Good teams find ways to win close games. Right now, the Colorado Rockies are not a good team.
Despite an outstanding effort from Ubaldo Jimenez, the Rockies dropped a 3-2 heartbreaker to the Giants on Friday night in San Francisco. The loss moves the Rockies to 8-13 on the season, 4-8 on the road.
Of the 13 losses, five of them have come by one-run margins.
An inability to get hits at key moments continues to plague the Rockies.
With runners on first and third in the sixth inning, Todd Helton grounded into an inning-ending double-play. Ryan Spilborghs struck out swinging in the eighth, leaving the bases loaded.
Aside from those two innings, the bats were largely silent for the Rockies. That was due primarily to the team once again racking up a double-digit total (12) in strikeouts.
Randy Johnson punched out the first five hitters he faced and retired the first eleven in order before Helton reached on a dribbler up the middle in the fourth. The Big Unit tossed seven shutout innings, striking out nine and allowing only four hits.
Chris Iannetta greeted reliever Bobby Howry rudely with a home run to left to start the top of the eighth.
Jeremy Affeldt relieved Howry and struck out pinch-hitter Seth Smith.
Ian Stewart belted a double to right, and Matt Murton, recently recalled from AAA, nudged an infield single after Dexter Fowler had struck out, moving Stewart to thrid.
Helton followed Murton's lead with another single on the infield grass, scoring Stewart.
Garrett Atkins got in on the act with his own base hit that didn't reach the outfield grass before Spilborghs swung and missed on a 3-2 pitch to end the threat.
Brian Wilson walked Iannetta in the ninth, but saved the win for Johnson by getting pinch-hitter Brad Hawpe on a fly to right and striking out Ian Stewart.
The Giants did most of their scoring courtesy of walks and hit batters.
Jimenez issued consecutive bases-on-balls to Randy Winn and Edgar Renteria in the bottom of the third. Winn stole third as Pablo Sandoval struck out, then scored on a sacrifice fly by Bengie Molina.
In the seventh, Travis Ishikawa singled and moved to second when Jimenez plunked Emmanuel Burriss. Eugenio Velez dropped a sacrifice bunt advancing both runners, then Ishikawa scored on a sacrifice fly by Winn.
Ishikawa had doubled home Fred Lewis in the second for the first run of the game.
Another tough loss for the Rockies drops them into the NL West cellar, 6 1/2 games back of the Dodgers. The Rockies will send Jason Marquis (3-1, 4.10) to the mound against Matt Cain (2-0, 2.08) this afternoon.
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