Zito shuts out Rockies for Giants' first winApr 10, 2012 - 1:50 AM
Zito (1-0) struck out four and didn't surrender a walk, throwing 71 of his 114 pitches for strikes while facing the minimum in five innings -- including the last two.
"He kept us off-balance," Rockies first baseman Todd Helton said.
Pablo Sandoval hit a two-run homer and Brandon Crawford had a three-run double for the Giants, who snapped a three-game losing streak after being swept in a season-opening series in Arizona.
Rockies starter Jhoulys Chacin (0-1) threw 90 pitches in just four innings and gave up four runs on four hits and five walks to take the loss in the team's home opener.
The Rockies, who fell to 1-3, started a nine-game homestand.
The Giants, meanwhile, avoided their first 0-4 start since 1950 behind Zito's gem. The 33-year-old left-hander, on the heels of a tough spring, made a start in the minors last week as said that went a long way toward helping him get back on track.
"I made the adjustment I had to make," he said.
Zito threw his first major league shutout since April 19, 2003, against the Texas Rangers. He was pitching for the Oakland Athletics at the time and was coming off winning the AL Cy Young Award the previous year.
Trying to come back from an injury-shortened 2011, when he went just 3-4, Zito controlled the Rockies lineup in the opener of a three-game series and the San Francisco offense provided him with plenty of run support.
"He had four pitches going and great concentration out there," said Giants manager Bruce Bochy. "It wasn't a good spring, but it's been said many times -- spring training is overrated."
Sandoval jumped on a first-pitch fastball from Chacin in the first inning, driving it into the right field stands for a two-run homer.
Chacin walked three straight batters in the third -- Melky Cabrera, Sandoval and Aubrey Huff -- and the Giants took a 4-0 lead on Hector Sanchez's single through the right side and Angel Pagan's sharp ground out to Helton, who made a nice stab down the line to keep more than one run from scoring.
But San Francisco broke the game open against reliever Matt Reynolds, who came in for Chacin to start the fifth inning.
The first three batters reached on a hit and two errors and Crawford reached out to smack a 2-2 pitch into the left field corner for a three-run double and 7-0 lead.
Prior to the fifth inning, the game was stopped for around 10-15 minutes while staff at Coors Field attended to a spectator sitting on the third base side who had been struck by a foul ball off the bat of Rockies right fielder Michael Cuddyer in the bottom of the fourth.
According to KDVR-TV, the fan, Judith Reese, received a concussion and bruised head but was treated and released from a hospital. She was celebrating her 69th birthday.
All of Zito's previous four MLB shutouts came with the A's...The three-game series continues on Wednesday...The sellout crowd of 49,282 was the fourth highest for an Opening Day at Coors Field...Only 47 of Chacin's 90 pitches went for strikes...The Giants won seven of their last eight games against the Rockies last season and 13 of 18 overall.
- SAN FRANCISCO: 7
Apr 9 7:02 PM
- Brandon Crawford double to left scored Aubrey Huff, Hector Sanchez and Angel Pagan with none out. Runner on second and Ryan Theriot due up.
Giants 7, Rockies 0 Top 5, 0 OutsApr 9 5:41 PM
- Angel Pagan ground out first to pitcher scored Pablo Sandoval with two out. On the play, Hector Sanchez advances to second and Aubrey Huff advances to third. Runners on second and third with Brandon Crawford due up.
Giants 4, Rockies 0 Top 3, 2 OutsApr 9 4:54 PM
- Hector Sanchez single to right scored Melky Cabrera with one out. On the play, Aubrey Huff advances to second and Pablo Sandoval advances to third. Bases loaded with Angel Pagan due up.
Giants 3, Rockies 0 Top 3, 1 OutApr 9 4:52 PM
- Pablo Sandoval one-out, two-run Home Run (2) to right scored Melky Cabrera. Aubrey Huff due up.
Giants 2, Rockies 0 Top 1, 1 OutApr 9 4:13 PM
- SAN FRANCISCO: 0
Top 1, 0 Outs
Apr 9 4:10 PM
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