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News » Rockies-Giants Preview 2009-04-30

Rockies-Giants Preview 2009-04-30

Rockies-Giants Preview 2009-04-30
The San Francisco Giants and Colorado Rockies already have endured rough stretches this season, but they appear to be opening May heading in the right direction.

The Giants look to move over .500 for the first time in three weeks, while the Rockies go for their fourth victory in five games Friday night in the opener of a three-game series at AT&T Park.

San Francisco (10-10) got the season off to a slow start, dropping seven of its first nine, but closed April winning eight of 11.

The Giants, who haven't been over .500 since they were 2-1 on April 9, pounded out a season-high 15 hits in Wednesday's 9-4 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers. Bengie Molina had a homer, a two-run triple and an RBI single, while Edgar Renteria had four hits and drove in two.

That veteran duo has keyed San Francisco's surge, with Molina hitting .424 (14-for-33) with nine RBIs in his last nine games while Renteria has batted .379 (11-for-29) with 10 RBIs in his last seven.

"It's important to be resilient in this game," San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy told the team's official Web site. "... To be at .500 now is good for the ballclub and shows a lot of character."

Colorado (8-12) also is showing signs of improvement, winning three of four after losing 10 of 12.

The Rockies beat San Diego 7-5 on Wednesday behind another offensive outburst.

Todd Helton homered and drove in three runs for Colorado, which is averaging 8.0 runs in its last four games after averaging 3.8 in its previous 12.

Helton has led the offensive surge, going 11-for-27 (.407) with two home runs and 10 RBIs in his last seven games, raising his batting average from .231 to .303.

"I feel a little better with my swings," he told the Rockies' official Web site. "I'm not exactly where I was in the spring or where I need to be, but I saw the ball better (Wednesday), which is a start."

Helton, who hit .556 in spring training and has a .328 career batting average, is 17-for-81 (.210) with six RBIs in 20 games in San Francisco since 2006.

Randy Johnson (1-2, 6.16 ERA) takes the mound for the Giants hoping to bounce back from a disappointing outing.

Johnson allowed one hit in seven innings of a 2-0 win over Arizona on April 19 for victory No. 296, but six days later against the same team, the 45-year-old left-hander had trouble finding the strike zone. Johnson gave up two runs, three hits and seven walks - his most since July 25, 2000 - and left after 3 1-3 innings of a 5-3 victory over the Diamondbacks.

The five-time Cy Young Award winner now faces against a Colorado team against which he is 14-4 with a 2.13 ERA in 20 starts since 2001. He's 4-0 versus the Rockies since a loss in 2004 and posted a 2.70 ERA in winning all three of his starts against them last season.

Colorado counters with Ubaldo Jimenez (1-3, 7.58), who looks to avoid losing his fourth consecutive start.

After giving up four hits in seven innings of a 3-0 win over the Diamondbacks on April 7, Jimenez has allowed 16 runs and 14 walks over 12 innings in losing his last three starts.

On Saturday, the right-hander gave up six runs, eight hits and four walks in four innings of a 6-5 loss to the Dodgers.

"Ubaldo is not where he needs to be," Colorado manager Clint Hurdle said. "The consistency isn't there and the fastball command isn't there."

Jimenez had success against the Giants last season, though, going 1-0 with a 1.78 ERA in four starts.

The Rockies went 11-7 against San Francisco in 2008 and took six of nine at AT&T Park.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: April 30, 2009

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