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Cuddyer's streak hits 25 in Rockies' win

The SportsXchange

DENVER -- Michael Cuddyer extended his franchise-record hitting streak to 25 games for the Colorado Rockies in their 4-1 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Friday night.

Jhoulys Chacin gave the Rockies a fourth straight quality start while the road woes continued for Giants starter Barry Zito and his punchless teammates.

The Rockies broke a three-game losing streak while winning for just the third time in 11 games. The loss was the fifth straight for the Giants, matching their season high, and their 10th in the past 13 games. They have scored 17 runs in their past eight games and fallen a season-high three games below .500.

Cuddyer hit a two-run homer in the third inning that put the Rockies ahead 3-0 and gave him the longest hitting streak in the majors since Jose Reyes hit safely in 26 consecutive games last year for the Miami Marlins.

"It was a cutter back door that I was able to get on top of it because it was a little up," Cuddyer said of the pitch he hit for his 14th homer. I didn't miss it with the barrel."

Cuddyer finished 1-for-5, leaving him with a .347 season average and .381 (40-for-105) during his hitting streak. He also has reached base safely in 44 straight games, a franchise record.

"I haven't changed anything." Cuddyer said. "I haven't done anything different. Balls have just been falling; things have been going my way."

Wilin Rosario followed Cuddyer's home run with his 13th homer of the season, giving the Rockies back-to-back shots for the fourth time this year.

"Cuddyer was the big mistake tonight," Zito said, "Going low and just throwing a back-door cutter up in the zone instead of keeping it down. Rosario, he hit a good pitch. He brought his hands in pretty good on that cutter."

Zito gave up 10 hits and four runs in 5 1/3 innings, which actually dropped his ERA on the road from 11.28 to 10.41 in six starts but left him 0-5 away from home. By contrast, Zito is 4-1 with a 1.98 ERA in 10 starts in San Francisco.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy praised Zito for keeping the Giants in the game, saying that giving up four runs at Coors Field is by no means an insurmountable margin. But it seems so, given the Giants' offensive struggles.

"At some point, it's going to take somebody to spark this club, and we're missing that spark," Bochy said.

For all their trouble scoring, the Giants are still just four games behind in the National League West, where only Arizona is above .500.

"The only fortunate thing right now as far as the division goes and the season goes is the division hasn't been something that's totally out of hand right now," Zito said. "But there's no reason for us to look at that and feel good about things. We've got to keep grinding.

"If we put too much on our backs, it's not a good situation. We can't turn our season around in one day. We can win today."

Chacin, who is 7-3 with a 3.59 ERA, held the Giants to three hits in eight innings and got 12 outs on ground balls. He has won four straight starts in impressive fashion, allowing four runs and 21 hits in 28 2/3 innings for a 1.26 ERA.

"I've just been trying to throw strikes," Chacin said. "I've been trying to attack the hitter and make them swing. That's what I've been doing the last three or four starts. Everything has been working out, and my fastball has been strong."

The Giants avoided a shutout when Buster Posey, who had three of San Francisco's four hits, led off the ninth with a home run against Rex Brothers, ending the reliever's scoreless streak at 30 innings.

NOTES: Rockies RHP Rafael Betancourt (right groin strain) was activated from the 15-day disabled list and RHP Juan Nicasio was optioned to Triple-A Colorado Springs. Betancourt, who had been on the disabled list retroactive to June 1, has converted 11 of 12 save opportunities. Nicasio is 4-4 with a 5.31 ERA in 16 starts and never saw the seventh inning in any of them. ... Rockies CF Dexter Fowler was scratched from the lineup after not playing the past two games because of right hand and wrist soreness. Tyler Colvin replaced him and with a single in his first at-bat ended a 0-for-23 drought that included 15 strikeouts. ... LHP Drew Pomeranz will be brought up from Triple-A Colorado Springs, where he is 8-1 with a 4.20 ERA, and start Sunday against the Giants. A corresponding roster move will be made that day. ... Giants LHP Eric Surkamp, who had been recovering from Tommy John surgery on July 24, 2012, returned from his rehab assignment and was reinstated off the 60-day disabled list. He was optioned to Triple-A Fresno where he will be added to the roster when he reports Monday and starts that night. ... Giants RHP Santiago Casilla, who has been on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 21 after surgery on a bone cyst in his right knee, faced hitters for the first time and threw 30 pitches. Depending how he feels Saturday, Casilla could begin a rehab assignment on Sunday and throw one inning. ... Bochy said Giants IF Joaquin Arias might be available to pinch hit Friday, but he did not do so. Arias left Monday's game with a strained left hamstring.
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