The All-Star shortstop, however, will now face a pitcher he's struggled against throughout his career.
After snapping a 10-game losing streak to the Giants with a 10-9 win Friday, Colorado (23-20) rolled to a 10-2 victory the next day.
Tulowitzki matched a career high with four hits as the Rockies scored double-digit runs in consecutive games for the first time since June 28-29, 2012. They've won two in a row for the first time since an eight-game run April 12-20.
Since going 2 for 17 over a five-game stretch, Tulowitzki is 11 for 23 with three doubles and four RBIs in his last five. He's batting .410 with eight RBIs during a nine-game home hitting streak against the Giants (24-19).
That surge has sparked a Colorado team that totaled 14 runs and hit .156 during a seven-game span before scoring 38 while batting .313 in its last five.
"We're ready to go," catcher Wilin Rosario , 6 for 14 with two homers in this series, told the team's official website. "We're not afraid to go against any team. We're ready to go hit."
Tulowitzki, though, hasn't fared well against Zito (3-2, 3.40 ERA), batting .159 with two extra-base hits in 44 career at-bats. He's 4 for 34 (.118) with eight strikeouts versus the left-hander since the start of 2008.
Teammate Dexter Fowler has gone 5 for 10 in the past two games, but he's also struggled against Zito with two hits in his last 14 at-bats.
Zito will be looking to bounce back from a rough outing, having allowed eight runs - five earned - and a season-high 12 hits in 5 2-3 innings of a 10-6 loss to Toronto on Tuesday.
He appears to have a favorable matchup as he tries to get back on track, as he's won six straight decisions versus the Rockies and gone 3-0 with a 2.00 ERA in the past four starts against them. Zito gave up seven hits in seven innings of a 10-0 home win over Colorado on April 10.
In his last appearance at Coors Field, he threw a four-hitter in a 7-0 victory April 9, 2012.
The Giants, however, will have to tighten up defensively behind Zito, having committed 12 errors while dropping four of five on a road trip that concludes Sunday."We just came off a really good homestand and everything's that hit is either not at us or we're having some difficulties handling tough balls. It's a funk," right fielder Hunter Pence said.
He'll make his first career home start against the Giants. Nicasio walked a season-high five and allowed four runs over five innings of a 9-6 defeat at San Francisco on April 9.
Former Colorado infielder Marco Scutaro went 2 for 3 with an RBI in that contest and is batting .486 during a 17-game hitting streak.
|Jorge De La Rosa||5||.400||2||0||2||0||0||.400||.800||.400|
|San Francisco Giants|
|May 08, 2013||Santiago Casilla||Day-to-Day||Left game - right knee|
|May 04, 2013||Angel Pagan||Day-to-Day||Strained right hamstring|
|April 15, 2013||Jeremy Affeldt||15-Day DL||Strained right oblique|
|April 15, 2013||Jeremy Affeldt||15-Day DL||Strained right oblique|
|April 13, 2013||Angel Pagan||Day-to-Day||Right wrist soreness|
|March 22, 2013||Brett Pill||15-Day DL||Recovery from minor knee surgery|
|May 15, 2013||Jeff Francis||15-Day DL||Left groin strain|
|May 09, 2013||Michael Cuddyer||15-Day DL||Bulging disk in neck|
|May 07, 2013||Troy Tulowitzki||Day-to-Day||Sore groin|
|May 03, 2013||Troy Tulowitzki||Day-to-Day||Leg soreness|
|April 29, 2013||Troy Tulowitzki||Day-to-Day||Strained left shoulder|
|April 20, 2013||Jhoulys Chacin||15-Day DL||Left lower back strain|
DENVER (AP) -- Juan Nicasio went from erratic all season to electric again simply by following orders.
Before the game, veteran catcher Yorvit Torrealba told the young pitcher to "pound the strike zone." No cute or fancy stuff, just throw whatever Torrealba told him to throw.
Nicasio paid attention and prospered.
The righty scattered three hits over six innings, Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki each drove in two runs and the Colorado Rockies won their first series over San Francisco in two years, beating the Giants 5-0 on Sunday.
"That's what everybody was waiting for from him," said Gonzalez, whose team took three of four from the reigning World Series champions. "Before, all those pitches he was making in a game, it was really hard for him to get out of the fifth. Tonight, it was a different story."
