SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Juan Nicasio learned some hard truths about pitching in his second major league start.
He learned good hitters are going to take advantage of bad pitches.
Cody Ross hit a go-ahead two-run double in the fourth, Matt Cain pitched seven innings for his first win in more than three weeks and the San Francisco Giants beat the slumping Colorado Rockies 3-1 on Friday night.
Nicasio (1-1) allowed three runs and nine hits in six innings with three strikeouts and an intentional walk.
``The kid has to pay for two hanging sliders, both with two outs,' Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. ``He did an excellent job. He gave us a quality start. What more can you ask the kid to do?'
The Giants collected five hits in the fourth and Nicasio was a pitch away from getting out of the inning unscathed. Ross took advantage of the first hanging slider and Brandon Crawford added an RBI double on the second.
``He had Brandon 0-2 and wanted to bury that slider but got it about thigh high over the plate,' Tracy said. ``There's a growth curve involved in situations like he was in that inning. You're not allowed to make mistakes in those critical at_bats.'
Nicasio was happy with his pitch selection but was not pleased at the outcome.
``That's the pitch I wanted to throw. I just didn't execute it the way I wanted,' he said. ``I wanted those pitches down and when you make a mistake like that you are going to pay for it.'
Meanwhile the Rockies' offense failed to produce in key situations.
``We're 1 for 13 with runners in scoring position,' Tracy said. ``We get five hits, two coming from the pitcher and another off the bench in the ninth. Our trouble, once again, came from the lack of offense. We loaded the bases and get turned away. That's basically the way the season has gone so far. Somehow we need to get to the point where we drive in runs. That's the issue.'
Emmanuel Burris had three hits for the Giants, who beat the Rockies for the sixth time in nine games this season between the NL West rivals.
Cain scattered four hits and had seven strikeouts while overcoming a season-high four walks. The right-hander pitched with runners in scoring position for four straight innings but allowed just the one run.
The Giants returned home after taking three of four from NL Central-leading St. Louis and picked up where they left off, sending the Rockies to their 11th loss in 14 games.
Cain (4-4) matched his season-high for walks by the fourth inning, and Colorado cashed in one for a run. Carlos Gonzalez walked, took third on a double by Troy Tulowitzki and scored on Todd Helton's groundout.
Nicasio became the first pitcher in the majors this season with two extra base hits in the same game when he doubled over the head of center fielder Andres Torres leading off the fifth. The Rockies later loaded the bases with two outs as rain began to fall but Cain retired Helton on a comebacker to escape the threat.
Notes: Struggling IF Miguel Tejada, who went 4 for 27 on the Giants' recent trip, was not in the starting lineup but not because of his .211 average. Manager Bruce Bochy said he gave Tejada the day off to rest and will be back in the order Saturday. ... Colorado LHP Jorge De La Rosa underwent Tommy John surgery in Los Angeles on Friday and results were good. ``(It) was as diagnosed,' Tracy said. ``The ligament was completely torn in half, and as a matter of fact part of it had rolled up and slid into the joint.' De La Rosa was placed on the DL May 25, the day after the left-hander left in the third inning against Arizona with elbow soreness. An MRI revealed De La Rosa had a torn ligament in his elbow. ... RHP Aaron Cook, out since March 31 with a fractured right index finger, is penciled in to start for Colorado against San Diego on Wednesday. ... Rockies RHP Esmil Rogers (lat strain) threw 67 pitches in extended spring training but the team is unsure where he'll go next in his rehab.
The Associated Press News Service
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