DENVER – Even though it's only April, Colorado viewed this game as a chance to send a message to the world champions: The road back won't 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, it's not like we're saying our season's over. We're 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 don't want another team coming into your home field and sweeping you.
"We know it's going to be a long race. They're 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 that's plagued him all season.
It didn't 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 ground out in the fifth. It's the ninth time Wigginton has driven in four runs in his career.
"I'll 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 so crisp and efficient in his last three outings, giving up just three runs in 19 innings.
Cain's clunker was against a team he has typically 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 a hole," Cain said. "That's 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.
That's 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.
"He's got good stuff. He'll lull you to sleep because he's real slow and methodical in his windup and then pop a 96 mph heater in there on your hands," Aaron Rowand explained. "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 didn't have his usual overpowering command, giving up four runs in the second inning.
The big blow was Wigginton's milestone homer, the third baseman's first with the Rockies and the 1,000th hit of his career. Despite his slump, Wigginton was in the lineup due to Ian Stewart's recent demotion to Triple-A Colorado Springs.
The Giants jumped on Colorado in the first inning yet again, scoring a run on Posey's bloop single to left. That gave them 10 runs in the opening frame during the three-game series.
"I'm sure there were maybe some thoughts in people's 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."
NOTES: Giants OF Cody Ross made his first appearance of the year after straining his right calf in the final week of spring training. The MVP of the NLCS last season finished hitless in four plate appearances. ... The Giants were without 3B Pablo Sandoval, who was a late scratch after straining his right triceps during batting practice. ... Colorado held a moment of silence to remember Rockies president Keli McGregor, who died on this day a year ago during a business trip in Utah. He was 48.