DENVER (AP) -Ubaldo Jimenez's latest victory came in miserable weather conditions.
Jimenez pitched through rain and problems with his command to become baseball's first 12-game winner as the Colorado Rockies beat the Toronto Blue Jays 5-3 on Friday night in an interleague game twice stalled by bad weather before being called after six innings.
``That was a gutsy performance under some very tough circumstances,' Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. ``He gutted out those six innings for us and gave us a chance to do for him what he's been doing for us all year.'
When it began raining heavily again, officials delayed the game a second time after the sixth inning. After waiting another 40 minutes, the game was called.
Jimenez (12-1) allowed a season-high three runs and five hits in six innings, and his major league-low ERA edged up to 1.16 from 0.93 in a game whose start was delayed 1 hour, 45 minutes because of heavy rain. He won his fifth straight since his only loss of the season and remained unbeaten in five decisions at Coors Field.
But the weather, Jimenez said, prevented him from being at his best.
``It wasn't easy to be out there,' he said. ``I didn't really have any of my pitches. Even my fastball, I was trying to throw hard and I couldn't. The ball kept slipping out of my fingers. But I was able to keep battling and the guys picked me up.'
Ricky Romero (5-3) allowed four runs and seven hits in five innings, including a tie-breaking home run by Carlos Gonzalez in the fifth inning. The Rockies added another run in the sixth on Seth Smith's sacrifice fly.
Colorado's Ryan Spilborghs had three hits, including his fourth home run.
``Neither guy had their good stuff,' Toronto manager Cito Gaston said. ``Ricky had a couple of quick outs and they scored three runs with two outs. I don't know if it was the mound being flat or the two guys didn't have their stuff.
``It's unfortunate we have to play in these conditions. I think the forecast is worse for tomorrow and we had to get one of these in. We were unfortunate to end up on the short end of this one.'
The interleague meeting was the first between the teams at Colorado in four years. The Blue Jays lead the overall series 6-4 but have yet to win at Coors Field, having been swept in their only previous trip here in 2006.
Jimenez struggled with his command, particularly during the first several innings, when rain fell steadily.
He had nine three-ball counts, walked four, two intentionally, and had to work out of a two-out bases-loaded jam in the sixth, getting pinch-hitter Jeremy Reed to line out.
Lyle Overbay tripled with two outs in the second, scoring Vernon Wells, who reached on a leadoff walk, and Fred Lewis walked in the third ahead of Hill's ninth homer of the season.
The Rockies went in front in the fifth when Gonzalez connected for his ninth of the season, a solo shot over the right field wall that broke a 3-3 tie and helped snapped the Rockies' season-high three game losing streak.
Spilborghs got the Rockies' first run when he homered off Romero, driving an 0-2 offering over the right field fence in the second inning. Miguel Olivo followed with a single and scored on Clint Barmes' double.
In the fourth, Spilborghs doubled with two outs and Olivo followed with an RBI single.
NOTES: Rockies closer Huston Street, on the 15-day DL with right shoulder inflammation, is set to be re-evaluated by team doctors after pitching on successive nights for Colorado Springs, the team's Triple A affiliate. ... Toronto RHP Scott Richmond (right shoulder) went 5 2-3 innings in a rehab assignment with Single A Dunedin, picking up the win over Clearwater. ... Spilborghs had his third three-hit game of the season. ... Hill's home run was Toronto's 99th of the season, a major league high. ... The rain-shortened affair went in the books as Jimenez's third complete game of the season.
The Associated Press News Service
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