SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- J.D. Closser wasn't as cold as most pinch
hitters are in the ninth inning. The catcher had started Colorado's
previous two games and that was a big part of his crucial at-bat
against San Francisco.
"Getting some at-bats like that, and having some success, did
help," Closser said after driving in the go-ahead run in the
Rockies' 3-2 victory over the Giants on Wednesday night. "It's a
tough situation coming in and facing their closer. I just hoped to
get a pitch to handle."
Closser slapped a single off Tyler Walker (3-4) to score Larry
Bigbie as the Rockies won consecutive road games for the first time
this season. He has five hits in his last nine at-bats over the
past three games.
"We needed to roll the dice there and find a way to score a
run," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said.
With Bigbie on first and the score tied in the ninth, the Giants
called for a pitchout with Luis Gonzalez at the plate. Catcher
Yamid Haad was reaching for the ball out of the strike zone when
Gonzalez hit his glove and the interference was called. Haad was
charged with an error on the play.
The Giants credited Gonzalez for an alert reaction to the call.
"It's a good play by him," Walker said. "Usually guys don't
swing on pitchouts. I guess I didn't throw it outside enough."
Gonzalez and Ryan Shealy homered for the Rockies, who won three
straight for the first time since sweeping the Kansas City Royals
in late June.
Dan Miceli (1-1) pitched a scoreless eighth for the win and
Brian Fuentes worked the ninth for his 18th save.
Colorado has the best record (24-32) in the NL West since June
"Crazy, isn't it?" Fuentes said. "The West has been
struggling to say the least. It makes it fun for us to play the
spoiler and get in people's way."
Rockies shortstop Omar Quintanilla, who made his major league
debut on Tuesday, turned in two spectacular plays in the field in
his second game.
"We haven't seen that type of defensive play since [Clint]
Barmes left," Hurdle said, referring to the Colorado shortstop who
was injured in off-the-field accident in June. "Those two plays,
one to the left and one to the right, answers a lot of questions.
He showed the ability to play shortstop."
Quintanilla said he patterns his style after San Francisco's
Omar Vizquel, who played in his 2,223rd game at shortstop, fourth
on the all-time list.
"Vizquel is my idol," he said. "He makes those plays blind
folded. I never thought I'd be talking with Omar Vizquel but I was
on second base last night and we started talking a little bit."
Rockies starter Byung-Hyun Kim matched his career high with
seven innings, allowing three runs and five hits. He struck out
four and walked one.
Giants starter Brad Hennessey allowed two runs and five hits
over seven innings. He struck out four and walked two.
Michael Tucker of the Giants tripled and scored on Edgardo
Alfonzo's single in the seventh to tie the game at 2-all.
Shealy and Gonzalez hit consecutive home runs in the second to
give the Rockies a 2-1 lead.
Hennessey retired 12 of the final 14 batters he faced to keep
the Giants within reach.
The Giants took a 1-0 lead in the first when Vizquel led off
with a single and eventually came around to score on Pedro Feliz's
Kim then retired 10 in a row and 16 of 17 before Tucker's hit.
Giants C Mike Matheny returned from bereavement leave late
Wednesday and will be available to play Thursday. ... Rockies IF
Anderson Machado and IF Desi Relaford cleared waivers. Machado was
outrighted off the 40-man roster to Triple-A Colorado Springs while
Relaford was unconditionally released. ... Giants OF Moises Alou is
expected to miss at least two games to rest his sore right
hamstring. ... LHP Kirk Rueter was sent back to San Francisco's
bullpen and RHP Kevin Corriea will make Thursday's start in his
place. ... Giants RHP Armando Benitez was scheduled to make his
second rehab start at Single-A San Jose on Thursday. ... The Giants
have lost 21 of their last 28 home games. ... Kim is 0-2 in his
last six starts dating to June 24.
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