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Giants Cruise to Series Win After Big First Inning

(Sept. 13, 2012) -- A five-run first inning paved the way to an 8-3 victory by the San Francisco Giants over the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field in Denver Wednesday night.
San Francisco extended its lead to seven games over the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West standings.
"It's not an easy place to win games," Giants' manager Bruce Bochy said. "This is a tough place to play, and they are always tough here. Anything can happen."

The first five Giants all reached base on four hits and a fielder's choice against Rockies' starter Jeff Francis, and four of them came around to score as San Francisco batted around the order in the first inning. Gregor Blanco led off with a triple and scored on the next pitch when Marco Scutaro singled. Buster Posey, Joaquin Arias and Hector Sanchez all added base hits, and Brandon Crawford doubled to right to drive in two final runs before Tim Lincecum grounded to second to end the inning.


Lincecum extended his winning streak to three games with his third-straight quality start. He scattered three runs over six innings, allowing six hits and four walks while striking out eight.


"He's really elevated his game and got on track here, which is huge for us," Bochy said.


Lincecum (9-14) allowed a run in the bottom of the first when he walked Carlos Gonzalez, balked him to second, then watched him score on a Wilin Rosario single to left. Rosario later blasted a solo shot to the upper rows of the left-field seats in the third, but Lincecum got better as he went and never let the Rockies build a rally.


The Rockies added a final run in the sixth when Chris Nelson singled and Charlie Blackmon knocked a two-out, pinch-hit double to score him.


San Francisco added a run in the sixth when Crawford smacked his second double of the night off the right-field scoreboard, and Scutaro drove him home with a hit to left.


Scutaro added his third hit of the night in the ninth with a leadoff single and scored on Hunter Pence's triple. Pence then scored on Arias' sacrifice fly.


Bochy managed the final innings like he was protecting a one-run lead in the postseason, using seven pitchers to get nine outs, including three in the ninth.


The Giants will have an off day Thursday before starting a three-game series against the Diamondbacks in Arizona on Friday.