Since it was his first time catching the inconsistent Nicasio this season, Torrealba had a brief pregame meeting with him. In their talk, he just reminded him to throw strikes and "whatever I put down, you throw."
Nicasio (4-1) wasn't about to disobey Torrealba.
"He called for a lot of breaking balls, in situations for me where I want to throw fastball," Nicasio said. "He told me, `No, breaking ball or sinker."'
By following Torrealba's instructions, Nicasio shut down one of the top-hitting teams in baseball. He struck out five and allowing only an intentional walk before being lifted for a pinch hitter in the sixth. It was only the third time in nine starts the righty has thrown at least six innings.
Before Sunday, Nicasio had labored in games, throwing way too many pitches that led to early exits. He was pretty much pitching to keep his spot in the rotation, especially on the heels of Tyler Chatwood 's solid performance the previous day. Nicasio could be the odd starter out when Jeff Francis returns from the disabled list at the end of the month.
More outings like this only boost Nicasio's case to remain in the rotation. Not that he's thinking along those lines.
"I didn't have pressure," he insisted. "When I go to pitch, I'm focused. I want to do my job, throw strikes."
He worked his way out of a sticky situation in the sixth - with the assistance of Torrealba, of course.
With two outs and two on, Torrealba paid a visit to the mound when Brandon Belt ran the count to 3-2. Torrealba told Nicasio to throw a slider down and away.
Nicasio did just that - even though the pitcher wanted to throw a sinker down the middle - and struck out Belt.
So elated was Nicasio that he skipped off the mound and pumped his fist before making his way into the dugout to an ovation from the crowd.
Torrealba was beaming, too.
"He can pitch on this level," Torrealba said. "Today, he showed it. If he pounds the strike zone, he's fine."
Dexter Fowler tied a career high with four hits and Jordan Pacheco also drove in a run as Colorado captured its first series against San Francisco since May 16-17, 2011, at Coors Field.
Gregor Blanco and Brandon Crawford each had two hits. Pinch-hitter Joaquin Arias had the other as the Giants lost their third in a row to the Rockies after beating them 10 straight times.
The Giants concluded a six-game road swing with a 1-5 mark in which their starting pitching fizzled and their defense faltered. The starters had a 9.82 ERA and the fielders committed 13 errors on the trip.
This is far from the norm for the Giants, whose rotation was so dependable in winning the World Series last season.
"We're going to have our off days and we're going to be bad," manager Bruce Bochy explained. "It's a temporary thing. You don't have the success we've had and not be good, these pitchers. Have to remind themselves how good they are."
Barry Zito (3-3) turned in a second straight ineffective outing. He allowed 11 hits and five runs in 5 2-3 innings.
The lefty struggled on Tuesday in Toronto when he surrendered eight runs - five earned - in 5 2-3 innings. He was looking to get back on track against Colorado, a team he hadn't lost to since Sept. 25, 2008.
"I've given up quite a few hits the last couple of games," Zito said. "It doesn't feel good to be allowing all those base runners, but at the same time battling out of innings is encouraging."
The Rockies pounced on Zito early, scoring a run in the first when Gonzalez singled home Eric Young Jr.
Colorado opened a 3-0 lead in the fifth on an RBI double by Gonzalez and a run-scoring single from Pacheco. Tulowitzki added some insurance with a two-run single an inning later off Jose Mijares , who came in for Zito.
"We've just got to keep fighting and we'll come out of it," Zito said of the team's slump.
Bochy elected to rest two of his hottest hitters, catcher Buster Posey and infielder Marco Scutaro . It was a particularly difficult decision for Bochy to keep Scutaro out of the lineup since he's in the midst of a 17-game hitting streak.
"He's been on a great run here," Bochy said. "Sometimes, you've got to give him a break."
Notes: Giants 2B Nick Noonan collided with Gonzalez on a pick-off attempt in the third, hurting his collarbone. Noonan stayed in the game. "I think he's fine," Bochy said. ... CF Angel Pagan left in the fifth with the flu. "He wasn't feeling all that good and it caught up with him during the game," Bochy said. ... The Rockies gave away 20,000 Dante Bichette bobblehead dolls on Sunday. Bichette, the team's hitting coach, also threw out the first pitch. ... Manager Walt Weiss attended his son's high school graduation Sunday before arriving at the park.