DENVER (AP) -- Jason Jennings' eyes were bleary and slightly
bloodshot from viewing stacks of videotape, but there was nothing
wrong with his arm.
Jennings pitched seven strong innings and the Colorado Rockies
snapped a five-game losing streak with a 6-1 win over the San
Francisco Giants on Thursday.Preston Wilson hit a grand slam and drove in five runs.Jennings (11-12) ended a four-game losing streak, striking out a
career-high 10. He allowed six hits, one run and one walk."I looked at so much film this week I really can't see
straight," Jennings said. "I even went back to my debut (in
2001), which is the best I've ever felt. I noticed some differences
from then and now."In my delivery, I've been leaning back. Looking at film, I saw
I was more crouched over in a more powerful position. So I
tightened up my mechanics a little bit. If I'm solid mechanically,
I can hit my spots and get ahead in the count."Which is exactly what he did."Jason threw 18 out of 26 first-pitch strikes," Colorado
manager Clint Hurdle said. "He retired 10 hitters on three pitches
or less. He had very good command of his fastball, and that just
makes his slider and changeup so much more effective."Hurdle noted "that's the Jason we saw most of last year" when
he was the NL Rookie of the Year.With Colorado clinging to a 2-1 lead, Wilson connected off Jim
Brower in the seventh for his career-best 32nd homer. Wilson
boosted his major league-leading RBI total to 126, also a career
high.Pinch-hitter Rene Reyes led off the seventh with a double.
Ronnie Belliard walked and, after a sacrifice, Todd Helton was
intentionally walked.Wilson followed with a drive down the left-field line for his
fourth career slam and first with Colorado.He insisted it was his first hit ever off Brower, and said he
agreed with the Giants' strategy of walking Helton and pitching to
him."They had first base open with a righty who I've never gotten a
hit off of," Wilson said. "I don't think I've ever gotten the
ball out of the infield against him before that. It's a good move
by the manager. I just finally got a hit off the guy."San Francisco's Kevin Correia (1-1), who got the start when
Dustin Hermanson was scratched because of spasms in his upper back,
went five innings, allowing four hits and two runs."Our emergency guy pitched well -- a pretty good five innings
that kept us in the game," Giants manager Felipe Alou said. "The
big blow was the grand slam."Jay Payton's RBI single put the Rockies ahead 1-0 in the second.
Wilson was hit by a pitch leading off the inning. He stole second
and continued to third as catcher Alberto Castillo's throw sailed
into center field for an error. Payton then lined a single to
center.Jennings gave up back-to-back singles to Todd Linden and Pedro
Feliz with two outs in the second but struck out Castillo. The
right-hander yielded a leadoff single to Jeffrey Hammonds in the
fourth but promptly struck out Edgardo Alfonzo and Rich Aurilia and
got Linden on a groundout.The Rockies capitalized on Correia's control problems to score
another run in the fifth.With one out, Jennings doubled to center and Belliard was hit by
a pitch. Helton walked to load the bases, and Wilson also walked,
forcing in a run.San Francisco made it 2-1 in the sixth. Jose Cruz Jr. led off
with a walk and went to third on Neifi Perez's single that skipped
under the glove of both Jennings and second baseman Belliard. Cruz
scored when Hammonds grounded into a double play.The Giants threatened in the seventh when, with one out, Feliz
singled and continued to third when center fielder Wilson misplayed
the ball for a two-base error. But the Rockies turned a double
play, as Castillo struck out and Feliz was caught in a rundown."We had a squeeze play and the sign was missed," Alou said.
Jennings is the first Colorado pitcher to strike out 10 or
more since John Thomson fanned 12 on April 7, 2001. ... Jennings'
10 strikeouts were as many as he fanned in his previous five starts
combined. ... The NL West-leading Giants had won seven of eight.
... Wilson's previous highs for homers (31) and RBI (121) were set
in 2000 with Florida.