San Francisco, CA – Pablo Sandoval and Marco Scutaro combined for four hits, three runs scored and six RBI for the San Francisco Giants, who defeated the Colorado Rockies, 9-2, to complete a four-game sweep at AT&T Park.
After snapping a 161 at-bat homerless streak on Wednesday, Sandoval clubbed two more on Thursday to help San Francisco reduce its magic number to clinch the NL West title to three.
Regardless, until they're officially division champs, the Giants aren't getting ahead of themselves.
"You wouldn't know it from the vibe here in the clubhouse, we're fighting everyday like we're one game up," said Thursday's starter Barry Zito. "It's something that is really memorable about this team. We've fought so hard, especially since we lost Melky (Cabrera)."
The Rockies collected 10 hits off Zito (13-8), but could only manage two runs off the lefty, who tossed 5 2/3 innings while striking out six to earn the victory.
Making his first start in over a year, Jorge De La Rosa (0-1) struggled over 3 2/3 innings of work. In his return from Tommy John surgery, De La Rosa was tagged for six runs -- five earned -- on seven hits.
The Giants broke it open with a six-run fourth inning. After back-to-back singles from Hector Sanchez and Xavier Nady, Zito sacrificed both runners into scoring position. San Francisco took a 3-2 lead when Sanchez scored on a wild pitch from De La Rosa, who then walked Angel Pagan and gave up an RBI single to Scutaro to plate Nady.
De La Rosa was replaced by Edgmer Escalona, who gave up back-to-back homers to Sandoval and Buster Posey, capping the burst and giving the Giants an 8-2 lead.
The hosts tacked on another run in the sixth. Aubrey Huff led the inning off with a double, and Scutaro's base hit to left scored pinch-runner Francisco Peguro to account for the final margin.
"They have starting pitching and they have bullpen," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said regarding the depth of the Giants. "Their offense is very mindful of the fact of what it is and what they need to do."
Sandoval's two-out solo homer in the first gave San Francisco the early lead.
The Rockies tied the game in the second on a two-out RBI single from Jonathan Herrera, who plated Wilin Rosario from second.
With two away, San Francisco got a gift in the third when Rosario lost Sandoval's pop up in the sun. The miscue allowed Pagan, who reached on a one- out double, to score from second.
De La Rosa helped his own cause with an RBI single in the fourth. Andrew Brown led off the inning with a double and moved to third on a base hit from Herrera. Colorado's starter then squeaked a ground ball up the middle to plate Brown and tie the game at 2-2.
Scutaro extended his hitting streak to 10 games ... The Giants have won in each of Zito's last nine starts ... The Rockies have lost six games in a row while the Giants have won eight of their last nine ... The Rockies stranded 10 runners on base.