DENVER Even though its only April, Colorado viewed this game as a chance to send a message to the world champions: The road back wont be easy, and the Rockies are going to be along for the ride.
Jorge De La Rosa overcame a shaky start to pitch seven sharp innings, and Ty Wigginton tied a career high with four RBIs, including a three-run homer, as the Rockies beat the San Francisco Giants 10-2 on Wednesday to salvage the finale of a three-game series.
This was a statement game of sorts for the Rockies. More so for confidence than anything else, especially after being outscored by the Giants 14-4 in the first two games.
If we come out here and lose, its not like were saying our seasons over. Were still in first place and have one of the best records in the game, said Troy Tulowitzki, who was 3-for-5 with two doubles. On the other hand, you dont want another team coming into your home field and sweeping you.
We know its going to be a long race. Theyre going to be right there with us the entire year.
De La Rosa (3-0) turned in his best outing of the season, finally putting to rest the talk about a bothersome blister thats plagued him all season.
It didnt hamper him at all as the left-hander gave up two runs and four hits. He had every pitch in his arsenal working to perfection.
Very good stuff today, he said. We needed this. I hope we can stay playing like we did today.
This game might have done the trick to snap the slumping Wigginton out of his doldrums.
Wigginton, hitting .214 entering the game, showed signs of breaking out of his offensive funk by lining a three-run homer to left off Matt Cain (2-1) in the second inning and bringing in another on a groundout in the fifth. Its the ninth time Wigginton has driven in four runs in his career.
Ill continue to grind it out, Wigginton said.
Cain was far from his best, wrestling with his command as he lasted just 4 2/3 innings, allowing six runs and nine hits. The righty had been crisp and efficient in his last three outings, giving up just three runs in 19 innings.
Cains clunker was against a team he typically has fared well against, too. In four starts last season, he went 3-0 with a 1.69 ERA against the Rockies.
Not that he was reading too much into one subpar performance.
(My stuff) was fine. Just definitely the big hit by Wigginton kind of put a damper on things and put our guys in a big hole, Cain said. Thats not something I wanted to do.
Buster Posey had both RBIs for the Giants, one on a single in the first and another with a grounder in the sixth.
Thats all the damage San Francisco could manage against De La Rosa, who was on the ropes in the opening frame but worked his way out of trouble and never looked back. He picked up his third win to tie Jhoulys Chacin for most on the staff.
Hes got good stuff. Hell lull you to sleep because hes real slow and methodical in his windup and then pop a 96 mph heater in there on your hands, Aaron Rowand said. He can keep guys off balance.
Pinch hitter Ryan Spilborghs added a late three-run homer, backup catcher Jose Morales had an RBI double, and Seth Smith had a pair of RBI singles as Colorado finished with a season-high scoring output.
Cain certainly didnt have his usual overpowering command, giving up four runs in the second inning.
The big blow was Wiggintons milestone homer, the third basemans first with the Rockies and the 1,000th hit of his career. Despite his slump, Wigginton was in the lineup because of Ian Stewarts recent demotion to Triple-A Colorado Springs.
The Giants jumped on Colorado in the first inning yet again, scoring a run on Poseys bloop single to left. That gave them 10 runs in the opening frame during the three-game series.
Im sure there were maybe some thoughts in peoples minds ... here we go again type of thing, Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. Jorge settled down and pitched brilliantly. In my opinion, his best start of the season.