Rockies edge Giants on error in ninthJun 12, 2008 - 5:36 AM By Brady Delander PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
DENVER (Ticker) -- Garrett Atkins scored on an error with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, giving the Colorado Rockies a 1-0 triumph over the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday.
Keiichi Yabu (2-3) started the ninth and loaded the bases without recording an out, walking Atkins and Chris Iannetta around a single by Brad Hawpe.
Jack Taschner came on and got pinch hitter Jeff Baker to fly to center field. Atkins' decision not to attempt to score from third base proved to be the wrong one as Aaron Rowand's throw to the plate was well off the mark.
"Obviously (in) hindsight, I probably would have been safe because the throw was off-line," Atkins said. "But the scouting report says Rowand's got a good arm, and there's no outs right there."
Batting for closer Brian Fuentes (1-2), Yorvit Torrealba hit the ball to left for the second out, and Fred Lewis made an accurate one-hop throw to the plate.
"I just tried to make the best play possible out there," Lewis said.
Thinking he had the ball in his glove, catcher Bengie Molina swung around and tagged the sliding Atkins, who initially was called out by plate umpire Fieldin Culbreth. But as Taschner celebrated, Culbreth spotted the ball sitting in front of the plate and correctly reversed his decision, giving Colorado its sixth win in seven games.
"Another mediocre fly ball right there, but I figured I would give it a try this time and see what happens," Atkins said. "I thought I was safe, but the umpire called me out. Luckily, (Molina) dropped the ball and we got a win."
Molina was charged with an error on the play.
"(Molina) had to do a sweep tag there and the throw was to his right," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "He knew he had to get the tag down there quick. It's the toughest play in baseball. The ball just didn't stick in his glove."
Colorado manager Clint Hurdle believed Atkins was safe regardless of the error.
"I thought he was safe the whole way until (Culbreth's) arm went up," Hurdle said. "I never really thought the catcher controlled the ball. I was coming out to argue the call, and then I saw the ball and everything took care of itself."
The contest was just the fifth in Coors Field history in which just one run was scored, with the Rockies improving to 2-3 in those contests.
Giants starter Tim Lincecum, who threw in the mid-90s right up to his last pitch, struck out nine in seven innings while allowing six hits and three walks. Lincecum, who turns 24 on Sunday, is second behind Cincinnati's Edinson Volquez (96) for the major league lead with 92 strikeouts.
"(Lincecum) did what we needed," Bochy said. "He put zeros up, and that's what we needed because their guy was throwing great, too. That's about what I thought that game would be with those two young guys out there."
Colorado's Ubaldo Jimenez scattered four singles and a walk over seven scoreless innings, which is no small feat considering his first-inning struggles. Jimenez put two runners on and needed 29 pitches to escape the opening frame before cruising.
"I know (Lincecum) is one of the best pitchers in baseball right now, so we are not going to score a lot of runs," Jimenez said.
It was the second time in three weeks Jimenez has pitched seven innings without giving up a run against the Giants and still not factored in the decision. On May 21, he left with a 2-0 lead that was erased as soon as he was lifted.
As good as the pitching was, each side thrilled with some spectacular defensive plays.
Ray Durham led off the top of the sixth inning with a deep fly ball to center field. Willy Taveras broke into a sprint and made an over-the-shoulder basket catch to rob Durham of a certain double.
In the bottom of the frame, Lewis charged a line drive off the bat of Atkins to make a sliding catch with a runner on first.
Lewis recorded two of San Francisco's six hits and also stole a base.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
- - - - - - - - - - - -
SAN FRANCISCO 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 0
COLORADO 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 7 0 (FINAL)
BATTERIES: SFO - TIM LINCECUM, TYLER WALKER (8TH), KEIICHI YABU (9TH), JACK
TASCHNER (9TH) AND BENGIE MOLINA
COL - UBALDO JIMENEZ, TAYLOR BUCHHOLZ (8TH), BRIAN
Jun 11 11:49 PM
AT COLORADO - SCORING UPDATE
SACRIFICE FLY BY YORVIT TORREALBA SCORED GARRETT ATKINS.
FINAL SCORE: COLORADO 1, SAN FRANCISCO 0
Giants 0, Rockies 1 Bot 9, 0 OutsJun 11 11:49 PM
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