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Pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez was stellar again last night for the Rockies, leading Colorado to a 4-0 win over the Houston Astros and ending the team’s three-game losing streak. According to The Denver Post, Jimenez allowed just one hit in seven innings of work, and that was a dribbler hit to third baseman Ian Stewart, who misplayed the ball and failed to throw out the batter at first base.
Jimenez is now a Major League-best 8-1 with a 0.99 ERA, after toying with batters by mixing hard fastballs with devastating sliders, curveballs, and breaking balls (video of his work via MLB.com). “I have pitched like that before, too,” pitcher Jeff Francis tells the Post. “I was playing Nintendo.”
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Jimenez probably could have stayed in the game longer, but manager Jim Tracy wanted to remove his best pitcher after he came up lame while running to first base in the seventh inning. Jimenez convinced Tracy to let him pitch one final inning, telling the Post later that he cramped up because it was so hot inside the stadium.
Thursday’s game also saw the middle of the Rockies’ batting order come back to life, providing plenty of support for Jimenez. Troy Tulowitzki, Todd Helton, and Brad Hawpe each supplied two hits, according to Purple Row, including a three-run home run from Tulo in the first inning.