DENVER — Pinch-hitter Jason
Giambi's two-run homer off Jonathan Papelbon capped a three-run rally in
the ninth inning and the Colorado Rockies overcame an off night by ace
Ubaldo Jimenez to beat the Boston Red Sox 8-6 on Wednesday.
Giambi sent a 1-0 pitch into the
right-field seats. Ian Stewart had tied it at 6 with a leadoff drive
against Papelbon (2-4), who blew his second save in 18 chances.
Manny Corpas (2-4) picked up the win
with a scoreless inning of relief.
Jimenez, who was seeking his 14th win,
was staked to an early four-run lead, which seemed safe considering he
hadn't allowed more than three runs in a start all season. But he gave
up six runs and 10 hits over 5 2-3 innings against Boston in the worst
game of his spectacular season.
Until Stewart's shot, Boston
right-hander John Lackey was in line for the win after allowing five
runs and 10 hits in 6 2-3 innings. He helped himself out with two hits
off Jimenez after entering the game just 1 for 31 at the plate in his
major league career.
Giambi's shot was just second homer by
a lefty batter off Papelbon all year.
Despite hitting 100 mph with his
fastball, Jimenez labored more than usual and didn't even make it out of
the sixth in his bid to set a franchise record with wins in eight
straight starts. It was his shortest outing of the season and his ERA
jumped from 1.15 to 1.60.
Jimenez had a stretch of 10 starts
from April 17 to June 6 when he gave up a total of six runs.
Manager Jim Tracy said between innings
on the TV broadcast that Jimenez wasn't struggling with anything
health-related even though he had sent the right-hander home 24 hours
earlier after he complained of feeling dizzy.
Jimenez was tagged for two runs in
the second and four more in the sixth as the Red Sox rallied to take a
Huston Street replaced Jimenez in his
first appearance of the season after spending 2 1/2 months on the
disabled list with right shoulder inflammation and a strained left
groin. The closer allowed one hit in 1 1-3 scoreless innings.
Daniel Nava hit a two-run double in
the fourth and sparked the sixth-inning outburst with an RBI double off
Jimenez. Darnell McDonald hit a tying two-run homer with two out, and
Lackey doubled and scored on Marco Scutaro's single to give Boston a 6-5
That chased Jimenez, who was trying
to become the first National League pitcher in 98 years to win 14 of his
first 15 starts. The last was Rube Marquard, who won his first 18
starts in 1912.
Miguel Olivo hit a two-run drive off
Lackey in the second inning for his 10th homer and Colorado added two
more in the third. Brad Hawpe drove in a run with a groundout and Seth
Smith's sacrifice fly made it 4-0.
The Red Sox sliced their deficit in
half in the fourth. One strike away from escaping a two-on jam, Jimenez
twice shook off catcher Olivo before throwing a curveball that Nava sent
into the gap in right-center.
Jimenez made it 5-2 in the fourth
when he drove in Clint Barmes with a single to right. Catcher Victor
Martinez was shaken up on the play at the plate but stayed in the game.
Tracy insisted before the game that
his ace's health wasn't an issue and that he never considered pushing
back his start.
"When he left yesterday he was
already starting to feel better and actually didn't want to leave,"
NOTES: Rockies LHP Jorge De La Rosa
(finger tendon) made a rehab start for Triple-A Colorado Springs at
Reno, Nev. The Rockies hope to have him back in the rotation on July 7.
Also, RHP Taylor Buchholz (offseason elbow surgery) flew out of Denver
to begin his rehab assignment with Colorado Springs on Thursday. … Red
Sox RHP Josh Beckett (lower back strain) threw 55 pitches during a
bullpen session in which he used his entire repertoire. He's scheduled
to pitch a simulated game on Saturday in San Francisco.