SAN FRANCISCO -- Troy Tulowitzki would have felt a lot better if his 100th career home run would have occurred in a victory. As it was, making solid contact was a victory in itself.
Tulowitzki hit a home run and Ubaldo Jimenez pitched well enough to win, but the Colorado Rockies failed to hold the lead in falling to the San Francisco Giants, 4-3, on Friday night.
Tulowitzki, who opened the season on a tear before cooling off to artic-type conditions lately, has been putting in a little extra time in the batting cage with hitting coach Carney Lansford and veteran Jason Giambi.
Returning to his old stomping grounds may have helped his confidence level, at least for one night.
"Any time you hit a home run, you know you put a good swing on it, but I still have a lot of work to do," said Bay Area native Tulowitzki, who became the ninth Rockies player to reach the milestone. "It was cool to do it in front of family and friends, but at the same time I would remember it more if it came in a win."
Tulowitzki was hitless in his last 13 at-bats before connecting on a Matt Cain pitch leading off the second inning. It was also the second hit in his last seven games.
"It's about how fast you can get it turned around," Tulowitzki said. "I'll figure it out."
He still has a believer in Colorado manager Jim Tracy.
"I promise you there is more coming," Tracy said. "He broke out a little bit and he's well on his way."
Meanwhile, Jimenez delivered his best start of the season. He lowered his ERA nearly two full runs to 5.88 after giving up a run on two hits over six innings. He walked five and struck out seven, matching his season high.
It was his longest start since being activated from the disabled list on April 18.
"It was a lot better than my last start," Jimenez said. "I wanted to show my team I could pitch more than five innings. I was more confident and felt more comfortable. I felt like I was more consistent with my delivery."
Tracy thinks his ace will soon be pitching like he did last year, when he finished 19-8 with a 2.88 ERA.
"Ubaldo showed up tonight," Tracy said. "That was his best start to date. His fastball command will continue to improve. He made some great pitches."
Carlos Gonzalez and Jonathan Herrera also drove in runs for the Rockies, who are 2-5 in their last seven games.
Felipe Paulino (0-2) gave up the game-winning hit, Freddy Sanchez's single, in the bottom of the ninth.
Nate Schierholtz hit a double down the left-field line against Rafael Betancourt to score a pair of runs in the eighth and tie the game at 3.
"Jimenez had good stuff tonight," Schierholtz said. "It's good to get to someone's 'pen if you can't get the starter."
Buster Posey's infield groundout drove in a run in the sixth.
"In a perfect world, I wish he could have kept his pitch count down to stay in the game longer, but I take it as a step in the right direction," Tulowitzki said of Jimenez. "That was just a good piece of hitting by Schierholtz. He hit it where we weren't and got them back in the game."
Todd Helton collected two hits for the Rockies and is hitting .315 for the season after slumping to a career-low .256 last season.
"We didn't do anything to lose the game," Tracy said. "They just came back and won it. They had some good luck, in my opinion, with some well-placed hits."
Rick Eymer is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.