Jimenez won his major league-leading 17th game and scored the decisive run from first base as the Colorado Rockies beat San Francisco 6-1. The Giants had been 10-2 against the NL West since the All-Star break.
“Ooh, that was a long way,” Jimenez said, only half joking. “I couldn’t get my breath again until the fifth inning. I was really tired.”
Jimenez (17-2) became the fourth Rockies pitcher to win 17 games and the first since Jeff Francis(notes) did it in 2007, when Colorado reached the World Series. Kevin Ritz (1996) and Pedro Astacio (1999) were the other pitchers to win 17 games in a season for the franchise.
“It’s not easy to win 17 games here. I really take pride in what I’ve been able to accomplish,” Jimenez said. “I’m honored to be on that list.”
The Rockies’ ace rebounded from a rare poor start against San Francisco on July 3, when he allowed seven runs in the third inning in an 11-8 loss. This time, he allowed only one run and four hits while striking out nine in seven dazzling innings.
“It’s his best start since the All-Star break,” Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. “He was in command and control of everything today.”
San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy agreed.
“He had his pitches going today and put them where he wanted,” Bochy said.
Jimenez helped his own cause, too, when the Rockies took the lead a 2-0 lead the second.
Chris Iannetta(notes) led off with a single and moved to third on Jimenez’s two-out infield single. Ryan Spilborghs(notes) followed with a double to the gap in left-center field and Jimenez raced around the bases as his helmet flew off. He said he was ready to slide until Giants first baseman Travis Ishikawa(notes) cut off the relay to throw out Spilborghs at third.
“I saw Posey was in front of home plate and I was like, ‘Uh oh,”’ Jimenez said. “That ball was in the gap so I’m supposed to score.”
His teammates were impressed with his quick recovery.
“When we have to run from first to home and go out to the outfield, for me it’s tough,” Gonzalez said. “He’s a really good athlete and he was able to come back.”
Jimenez came back to strike out the side in the top of the third.
Gonzalez looked overmatched in his first two at-bats against Madison Bumgarner(notes) (4-4). He struck out twice, first on a 75-mph curveball and then a ball in the dirt, before hitting a two-run homer in the fifth inning to make it 4-0.
“It was hard for me to pick up the ball at the beginning of the game,” Gonzalez said. “He throws sidearm sometimes and it’s tough for lefty-lefty. I made the adjustment in my third at-bat and hit the home run.”
He notched his first career multihomer game when he hit his 23rd off reliever Denny Bautista(notes) with two outs in the sixth. Tulowitzki followed with his 10th homer, the fifth time Colorado has hit back-to-back home runs this season. Gonzalez has been part of four of them.
“He’s just tough,” Bumgarner said. “He’s hot right now and he’s a good hitter.”
Notes: Posey left the game in the seventh inning after taking a foul ball off his right shoulder. Bochy said Posey could have stayed in the game but the manager didn’t want to take any chances. … Bumgarner allowed four runs on nine hit in four-plus innings. … Rockies 3B Melvin Mora(notes) left the game with a left knee contusion after being hit by a pitch in the fifth. … Posey was the NL player of the month for July, after hitting .417 with seven home runs and 24 RBIs. He led the league with 43 hits in the month. … Rockies CF Dexter Fowler(notes) came into the game in the eighth as a defensive replacement. It was his first action since bruising his ribs and left hip running into the wall against the Cubs on Sunday.