San Francisco, CA – Barry Zito and the San Francisco Giants continued their recent mastery of the Colorado Rockies, with the veteran lefty twirling seven shutout innings to lead the defending World Series champions to a 10-0 rout of their National League West cohorts that capped off a three-game series sweep.
The victory was also the Giants' ninth in a row over the Rockies dating back to last season, the longest current streak by one MLB team over a division opponent, as well as Colorado's ninth straight loss at AT&T Park.
Zito (2-0) continued an impressive unbeaten run of his own by scattering seven hits and a walk and striking out four. The 34-year-old is now 11-0 over his last 16 starts when including last year's postseason, with the Giants prevailing in every one of those outings.
"You can't have more confidence than what Barry has right now," Giants manager Bruce Bochy remarked.
Zito showed his skills at the plate as well, going 2-for-3 with an RBI single and two runs scored as part of a 16-hit onslaught by San Francisco.
Buster Posey finished a home run short of the cycle while driving in three runs in the lopsided win, with Andres Torres also collecting three hits and adding a pair of RBI.
The Giants battered Colorado starter Jeff Francis (1-1) for seven runs on seven hits in just 1 2/3 innings, though three of those runs were unearned due to an error by Rockies third baseman Chris Nelson.
Nelson did account for two of Colorado's seven hits in the setback.
Francis threw six innings of one-run ball to defeat San Diego in a sharp first outing of the season, but wasn't remotely as effective against a San Francisco lineup that swung the bats well all throughout the series.
Angel Pagan greeted the left-hander with a single and Posey delivered a drive deep into the alley in right center two batters later for a triple and a quick San Francisco lead. The reigning league MVP came home on Joaquin Arias' two- out base hit to extend the margin to 2-0.
The damage continued in the second, with the Giants loading the bases with none out on a Brandon Crawford double, a Zito sacrifice bunt in which the Rockies failed to record an out and a walk to Pagan.
After Marco Scutaro lofted a sac fly to bring in Crawford, Posey crushed a Francis changeup for a ground-rule double to center to knock in another run. Nelson's errant throw to home on Hunter Pence's grounder enabled Pagan to cross the plate for a 5-0 game, and Torres capped the big inning later on with a two-run single that sent Francis to an early exit.
"You miss a pitch, and they whack it," Francis said of the Giants. "And then you make a pitch, they whack it, too."
That was more than enough offense for Zito, who yielded just two hits and a walk over the first four innings and encountered only one real jam during his stint. That came in the sixth, with a Michael Cuddyer double and a single by Wilin Rosario putting two on with two out, but Zito fanned Jordan Pacheco to end the threat.
"He's hitting his spots, mixing them up," Bochy said of Zito. "It's a thing of beauty when you have a guy who's not just reaching back and throwing 95 (mph)."
Zito aided his own cause in the fifth, lacing a single to left that plated Torres after the latter stroked a leadoff double off Chris Volstad. The San Francisco hurler moved to third on a two-out single by Scutaro that set the stage for Posey's third RBI of the day, which came on a base hit to left.
The Giants tacked on one final run in the sixth, when Brandon Belt doubled, took third on Torres' third hit of the game and scored on a fielder's choice off the bat of Crawford.
Zito improved to 6-0 with a 2.48 ERA in his last 12 encounters with the Rockies, whom he hasn't lost to since Sept. 25, 2008, and moved to 41-3 as a Giant when receiving four or more runs of support ... Francis has now lost five consecutive starts to San Francisco. He went 0-3 with a 10.03 ERA in three matchups with the Giants last season ... Posey owns seven hits in 10 lifetime at-bats against Francis ... Pence had a seven-game hit streak snapped after finishing 0-for-5.