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Giants edge Rockies, close in on division lead

CBSSports.com wire reports
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SAN FRANCISCO -- Darren Ford arrived from Double-A in the second inning following a delayed flight and missed connection. Then, he got thrown right into a tie game and a pennant race in his major-league debut.

Manager Bruce Bochy gambled with a speedy yet nervous rookie -- and it paid off, for ace Tim Lincecum and the San Francisco Giants.

Ford entered as a pinch-runner and scored the go-ahead run from second base on a wild pitch and throwing error in the eighth inning, helping Lincecum end a career-worst five-start skid in a 2-1 victory over Colorado on Wednesday night.

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"I knew it would be bang-bang," Bochy said. "I'll say this, the kid didn't hesitate. He can fly. That's a great call-up. He comes up and helps us win the game. He showed no fear up there."

Ubaldo Jimenez (17-6) was denied in his fifth attempt at a franchise-record 18th win. He lost his third straight start and fourth consecutive decision dating to a win over San Francisco on Aug. 4.

He struck out 10 in eight innings, allowing only three hits.

"You want to talk about a hard-luck loser," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. "The way he was throwing the ball tonight, it wouldn't have taken too many [runs], I can promise you that."

The Giants gained another game on the first-place Padres, pulling within three games in the NL West race after San Diego lost its seventh in a row.

"You never lose sight of winning your division," Bochy said.

Ford, on second after Lincecum's sacrifice bunt, broke for third when Jimenez's pitch bounced in the dirt and off catcher Miguel Olivo's shin guard. Olivo scrambled to his left and quickly retrieved the ball before firing past lunging third baseman Melvin Mora.

"I know what my role is, to go out there and try to steal a base and get in scoring position," said Ford, who impressed Bochy way back in spring training. "I trust my instincts."

Lincecum (12-9) won for the first time since July 30. He hung tough in an impressive pitchers' duel between the two-time reigning NL Cy Young Award winner and the guy who may unseat him for the honor this season.

"I had a different mentality," Lincecum said. "This is a big moment and I've got to step up. I wanted to start off the month well."

Ford came through hours after being called up from Double-A Richmond. Veterans Aubrey Huff and Pat Burrell exchanged chest slaps, while Pablo Sandoval greeted Ford with a big hug in the dugout.

Lincecum allowed five hits, struck out nine and walked one in eight innings. All-Star closer Brian Wilson pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his NL-leading 38th save in 42 chances.

Second baseman Freddy Sanchez, facing the outfield, made an over-the-shoulder catch on Mora's popup to end it. Sanchez laid flat on his back in relief as the crowd at AT&T Park roared.

Carlos Gonzalez homered to start the fourth for the Rockies, who did little else against Lincecum on a night the hard-throwing right-hander looked like his old self again. Gonzalez had three of Colorado's five hits.

Winning this series for the Giants was huge considering they dropped the opener Monday on a bizarre broken-bat triple. San Francisco leaves town for a 10-game road trip all against the division.

Jimenez didn't allow a hit until Jose Guillen singled to right leading off the fifth. Buster Posey walked and Sandoval struck out swinging before Mike Fontenot's RBI single made it 1-all.

Jimenez has a 2.92 ERA over his last five starts.

"That's part of life and that's part of baseball," Jimenez said. "Things one day are going to go your way and then the other time it's going to be the other way. You never know when it's going to change. The only thing I can do is just try to keep going hard and giving my team a chance."

Lincecum of anybody understands a tough stretch. This outing, he pushed any thoughts of mechanics out of his mind and just pitched.

Lincecum went 1-3 last September and expects more from himself this time to keep his team in the playoff chase. They haven't been to the postseason since 2003.

"This is going to be a big month for us," Lincecum said. "I'm going to try to take that momentum into the next series."

Colorado now heads home for a makeup game with the Phillies on Thursday before traveling to San Diego for a key weekend series.

Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki returned to the Rockies' lineup after missing two games with a sore left groin. He went 0 for 4 and had his hitting streak snapped at 10 games.

Notes

The Giants activated SS Edgar Renteria and LHP reliever Dan Runzler from the disabled list. Renteria wasn't in the starting lineup after his third DL stint and manager Bruce Bochy said Juan Uribe would get most of the work at that spot the rest of the way.

 
Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Called up on Wednesday, Darren Ford races home for the go-ahead run with Melvin Mora powerless to stop him.  (AP)
Called up on Wednesday, Darren Ford races home for the go-ahead run with Melvin Mora powerless to stop him. (AP)

Players of the Game
San Francisco

T. Lincecum
IP 8.0
H 5
ER 1
BB 1
K 9
Colorado

C. Gonzalez
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 1
RBI 1
 

Related Video

Colorado Rockies
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Eric Young Jr., 2B3000123 .238
Dexter Fowler, CF4000021 .243
Carlos Gonzalez, RF4131000 .329
Troy Tulowitzki, SS4000012 .315
Todd Helton, 1B4000021 .257
Seth Smith, LF4000010 .253
Melvin Mora, 3B4010000 .273
Miguel Olivo, C3000001 .274
Ubaldo Jimenez, P3010010 .121
Totals3315119  
Batting
HR - Carlos Gonzalez (30, Lincecum)
RBI - Carlos Gonzalez (92)
SB - Eric Young Jr. (13, 2nd base off Lincecum/Posey)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Tulowitzki-Helton, Olivo-Tulowitzki
E - Melvin Mora (8, Misplayed grounder), Miguel Olivo (7, Throwing)
Colorado Rockies
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Ubaldo Jimenez (L,17-6) 84223100 2.69
WP - Ubaldo Jimenez (12)
Pitches-Strikes - Ubaldo Jimenez 114-65
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ubaldo Jimenez 5-8
Batters Faced - Ubaldo Jimenez 30
San Francisco Giants
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Andres Torres, CF4000030 .282
Freddy Sanchez, 2B4020010 .292
Aubrey Huff, 1B4000012 .289
Pat Burrell, LF3000011 .247
    Cody Ross, LF0000000 .266
Jose Guillen, RF3110011 .266
Buster Posey, C1000201 .329
Pablo Sandoval, 3B3000024 .273
Mike Fontenot, SS2011100 .289
    Darren Ford, PR0100000 .000
    Juan Uribe, SS0000000 .249
Tim Lincecum, P2000011 .103
    Brian Wilson, P0000000 .000
Totals26241310  
Batting
SH - Tim Lincecum (11)
RBI - Mike Fontenot (22)
CS - Buster Posey (2, 2nd base by Jimenez/Olivo)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
E - Mike Fontenot (9, Throwing)
San Francisco Giants
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Tim Lincecum (W,12-9) 8511191 3.68
Brian Wilson (S,38) 1000000 1.94
Pitches-Strikes - Tim Lincecum 103-68, Brian Wilson 13-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tim Lincecum 9-7
Batters Faced - Tim Lincecum 31, Brian Wilson 3
Game Information
Attendance - 31186
Game Time - 2:10
Temperature - 77
Umpires - Home - Jerry Layne, First Base - Mike Winters, Second Base - Hunter Wendelstedt, Third Base - Jim Joyce