DENVER (AP) - Jorge De La Rosa was asked about his hitting, but all he wanted to talk about was his pitching.
It was understandable after he struggled in his first two outings, but the left-hander bounced back with a vintage Coors Field start.
De La Rosa had two hits, drove in two runs and pitched into the seventh inning to lead the Colorado Rockies over the San Francisco Giants 11-6 on Thursday.
De La Rosa (1-1) allowed four runs - three earned - struck out seven and walked one in 6 2/3 innings to win his 49th game at Coors Field. He was coming off a Saturday outing against San Diego in which he gave up seven runs in four innings.
“That was more like Jorge,” manager Walt Weiss said. “I thought he used his fastball a little better today. He still had his changeup, a real good one, but I thought that he pitched with his fastball better than he had the previous two outings. We needed some length out of that start today.”
Weiss said De La Rosa’s slow start has “been part of his history” but that he picks it up after a couple of starts. He proved that Thursday by dropping his ERA from 12.46 to 8.80.
“I feel like I threw much better than the first two games,” De La Rosa said. “Command was much better today.”
Brandon Belt homered for the second straight game for the Giants, who are dealing with multiple injuries after this series. Reliever Sergio Romo, who flew back to San Francisco to get his sore elbow examined, was diagnosed with a strained right flexor tendon. Shortstop Brandon Crawford left the game in the seventh with a sore left hip.
“He has a left hip flexor and it flared up on him,” manager Bruce Bochy said.
Catcher Buster Posey returned to the lineup after missing two games with a bruised right foot. He left the game in the bottom of the seventh as a precaution.
The Giants might have felt better by winning the series, but De La Rosa was tough on their lineup. He didn’t give up a hit through the first three innings to keep up with San Francisco starter Matt Cain, who retired 12 of his first 13 batters.
De La Rosa’s bases-loaded wild pitch put San Francisco ahead in the fourth, and two defensive gems by third baseman Nolan Arenado and another by first baseman Mark Reynolds prevented more runs.
Colorado then scored nine runs in the fifth, when Gerardo Parra led off with his first homer for the Rockies. Reynolds had two doubles, the second a three-run drive to center, and Arenado had a two-run double off the wall in left.
De La Rosa helped himself when he blooped a two-run single into right for a 3-1 lead.
“We got the lead with that single,” he said. “It’s always good to get RBIs.”
Cain allowed six runs and six hits in 4 2/3 innings, and Colorado scored three more runs off Chris Heston. The nine runs were the Rockies’ most in one inning against San Francisco.
“The inning caught up with him,” Bochy said of Cain.
San Francisco chased De La Rosa in its three-run seventh and loaded the bases against Justin Miller. Posey had a chance to make it a one-run game with a home run but grounded out.
Belt’s two-run homer in the eighth - awarded after video review - made it 9-6, but Carlos Gonzalez answered with a two-run double in the bottom half. Gonzalez pumped his fist in celebration after trotting into second.
“They know how to come back and win games,” Gonzalez said. “To get that big hit, it’s about getting two on the board and feeling comfortable again.”
Gonzalez has hit safely in all nine games this season and extended his hitting streak to 19 games dating back to last year.
Giants: 2B Joe Panik didn’t start because of a sore hip. He came in as a defensive replacement in the eighth and walked in the ninth. … Romo hasn’t been placed on the disabled list yet, but Bochy said that move would be likely, although it doesn’t appear he will need surgery.
Rockies: OF Charlie Blackmon was placed on the 15-day DL with turf toe in his left foot. He hurt the toe diving back into second in the eighth inning of Wednesday’s game and didn’t play the field in the ninth. “He’s had turf toe in the past and it sounds like he aggravated that,” Weiss said. … C Nick Hundley is being evaluated for a possible concussion after taking a foul ball off the mask Wednesday. Tony Wolters started Thursday and Dustin Garneau was recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque to serve as the third catcher.
Giants: LHP Madison Bumgarner (1-0, 3.27 ERA) is to face Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw when the teams open a three-game series in Los Angeles on Friday.
Rockies: RHP Chad Bettis (1-0, 4.38) will attempt to build on his seven-inning outing in a win against San Diego when he opens Colorado’s three-game series against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on Friday.
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