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Rockies' pitchers throw three-hit shutout vs. Giants

The SportsXchange

SAN FRANCISCO -- Colorado Rockies left-hander Brett Anderson believes the San Francisco Bay Area is cursed.

Only this time, in an odd twist, it haunted the San Francisco Giants rather than the Oakland Athletics.

The Rockies' bullpen picked up for an injured Anderson with six innings of scoreless relief, completing a three-hit shutout that produced a 1-0 victory over the Giants on Saturday.

In evening the series at one game apiece, the Rockies shut down a Giants offense that began the day ranked among the major-league leaders in runs scored, home runs and extra-base hits.

Right-handers Tommy Kahnle (2-0), Matt Belisle and Adam Ottavino, left-hander Rex Brothers and right-handed closer LaTroy Hawkins held the Giants scoreless on two hits over six innings after Anderson sustained a bruised left index finger while batting in the top of the fourth inning.

Hawkins, who pitched a 1-2-3 ninth, recorded his second save of the season.

"I don't know if I've ever seen it -- the starter coming out (early) and winning 1-0," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "It speaks volumes of the bullpen."

The six-pack of Rockies pitchers got the better of Giants right-hander Matt Cain (0-2), who enjoyed his best game of the young season. He gave up one run in seven innings, walking three and striking out eight.

"It's always good to see your No. 1 pitcher pitch like that," Giants center fielder Angel Pagan said of Cain, who suffered the fourth 1-0 loss of his career. "Not everybody is going to start the season on their best foot."

On a day that saw several hitting streaks end -- Pagan (10), Giants left fielder Michael Morse (nine) and Rockies left fielder Carlos Gonzalez (10) -- the only run of the game was manufactured with the use of a hit-and-run, a double steal and a sacrifice fly.

Rockies right fielder Brandon Barnes got the only hit of the decisive inning -- the top of the third -- on a perfectly executed hit-and-run single, on which he fisted Cain's pitch to the hole on the vacant right side of the infield. Giants second baseman Joaquin Arias had gone to cover second base with Charlie Blackmon trying to steal.

Blackmon, the Rockies' center fielder who opened the inning with a walk, stopped at second base on the hit, then stole third with Barnes taking second on a double steal with one out and shortstop Troy Tulowitzki at the plate.

Tulowitzki, playing for the first time since suffering a strained right quad Tuesday, followed with a fly ball just deep enough into right field that Blackmon was able to race home ahead of Hunter Pence's throw.

"At the time I wasn't thinking that's the run that was going to win the game," Weiss said. "But it was a big one."

Anderson was injured while grounding out to shortstop to end the top of the fourth. He took the mound for the bottom of the inning but was pulled after throwing one painful warmup pitch.

"My hand went numb. It felt like a firecracker went off in my batting glove," Anderson said of a fastball he hit off the end of the bat.

The injury is not considered serious, but the Rockies said he would be re-evaluated Sunday and X-rays were a possibility, depending on the amount of overnight swelling.

Anderson knew he was done after the one warmup.

"It was what I envision pitching with a foam finger would feel like," he explained.

Anderson sailed through the first three innings, shutting out the Giants on one hit. He walked one and struck out two while lowering his season ERA to 3.60.

It was his third start for the Rockies since being acquired in the offseason from the A's, for whom he spent more time on the disabled list than on the active roster over five seasons.

"I finally felt like I was in a rhythm," Anderson said. "The best I've felt so far.

"Maybe the Bay Area has a little curse on me personally."

The Giants' best threats both featured doubles.

Third baseman Pablo Sandoval doubled on Kahnle's first pitch to lead off the fourth, but he was stranded at third.

Then in the eighth, shortstop Brandon Crawford doubled off Brothers with one out, but Sandoval struck out with the bases loaded to end the inning.

"It's going to happen," Pagan said of the Giants' first game scoring fewer than two runs this season. "It's just a matter of getting up and fighting (Sunday). They pitched very well. You've got to give them credit."

Blackmon had two of Colorado's four hits, including a double.

NOTES: The Rockies (65) and Giants (61) began the day ranked second and third, respectively, in the majors in runs scored. ... The Rockies had only one previous 1-0 win in San Francisco. That occurred on Sept. 12, 1998. Colorado's run total also was a season low. ... Counting his three starts for the Rockies, LHP Brett Anderson has made 76 starts in his six-year major-league career and has missed 77 because of injury. His injuries have included a strained left forearm (2010), Tommy John surgery (2011) and a stress fracture in his right foot (2013). ... The Rockies will activate RHP Tyler Chatwood from the disabled list before Sunday's game and start him in the series finale. A corresponding roster move will be announced before the game.
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