SAN FRANCISCO | Jorge De La Rosa’s second straight loss hardly seemed to bother Rockies manager Walt Weiss.
If anything, the Colorado skipper continues to be encouraged by what he’s seen from the lefty since De La Rosa moved back into the starting rotation.
De La Rosa allowed three runs over seven innings, but the Rockies managed just five hits off Johnny Cueto and lost 5-1 to the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday night.
“He’s done an outstanding job since coming back from the bullpen,” Weiss said of the Rockies’ career leader in wins. “He looks like the ‘De La’ of old and giving us a chance every time.”
De La Rosa (5-7) struck out five and walked one. He retired 13 of the final 16 batters he faced before leaving for a pinch hitter with Colorado trailing 3-1.
“My confidence never left me,” De La Rosa said. “I just tried to make better pitches. I started to mix my pitches better than in the beginning. If I get results, I’ll keep doing the same.”
Cueto pitched a five-hitter to become the NL’s first 13-game winner and move the Giants atop the major league standings.
San Francisco (54-33) passed the Chicago Cubs (52-32), who lost to the Cincinnati Reds earlier in the day.
Voted to the All-Star Game for the second time and a candidate to start in next week’s Midsummer Classic, Cueto (13-1) struck out eight and walked one while going the distance for the fourth time this season. The performance gave San Francisco’s slumping bullpen a much-needed break.
Cueto also became the first Giants pitcher since John Burkett in 1993 to win 13 games before the All-Star break.
“He’s an artist out there,” San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. “He’s just a special pitcher.”
The Giants have won five of seven. Buster Posey homered for the second time in three days, Brandon Belt doubled and tripled, and Brandon Crawford drove in two runs for San Francisco.
Rookie sensation Trevor Story drove in Colorado’s lone run in the fourth on a fielder’s choice grounder with the bases loaded.
Posey struck out looking with a runner on third in the first inning before hitting his 11th home run of the season off De La Rosa in the sixth.
De La Rosa struck out five and walked one. The lefty has lost two straight since his four-game winning streak.
Grant Green walked and scored on Belt’s RBI triple in the first. Belt scored on Crawford’s two-out single.
Green also scored on a wild pitch in the eighth and Crawford added a sacrifice fly to make it 5-1.
The Rockies welcomed the short flight to Denver after finishing 1-5 on their brief road trip. “You are always going to go through ups and downs, but the good thing about this game, you always have another opportunity,” Colorado All-Star outfielder Carlos Gonzalez said. “We have to believe in ourselves. We have to play better at home because we played really bad on this road trip.”
CUETO AT THE PLATE
San Francisco’s starter wasn’t as dominant at the plate as he was on the mound but still managed to end a 0-for-26 slump when he singled off De La Rosa in the second inning.
Rockies: Right-hander Chad Bettis (6-6) pitches Thursday in the opener of a four-game home series with Philadelphia. Bettis has a 6.58 ERA over his previous five starts.