DENVER — Barry Zito lost again on the road, though more of the blame can be placed on his punchless San Francisco Giants teamates than on the veteran left-hander.
Zito gave up 10 hits and four runs in 5 1-3 innings as the Colorado Rockies went on to a 4-1 victory over the Giants on Friday night. The big blow was a two-run homer in the third by Michael Cuddyer, who extended his franchise-record hitting streak to 25 games.
“Zito, he kept us in the game,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “In this ballpark, you’re in the game with four runs. We’ve got a lot of guys cold right now.”
Indeed, the Giants have totaled 17 runs in their past eight games and 29 runs in their last 12. They have lost five straight games, matching their longest losing streak of the season, and seven of eight.
“At some point, it’s going to take somebody to spark this club, and we’re missing that spark,” Bochy said.
Jhoulys Chacin (7-3) pitched eight scoreless innings as the Rockies broke a three-game losing streak and won for just the third time in 11 games. Buster Posey had three of the Giants’ four hits, including a homer in the ninth off Rex Brothers to avoid a shutout.
In addition to his hitting streak, the longest in the majors since Jose Reyes hit safely in 26 consecutive games for Miami last year, Cuddyer has reached base safely in 44 straight games, also a club record.
Cuddyer flied out to left in the first inning before connecting in the third. He worked the count to 2-0 before lacing a 79 mph cut fastball just over the scoreboard in right to give the Rockies a 3-0 lead. Rosario followed with a blast to left to make it 4-0.
“Cuddyer was the big mistake tonight,” said Zito (4-6). “Going low and just throwing a backdoor cutter up in the zone instead of keeping it down. Rosario, he hit a good pitch. He brought his hands in pretty good on that cutter.”
Chacin made it stand up and earned his fourth straight win with another standout performance.
The right-hander has emerged as Colorado’s best pitcher in June. He came within an out of a shutout against Philadelphia on June 16 and threw seven scoreless innings in a win over Washington last week. He has thrown 15 straight scoreless innings and has allowed just two runs in his last 27 innings.
He was sharp again Friday, scattering three hits and walking three to help the Rockies snap a three-game skid. He retired 10 in a row after the Giants had first and second with one out in the fourth, then got Brandon Crawford to ground out with two on to end the seventh inning.
Zito is 0-3 in his last five starts. His last win came against Oakland on May 30 and he is 0-5 with a 10.41 in six road starts this season.
Posey’s blast enabled the defending champions to narrowly avoid being shut out for the seventh time this season. He led off the ninth with his 11th home run of the year, the first run Brothers allowed in 32 appearances spanning 30 innings.
The Giants got the tying run to the plate but Brandon Crawford, who has one hit in his past 26 at-bats with runners in scoring position, grounded out to second to end the game.
The Giants are in fourth place but just four games behind in the NL West.
“The only fortunate thing right now as far as the division goes and the season goes is the division hasn’t been something that’s totally out of hand right now,” Zito said. “It’s not out of reach completely. We’ve all been beating up on each other in the NL West, so it could be a lot worse from that standpoint. But there’s no reason for us to look at that and feel good about things.”
NOTES: Colorado OF Dexter Fowler (right hand) was a late scratch from the lineup. Fowler has missed the last two games and three of the last four. ... The Rockies activated closer Rafael Betancourt from the 15-day DL and optioned RHP Juan Nicasio to Triple-A Colorado Springs. ... The Giants reinstated LHP Eric Surkamp from the 60-day DL and optioned him to Triple-A Fresno. He will be added to the roster when he reports on Monday, when he will make a start, the team said. ... Giants RHP Santiago Casilla (cyst on his right knee) threw 30 pitches in a simulated game Friday.