Rockies 12, Giants 7

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DENVER (AP)—Faced with an early five-run deficit against the defending National League champions, it would have been easy for the Colorado Rockies to fold.

Not this team, and not at Coors Field.

Charles Johnson and Preston Wilson each hit a three-run homer, and the Rockies rallied from five-run deficit for the second time in two weeks to beat the San Francisco Giants 12-7 on Monday.

“It looked a little bleak there,” Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. “We’re kind of like a duck on top of a pond. We’re cool, calm and collected up top, but we’re pedaling like heck underneath. It’s hard to act like you’re in control when it’s 6-1.”

Perhaps the Rockies weren’t in control, but they know Coors Field well enough to understand that almost no lead is safe.

Colorado had 18 hits—its most in a nine-inning game this year—and scored six runs in the fifth inning for its 12th comeback victory of the season. The Rockies rallied from seven runs down to beat the New York Mets on May 13.

Ronnie Belliard went 4-for-5 and scored three runs, and Wilson was 3-for-5 to help the Rockies overcome Jason Jennings’ first shaky start in more than a month.

“It was looking pretty bad there for the first four or five innings, but when we get guys on base in this ballpark we are going to do some damage,” Jennings said. “That’s what we did today.”

The Giants learned the hard way, giving up 10 runs after the fourth inning to lose for the second time in three games without ailing star Barry Bonds.

San Francisco has dropped three of the past five series to fall into a tie with Los Angeles in the NL West for the first time all season.

“Finally, the lightening struck,” Giants manager Felipe Alou said of Coors Field. “I’ve seen this a lot. It didn’t look too bad until the bottom of the fifth. After that it looked bad.”

Bonds was injured in the first game of the series Friday when he slammed his right knee into the wall chasing a flyball. The five-time MVP took batting practice before the game, but his knee was still sore and he isn’t expected to return until at least Wednesday.

Bonds’ replacement, Pedro Feliz, gave San Francisco a 6-1 lead in the fifth inning with a run-scoring triple off Todd Jones, but starter Kirk Rueter couldn’t hold it in the bottom half.

Belliard led off with a double, then Todd Helton hit his second run-scoring single of the game. Wilson followed with a single, and Larry Walker made it 6-3 with a single that went through Rueter’s legs.

Jose Hernandez chased Rueter with a run-scoring single to right, and Johnson greeted reliever Joe Nathan (5-2) with a three-run homer to left-center.

Johnson’s homer was his fifth of the season, but first since April 29 against Cincinnati.

Rueter allowed six runs on 10 hits in 4 1-3 innings.

“The fifth was no more than a bunch of singles,” said Rueter, who had not allowed more than three earned runs in his previous six starts. “I wish they would have hit one of them at me. I would have caught it.”

Jennings was coming off five strong outings after an 0-3 start to the season, but clearly didn’t have his best stuff against the Giants.

He walked Feliz with two outs in the second inning, then gave up a two-run homer by Ruben Rivera on an 0-2 pitch, his second of the season.

The Giants got two more runs in the third on consecutive run-scoring doubles by Benito Santiago and J.T. Snow, and Neifi Perez made it 5-1 with a two-out single in the fourth.

Jennings allowed five runs on six hits and walked four in four innings.

“I had guys on base and I was pitching to not get scored on,” said Jennings, who had allowed three or fewer earned runs in his previous five starts. “I never got into a groove and never settled in.”

Brian Fuentes (1-0) pitched 1 2-3 scoreless innings for the victory.

Wilson put the Rockies up 10-6 in the sixth inning with his 12th homer of the season—one pitch after Nathan intentionally walked Helton.

Nathan allowed four runs on three hits in 1 2-3 innings.

Colorado reliever Steve Reed got the first RBI of his 11-year career on a sacrifice fly in the seventh inning. Chris Stynes added a run-scoring double in the eighth.

Feliz homered in the ninth, his third in four games since replacing Bonds.


Walker had his 271st career double in the fourth inning to break Dante Bichette’s team record. … The Giants activated Ray Durham from the 15-day DL before the game. He struck out as a pinch-hitter in the seventh inning and stayed in at second. … Colorado LHP Darren Oliver, who pitched six scoreless innings and had an RBI double in Sunday’s 5-1 win over the Giants, pinch-hit for Jones in the fifth inning and grounded out. … San Francisco’s Rich Aurilia ended an 0-for-20 skid with a single in the fourth inning. … TheRockies had 19 hits in a 13-inning game against St. Louis on April 8.

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