou considers the next week or so to be a critical period for his team to either stay in the NL West chase or fall out altogether. San Francisco plays the surging Astros this weekend -- and has to face Houston's top three pitchers: Andy Pettitte, Roy Oswalt and Roger Clemens.
Kevin Correia struck out a career-high six in six innings for the Giants, allowing five hits and two earned runs. The 24-year-old right-hander started in place of struggling veteran Kirk Rueter, who was sent to the bullpen for the second time this season.
Colorado has exhibited impressive energy considering the club is in a stretch with 34 games in 34 days to start the second half. After a weekend series in Arizona, the Rockies return to Coors Field for a franchise-record 14-game homestand.
"The breaks didn't go our way, but that's part of the game," Miceli said. "You've got to try to forget about it and tackle the next situation."
Giants outfielder Moises Alou missed his second straight game and probably won't play until Saturday at the earliest because of a tight right hamstring.
Winn was a home run shy of the cycle. ... The Giants activated C Mike Matheny from the bereavement list after missing two games because of the death of his grandfather. ... Colorado's Dustan Mohr started in CF as Hurdle gave the struggling Cory Sullivan a day to rest -- and it might not be the only one. "He says he feels fine," Hurdle said. "We'll monitor it. He's going to get some rest." Hurdle also plans to use new OF Larry Bigbie in center sometime soon. ... Injured Giants closer Armando Benitez, recovering from surgery to reattach two torn hamstring tendons to his pelvis, pitched one perfect inning in a rehab outing for Class-A San Jose against Lake Elsinore.
|Players of the Game|
|Omar Quintanilla, SS||5||1||2||0||0||0||1||.313|
|Luis Gonzalez, 2B||4||1||1||0||1||1||0||.285|
|Matt Holliday, LF||5||0||1||0||0||0||4||.301|
|Garrett Atkins, 3B||4||0||1||2||0||2||1||.281|
|Larry Bigbie, RF||3||1||2||0||1||0||1||.253|
|Ryan Shealy, 1B||4||0||1||1||0||0||2||.315|
|Dustan Mohr, CF||4||0||0||0||0||2||2||.209|
|J.D. Closser, C||3||1||2||1||1||1||0||.236|
|Jose Acevedo, P||2||0||0||0||0||2||2||.000|
|a- Aaron Miles, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.282|
|Mike DeJean, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Dan Miceli, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Randall Williams, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Jorge Piedra, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.292|
|a-flied out for Acevedo in the 7th|
|b-struck out for Williams in the 9th|
|2B - Matt Holliday (14, Correia), Garrett Atkins (17, Correia)|
|3B - J.D. Closser (2, Correia)|
|HR - J.D. Closser (7, Christiansen)|
|RBI - Garrett Atkins 2 (48), Ryan Shealy (8), J.D. Closser (25)|
|2-OUT RBI - Ryan Shealy (5)|
|SB - Larry Bigbie (4, 2nd base off Munter/Matheny)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|Mike DeJean (H,9)||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||5.08|
|Dan Miceli (BS,2; L,1-2)||0.1||5||5||5||0||0||0||5.89|
|Pitches-Strikes - Jose Acevedo 89-56, Mike DeJean 9-6, Dan Miceli 22-14, Randall Williams 10-7|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jose Acevedo 2-13, Mike DeJean 2-1|
|Batters Faced - Jose Acevedo 23, Mike DeJean 3, Dan Miceli 6, Randall Williams 4|
|San Francisco Giants|
|Omar Vizquel, SS||4||1||1||0||0||0||2||.293|
|Randy Winn, CF||4||2||3||0||0||0||1||.279|
|Michael Tucker, RF||3||1||1||0||1||1||2||.258|
|Pedro Feliz, LF||3||1||1||3||0||0||2||.269|
|Ray Durham, 2B||4||1||1||1||0||1||1||.297|
|Lance Niekro, 1B||4||0||1||2||0||0||0||.272|
|Edgardo Alfonzo, 3B||4||0||1||0||0||0||0||.293|
|Mike Matheny, C||4||0||0||0||0||1||2||.246|
|Kevin Correia, P||1||0||1||0||1||0||0||.143|
|Jason Christiansen, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Scott Munter, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Deivi Cruz, PH||2||0||0||0||0||0||2||.262|
|Tyler Walker, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-flied out for Munter in the 8th|
|2B - Randy Winn (26, Acevedo), Lance Niekro (14, Williams)|
|3B - Randy Winn (2, Acevedo)|
|SF - Pedro Feliz (5)|
|RBI - Pedro Feliz 3 (66), Ray Durham (38), Lance Niekro 2 (37)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|DP - Vizquel-Durham-Niekro|
|San Francisco Giants|
|Scott Munter (W,2-0)||1||2||1||1||0||1||0||2.52|
|Tyler Walker (S,19)||1||2||0||0||0||2||0||4.21|
|Pitches-Strikes - Kevin Correia 102-59, Jason Christiansen 13-8, Scott Munter 24-17, Tyler Walker 18-13|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kevin Correia 2-9, Jason Christiansen 2-1, Scott Munter 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Kevin Correia 25, Jason Christiansen 4, Scott Munter 5, Tyler Walker 5|
|Attendance - 40721|
|Game Time - 2:38|
|Temperature - 67|
|Umpires - Home - Larry Vanover, First Base - Jim Wolf, Second Base - Randy Marsh, Third Base - Tom Hallion|