Chatwood impresses in solid effort vs. Giants
Pitcher allows one run in 5 2/3 innings; Rosario slugs two-run homer
DENVER -- Right-hander Tyler Chatwood threw many good pitches over 5 2/3 innings Saturday night, but even his worst pitch worked out for the Rockies in their 10-2 victory over the Giants at Coors Field.
The game was scoreless in the second inning, with Brandon Belt batting and Buster Posey at second. Right after going over signs with catcher Wilin Rosario, Chatwood saw a fastball sign but thought it was a curve, so the pitch sailed to the backstop. However, the ball bounced hard, right back to Rosario, who threw out Posey at third.
"That was awesome," Chatwood said. "For that to work out like it did was pretty good."
Just about everything else went as planned for the Rockies (23-20).
Chatwood, in his second start of his second promotion from Triple-A Colorado Springs, held the Giants to one run while pitching around seven hits and four walks. The fourth was Chatwood's only clean inning, but he consistently found the pitches to escape trouble.
"I just felt like I was in control and had a good gameplan going into it," said Chatwood, who threw 99 pitches before giving way to Josh Outman, who entered with two on and forced a Joaquin Arias grounder to end the sixth. "Just stay within myself, make pitches and get out of it."
Chatwood (2-0) had two starts during an earlier callup, and one was a scoreless six-inning effort in a win over the Dodgers on April 29, but he was nonetheless returned to Triple-A when Jhoulys Chacin returned from a back injury. Called up this time because of Jeff Francis' left groin strain, Chatwood is trying to stick for good.
"He's a great competitor," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "He's really done a nice job.
"We will figure stuff out as we go, but Tyler has thrown the ball really well for us. He's been very impressive."
Chatwood fanned Tim Lincecum with two on to end the second, forced a Hunter Pence grounder to end the third with two aboard and snatched Posey's hard bouncer with runners at the corners to end the fifth.
"I missed some pitches when I had runners on base, so he pitched really well," Pence said. "This lineup is a strong lineup. To have that kind of outing here, he did well."
The Rockies scored six runs in five innings against Lincecum (3-3), with one run on Chatwood's RBI single and two runs on Rosario's ninth homer of the season. It was Rosario's second homer in three games, after he had gone homerless the first 11 games of May. Troy Tulowitzki went 4-for-5 with a double and two RBIs, and Dexter Fowler put his slump behind him by going 3-for-5 with a double and two RBIs.
The Rockies, who blew a six-run lead and lost to the Giants in the four-game series opener, 8-6, Thursday night, have scored 20 runs while winning the last two. It's the first time they've won two straight against the Giants since sweeping a two-game series May 16 and 17, 2011. If they win Sunday afternoon's finale, it'll be their first series win over them since then.
The Rockies also have won consecutive games for the first time since an eight-game win streak April 12-20. It's only May, but the Rockies saw this stretch -- the series with the Giants, followed by three games at home against the National League West-leading D-backs, then three against the Giants at AT&T Park -- as a chance to re-establish that they would continue to be competitive in the division in the early going.
The offensive success has been welcome from a club that has struggled for consistency since the latter part of April. Fowler and Tulowitzki played through nagging injuries at times, Todd Helton did a tour on the disabled list with a forearm strain and Michael Cuddyer is out until at least Friday with a bulging disk in his neck. Rosario sees the hitting getting better.
"We're ready to go," Rosario said. "We're not afraid to go against any team. We're ready to go hit. We have our players, CarGo [Carlos Gonzalez], Tulo, Helton. The only guy we're missing right now is Cuddyer, and he's going to be with us pretty soon. When that guy gets to the lineup, it's going to be tougher to get outs."