Cueto overcomes back issue to beat Rockies

Cueto overcomes back issue to beat Rockies

DENVER -- Giants right-hander Johnny Cueto maintained his success against the Colorado Rockies despite enduring stiffness on the left side of his upper back.

Cueto (8-1) yielded two runs (one earned) and six hits in six innings to record his fifth consecutive winning decision in Sunday's 8-3 victory. He became the ninth Giant since the franchise moved to San Francisco in 1958 to win at least eight of his first 11 starts in a season. Cueto also trimmed his Coors Field ERA to 2.43, the lowest all-time among pitchers with at least six starts at the mile-high ballpark.

"I think it's just a matter of concentrating more," Cueto said through his translator, Erwin Higueros, when asked to explain his effectiveness at Coors Field.

Cueto accomplished all this despite experiencing discomfort in his back after the first inning. He downplayed the effect of the tightness.

"It wasn't serious," he said.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy differed, explaining that Cueto's back issue diminished his command of his pitches.

"It was a really gutty effort," Bochy said of Cueto's performance. "He was just a touch off today."

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.