Aurilia Drives in Winning Run in 10th Inning

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

Rich Aurilia drove in Steve Holm with a 10th-inning single to end a pitching-dominated afternoon with the San Francisco Giants' ninth victory in 12 games, 1-0 over the Colorado Rockies on Sunday.

Barry Zito pitched seven innings of two-hit ball in another outstanding start for the Giants, retiring 15 straight batters and allowing just one runner to reach second base. Jason Hammel matched Zito with six scoreless innings in just his second start for the Rockies.

After Brandon Medders (1-1) stranded two Colorado runners in the 10th, Holm drew a leadoff walk from Manuel Corpas (0-2). After Randy Winn sacrificed him to second, Aurilia singled sharply to left-center, easily scoring the Giants' backup catcher.

With just the third game-ending hit in Aurilia's 14-year career, San Francisco took two of three from the Rockies despite scoring just five runs in the weekend series.

Zito has been San Francisco fans' least favorite player while going 21-30 with a bloated ERA during the first two years of his $126 million contract. Early in his third season across the Bay, he has strung together three impressive outings in front of the home fans who once booed him - although his teammates have been absolutely no help in improving his 0-2 record.

Zito threw seven scoreless innings against San Diego on April 22, but got zero runs of support. Last Monday against the Dodgers, he threw six more scoreless innings before tiring and allowing three runs in the seventh, but the Giants eventually rallied to win.

After Todd Helton's two-out single in the first, Zito retired every Colorado batter before Dexter Fowler doubled off the wall with two outs in the sixth. Zito escaped that jam and survived his only lapse in control in the seventh, drawing a double-play grounder from Brad Hawpe.

Hammel, acquired by the Rockies on April 5 in a trade with Tampa Bay, was only slightly less impressive in his second start for Colorado after making three appearances out of the bullpen.

Although Hammel yielded one hit in each of his six innings, none of San Francisco's runners got to third base until the sixth, when Fred Lewis doubled and advanced on a fly. Two walks loaded the bases, but Travis Ishikawa grounded weakly back to the mound.

Notes:

Zito has a 1.33 ERA in 20 1-3 innings over his last three starts.

Holm made his season debut after being recalled last month to back up Bengie Molina.

Colorado loaded the bases in the ninth without getting a hit off San Francisco closer Brian Wilson, but Troy Tulowitzki popped out.


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