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Rockies pound Giants, Zito as 'under' hits

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DENVER (AP) - The San Francisco Giants' prized pitching rotation took one more pounding.

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Barry Zito couldn't get on track in a second consecutive ineffective outing, and the Giants lost 5-0 to the Colorado Rockies on Sunday.

A 1-5 road swing finished with another thud. The starting pitchers had a 9.82 ERA and the fielders committed 13 errors on the trip.

``Overall, I think we had just a horrible trip,'' Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. ``You have a rough week like this, I wouldn't say concerned (about the rotation), but we've got to make some adjustments.''

``It's a great starting rotation. They've done some remarkable things for us, but at the same time it's a new year and we've got to make some adjustments,'' he said.

Zito (3-3) permitted 11 hits and five runs in 5 2-3 innings.

``Yeah, I've given up quite a few hits the last couple of games,'' Zito said. ``It doesn't feel good to be allowing all those base runners, but at the same time battling out of innings is encouraging. My timing was kind of in and out today, but I made some pitches when I had to get out of some jams. The ball was generally up in the zone, so that was why they were getting so many hits today.''

Juan Nicasio scattered three hits over six innings, Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki each drove in two runs for the Rockies.

Dexter Fowler tied a career high with four hits to help the Rockies take three of four from the reigning World Series champions. Jordan Pacheco also drove in a run as Colorado captured its first series against San Francisco since May 2011 at Coors Field.

Nicasio (4-1) shut down one of the top-hitting teams in baseball, striking out five and allowing only an intentional walk before being lifted for a pinch-hitter in the sixth.

Gregor Blanco and Brandon Crawford each had two hits for San Francisco. Pinch-hitter Joaquin Arias had the other as the Giants lost their third in a row to the Rockies after beating them 10 straight times.

``We just got shut down,'' Bochy said. ``It makes for a lousy road and it's up to us to get home and start playing better ball.''

Zito, too, thinks the change of scenery will help.

``Going home is going to motivate us and give us some energy,'' he said. ``The fans are always great there. We'll just put this behind us and keep grinding.''

Zito struggled on Tuesday in Toronto when he surrendered eight runs - five earned - in 5 2-3 innings. He was looking to get back on track against Colorado, a team he hadn't lost to since Sept. 25, 2008.

The Rockies pounced on Zito early, scoring a run in the first when Gonzalez singled home Eric Young Jr.

Colorado opened a 3-0 lead in the fifth on an RBI double by Gonzalez and an RBI single from Pacheco. Tulowitzki added some insurance with a two-run single an inning later off Jose Mijares, who came in for Zito.

Bochy elected to rest two of his top hitters, catcher Buster Posey and infielder Marco Scutaro. It was a particularly difficult decision for Bochy to keep Scutaro out of the lineup since he's in the midst of a 17-game hitting streak.

``He's been on a great run here,'' Bochy said. ``Sometimes, you've got to give him a break.''

NOTES: Giants 2B Nick Noonan collided with Gonzalez on a pickoff attempt in the third, appearing to hurt his neck and right shoulder. Noonan stayed in the game. ... Giants CF Angel Pagan left in the fifth with the flu. ... The Giants begin a six-game homestand Monday against Washington with struggling RHP Ryan Vogelsong (1-4) taking the mound. ... The Rockies gave away 20,000 Dante Bichette bobblehead dolls on Sunday. Bichette, the team's hitting coach, also threw out the first pitch. ... Colorado RHP Jon Garland will throw Monday against Arizona. ... Rockies manager Walt Weiss attended his son's high school graduation Sunday before arriving at the park.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
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