Giants 4, Rockies 0
SAN FRANCISCO (AP)—Kirk Rueter doesn’t see anything special about his years of consistency—not even after beating a team that can’t seem to stay consistent from day to day.
Rueter (6-1) extended his strong start to the season with another efficient performance, allowing seven hits in 7 1-3 innings. Five days after his worst start of the season against the Rockies in Denver, the left-hander walked just one batter and didn’t allow a runner to reach third base.
Quiet success is nothing new for Rueter, who’s been a pillar of the Giants’ rotation since 1996. The victory was his 90th with the Giants, tying the unassuming groundball pitcher for fourth place in San Francisco’s history.
“I just love pitching for this club, and I hope that I can keep doing it,” Rueter said. “I do nothing different. I’m the same every game. … My approach was no different than it was (earlier) in Colorado. I always just try to keep the ball on the ground, and today I got two double plays that really helped me.”
Rueter is unbeaten in his last six starts, going 4-0 with a 3.32 ERA. When he left in the eighth after throwing 121 pitches, he acknowledged a standing ovation with a wave of his glove.
“I let him pitch deep because he was still throwing well,” said Giants manager Felipe Alou, who managed Rueter in Montreal in the early 1990s. “Obviously, now he is more mature, (and) has better command and more success. I’m not surprised because of the man behind the pitcher. He’s a winner. He always brings the same attitude and the same pitches.”
The Rockies hadn’t been shut out in 82 games—the longest active streak in the majors. Colorado fell one game short of the franchise record for consecutive games without a shutout loss.
Yorvit Torrealba also had a two-run double for the Giants, whose winning streak began at the start of a 12-game homestand. San Francisco improved to 20-8 at Pacific Bell Park against the Rockies, who lost their third straight following a five-game winning streak.
Colorado is the majors’ best home team (21-8) and the worst road team (6-22). Manager Clint Hurdle was weary after another loss away from Coors Field—and the loss of surging second baseman Ronnie Belliard, who sprained his right ankle.
“I feel like I’m playing with a Rubik’s Cube,” Hurdle said. “I feel like I’m 10 years old. I just can’t solve it. We still have issues, and every day, they’re different issues. It’s confusing sometimes.”
The Rockies opened the four-game series with a wave of confidence after sweeping a three-game series from the Dodgers, but they reverted to inconsistency against San Francisco. All seven of their hits against Rueter were singles.
“We still don’t know why we can’t bring it on the road,” said Todd Helton, who went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. “It doesn’t make a lot of sense.”
Three relievers got the final five outs, with Felix Rodriguez pitching the ninth. The Rockies hadn’t been shut out since last Aug. 31 against San Diego.
Bonds drove home the Giants’ first two runs in the first inning with a double into the right-center gap against Aaron Cook (2-5). Torrealba, San Francisco’s impressive backup catcher, drove home two more runs in the third.
Cook has won just once in his last eight starts, and he found big trouble in each of the first four innings of his first career start in San Francisco. He allowed six hits and six walks in six innings.
Colorado also lost Belliard, who sprained his ankle in the seventh inning while running hard toward second as the Giants turned a double play on Jay Payton’s grounder.
Belliard attempted to stop before he reached the base—and in doing so, he awkwardly planted his right foot, then stumbled forward three steps before flopping on the dirt.
Belliard was 2-for-3 when he left, and he’s hitting .452 (14-for-31) over Colorado’s last eight games. He has started 46 of the Rockies’ 57 games at second base, but he’ll definitely miss Monday’s series finale before Coloradore-evaluates him back home.
Belliard left Colorado’s locker room on crutches. … J.T. Snow hit in the Giants’ No. 2 slot for the first time since May 7, 2001, and just the sixth time in his career. … Brent Butler replaced Belliard at second base in the bottom of the seventh, making a diving stop of Marquis Grissom’s grounder a fewmoments later.