Giants 11, Rockies 4
SAN FRANCISCO (AP)—The San Francisco Giants are winning with small ball, a new approach for the team with the game’s most feared slugger.
Jason Schmidt singled twice in San Francisco’s seven-run fifth and gave up only two hits in six sharp innings, and the Giants completed a three-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies with an 11-4 win Sunday.
San Francisco is 4-2 without injured star Barry Bonds.
Mike Matheny hit a two-run double, Marquis Grissom had a two-run single and Lance Niekro drove in a run two days after being called up for San Francisco, which scored 25 runs in the series after losing two of three to rival Los Angeles to start the season.
Grissom and Pedro Feliz have hit safely in every game.
“We have to do all that to stay afloat,” manager Felipe Alou said. “We can’t wait for the long ball, even though we’ve won a couple games with the long ball. That’s not us. We have to grind day in and day out.”
Colorado lost its fourth straight after beating San Diego 12-10 in its opener—two on late rallies by the Giants in the first two games at SBC Park. The Rockies were swept for the seventh time in San Francisco, their most in any city.
Schmidt (2-0), out with a nasty case of the flu Thursday, retired his first seven batters and didn’t allow a hit until J.D. Closser’s broken-bat liner clipped off Deivi Cruz’s glove at second and just escaped the infield in the fifth.
The pitcher got a bloop single of his own leading off the bottom half and scored on Omar Vizquel’s double. His second single of the inning scored Matheny, marking the first time a pitcher had two hits in an inning since San Diego’s Brian Lawrence on Sept. 20, 2003, in the seventh inning at Colorado.
“He’s a pretty good hitter,” Grissom said. “We tease him that he swings at the junk. But we all do.”
Schmidt took an IV on Friday to replenish the fluids he lost while ill, then declared “I’m going to pitch no matter what.”
His legs tired after spending so much time on the basepaths in the fifth, so he came out of the game.
“I felt a little flat. It wasn’t too bad,” said Schmidt, thrilled with his perfect start after beginning 0-2 a year ago before winning his next 12 decisions. “It’s great. It gives you something to build on. It’s a better start than last year, that’s for sure.”
Brad Hawpe drove in the Rockies’ first run with a sacrifice fly in the sixth, an unearned run. Aaron Miles had an RBI single in the seventh off Jeff Fassero and pinch-hitter Michael Restovich singled in a run in the eighth.
“Managers have ways to remember disaster,” Alou said.
San Francisco loaded the bases against starter Joe Kennedy (0-1) in the fourth and fifth innings, chasing him in the fifth on Grissom’s two-run single.
It was Kennedy’s second shaky outing—he got a no-decision in the season opener.
“It was a horror story,” Kennedy said. “I felt good and I didn’t feel that too many balls were hit hard. An inch here or an inch there and it’s a different ballgame. I made some good pitches. After a while it was laughable. Things weren’t going right.”
First baseman Todd Helton collided with Miles, the second baseman, in foul territory on Niekro’s sacrifice fly in the fourth but neither was injured.
Left-hander Bobby Seay, acquired Friday from Tampa Bay, made his Rockies debut during the decisive fifth and allowed a run on two hits in two-thirds of an inning.
Bonds will travel with the team for its two games in Los Angeles on Tuesday and Wednesday as he recovers from two operations on his right knee.
It was Schmidt’s fifth career multihit game and first since May 18, 2004, at Chicago. … Giants rookie Jason Ellison got his first stolen base of the year after leading off the first with a bunt single. He had another hit in the eighth. … Rockies INF Desi Relaford, on the DL with a sore left knee, will rejoin the team in Phoenix on Monday to rehab and go through some on-field tests so the team can measure his progress. “He will do a more rigorous workout tomorrow to be one of his final tests,” manager Clint Hurdle said. … Colorado rookie Cory Sullivan made his first start in CF in place of Preston Wilson, who got the day off. … Injured Rockies closer Chin-hui Tsao (shoulder) was scheduled to pitch an inning for Class-A Modesto in a rehab outing. … The Giants drew 239,353 fans during their first homestand.