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San Francisco at Colorado

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San Francisco (1-3) «2020300007101
Colorado (1-3)000000000042

Zito, Giants shut out Rockies

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

DENVER -- A new delivery helped Barry Zito look like his old self.

San Francisco's 33-year-old lefty tweaked his delivery and toyed with the Colorado Rockies, throwing a four-hitter for his first shutout in nine years and Pablo Sandoval hit a two-run homer to lead the Giants to a 7-0 win Monday.

It was San Francisco's first win after losing three one-run games at Arizona, the Giants' first 0-3 start since 1984.

Zito looked a lot like the pitcher who won the 2002 Cy Young award with Oakland and nothing like the one that managed just three wins during an injury-plagued 2011 season.

"I couldn't be happier for Barry," said Giants cleanup hitter Aubrey Huff. "It's no secret he gets buried by the fans, the media and all. To see him go out there and put up a complete-game shutout in Colorado, all the haters out there -- that's for them."

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Zito (1-0), who hasn't lost to Colorado since Sept. 25, 2008 -- a span of nine starts -- allowed three harmless singles and a double. He didn't walk a batter and struck out four in tossing his fifth career shutout and first since April 18, 2003, against Texas, and helping the Giants avoid their first 0-4 start since 1950.

"That was just fun to watch," Huff said. "I never wanted to scoop up a ball at the end there for the last out harder in my life for a pitcher. He's been going through some tough times this spring and to come out here and do what he did in Colorado after an 0-3 start, it's just amazing. Just when you think you've seen it all in baseball."

Zito worked on a new delivery this spring, crouching more to give him a lower center of gravity, bending his front leg more to get lower to the ground. But he had trouble keeping his pitches down in the strike zone, so after two bad outings last week in his final Cactus League starts, he pitched in an extended spring training game to iron out the kinks.

It worked wonders.

"It's been said many times that spring training's overrated," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.

In command of his cutters, curves and change-ups, Zito set up one hitter after another with 84 mph fastballs that produced 15 pop-outs.

"He got a lot of weak pop flies, kept us off-balance," Todd Helton said. "But we got to put together better at-bats. I think we will. I think nerves were a little involved. So, hopefully next game we'll come out relaxed and swing the bats better."

Zito thanked Bochy for letting him go out for the ninth to complete his 112-pitch masterpiece.

"It was really satisfying," Zito said. "I had a tough spring and made the adjustment I had to make and I think my start in the minor leagues last week had a lot to do with it, just being able to work on stuff without worrying about getting guys out."

Hector Sanchez called a terrific game that helped keep the Rockies guessing.

"He just has a good feel," Zito said. "He's not scared to go out there and call a pitch that may not be a normal pitch to throw in a certain situation. If things get under pressure out there, he's just always mellow."

Sandoval gave Zito all the support he'd need with a two-run shot over the right field wall in the first inning off Jhoulys Chacin (0-1), and Brandon Crawford hit a bases-clearing double off Matt Reynolds in the fifth.

Chacin, who led the Rockies in wins, ERA, innings and strikeouts last season, gave up four runs, all earned, on four hits and five walks in four shaky innings as the Rockies lost their third straight after an opening day win at Houston.

Chacin walked the bases full in the third and then hung a 2-2 curveball that Hector Sanchez hit for an RBI single. Angel Pagan drove in another run with a hard groundout to first to make it 4-0.

"Just going to forget this one and go get them next time," Chacin said.

Notes

  • Colorado LHP Drew Pomeranz, who started the season in the minors because the Rockies don't need a fifth starter until April 15, will start for Double-A Tulsa at Corpus Christi on Tuesday.
  • The teams take a day off before returning to Coors Field Wednesday night when Guthrie (1-0) faces Tim Lincecum (0-1).
  • The game was briefly delayed in the fifth while medical personnel carted off a female fan through the left-field tunnel after she was struck in the face by a foul ball off the bat of Michael Cuddyer .
 
Copyright 2014 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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Barry Zito goes the distance and holds the Rockies to just four hits en route to his first shutout since April 18, 2003. (AP)
Barry Zito goes the distance and holds the Rockies to just four hits en route to his first shutout since April 18, 2003. (AP)

Players of the Game
San Francisco

P. Sandoval
AB 4
R 2
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
San Francisco

B. Zito
IP 9.0
H 4
ER 0
BB 0
K 4
 
San Francisco Giants
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Gregor Blanco, RF4000113 .182
Melky Cabrera, LF4220111 .333
Pablo Sandoval, 3B4212121 .375
Aubrey Huff, 1B3110200 .214
Hector Sanchez, C5121012 .400
Angel Pagan, CF4111101 .143
Brandon Crawford, SS4013102 .133
Ryan Theriot, 2B5010015 .182
Barry Zito, P4010001 .250
Totals37710776  
Batting
2B - Aubrey Huff (2, Chacin), Angel Pagan (2, Roenicke), Brandon Crawford (2, M. Reynolds)
HR - Pablo Sandoval (2, Chacin)
RBI - Pablo Sandoval 2 (6), Hector Sanchez (1), Angel Pagan (1), Brandon Crawford 3 (5)
CS - Melky Cabrera (1, 2nd base by Rogers/Hernandez)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
E - Angel Pagan (1, Dropped fly)
San Francisco Giants
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Barry Zito (W,1-0) 9400040 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Barry Zito 114-71
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Barry Zito 8-16
Batters Faced - Barry Zito 32
Colorado Rockies
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Marco Scutaro, 2B4010000 .231
Dexter Fowler, CF4000013 .091
Carlos Gonzalez, LF4000010 .176
Troy Tulowitzki, SS4010001 .214
Todd Helton, 1B4000011 .083
Michael Cuddyer, RF3000001 .333
Ramon Hernandez, C3010000 .273
Chris Nelson, 3B3000001 .000
    Josh Roenicke, P0000000 .000
Jhoulys Chacin, P10100001.000
    Matt Reynolds, P0000000 .000
   a- Eric Young Jr., PH1000000 .000
    Esmil Rogers, P0000000 .000
    Jordan Pacheco, 3B1000010 .200
Totals3204004  
a-lined out for M. Reynolds in the 5th
Batting
2B - Ramon Hernandez (1, Zito)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Hernandez-Tulowitzki, Tulowitzki-Scutaro-Helton
E - Carlos Gonzalez (1, Dropped fly), Troy Tulowitzki (1, Throwing)
Colorado Rockies
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jhoulys Chacin (L,0-1) 4444531 9.00
Matt Reynolds 1231000 9.00
Esmil Rogers 2300210 0.00
Josh Roenicke 2100020 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Jhoulys Chacin 90-47, Matt Reynolds 23-13, Esmil Rogers 49-29, Josh Roenicke 21-15
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jhoulys Chacin 6-3, Matt Reynolds 3-2, Esmil Rogers 3-0, Josh Roenicke 4-0
Batters Faced - Jhoulys Chacin 21, Matt Reynolds 7, Esmil Rogers 9, Josh Roenicke 7
Game Information
Attendance - 49282
Game Time - 2:52
Temperature - 66
Umpires - Home - Derryl Cousins, First Base - Bob Davidson, Second Base - Ron Kulpa, Third Base - Jim Wolf