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SF@COL: Nicasio blanks Giants over six frames of work

Less than a week ago, Rockies right-hander Juan Nicasio and Giants left-hander Barry Zito squared off at Coors Field.

Now, they'll face each other again, this time on Saturday at AT&T Park.

Nicasio got the best of Zito in a 5-0 win Sunday in Colorado, with the right-hander allowing just three hits in six innings for his fourth win of the season.

Relying heavily on his fastball in the contest, Nicasio (4-1, 4.47 ERA) also found success with his secondary pitches.

"I threw a lot of fastballs down in the zone," Nicasio said after the start. "I had more focus today and I threw strikes."

Meanwhile, Zito (3-3, 3.91 ERA) took his second straight loss Sunday, allowing five runs on 11 hits in 5 2/3 innings.

He left in the sixth inning with the Giants trailing only 3-0, but left two baserunners on for reliever Jose Mijares, who allowed them to score.

"My timing was kind of in and out today," Zito said after the start. "I made some pitches when I had to to get out of some jams, but the ball was generally up in the zone."

In his last two outings, Zito has combined to surrender 13 runs on 23 hits. However, the left-hander is 5-1 with a 1.95 ERA in 12 career outings against the Rockies at AT&T Park.

Rockies: Francis' rehab progressing
Rockies left-hander Jeff Francis, who suffered a left groin strain May 14 while pitching against the Cubs, threw a bullpen session of about 25 pitches Friday.

He'll next head to the team's training center in Scottsdale, Ariz., for extended spring training, then he'll return to Denver for an evaluation to discuss further rehab plans.

"So far I've done all the stuff I normally do, but when it comes to the groin, I'm gentle with it," said Francis.

Giants: Decision coming on replacement starter
Manager Bruce Bochy said Friday that the Giants will likely name a fifth starter for Tuesday's game at Oakland by Sunday.

Bochy reiterated that he and the club's braintrust were still evaluating their options regarding who would replace right-hander Ryan Vogelsong in San Francisco's rotation.

Besides reliever Chad Gaudin, possibilities include summoning left-hander Mike Kickham, right-hander Chris Heston or right-hander Shane Loux from Triple-A Fresno.

Worth noting
• When Rockies starters go six or more innings, the team is 16-8 this season.

• The Giants are 10-3 at AT&T Park this season against the National League West.

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