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Klesko hitting .397 with five HRs in last 17 games

9/8/2002

DENVER (AP) -- Despite a disappointing season for the San Diego
Padres, Ryan Klesko remains motivated.

"I've had some injuries this year and my back is sore, but I've
made it a goal to finish strong,'' Klesko said. "I didn't swing
the bat well the last few months of last year.''

Klesko homered twice and helped Brian Lawrence win for the first
time in five starts as the Padres ended a three-game losing streak
with an 9-4 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Sunday.

"I don't like losing and I really miss being in the playoffs,''
said Klesko, who is hitting .397 with five homers and 15 RBI over
his past 17 games. "I want this to carry over to next year and get
me back into the playoffs.''

Tom Lampkin added a two-run homer and drove in three runs as the
Padres avoided being swept in the three-game series.

Klesko, who had three hits, homered in the fifth and sixth
innings for his third multihomer game of the year and 19th in his
career.

"Klesko is fun to watch when he gets into a groove,'' San Diego
manager Bruce Bochy said. "He did a good job of carrying us
today.''

Klesko's second homer, a two-run shot off Jason Jennings (16-7)
broke a 2-all tie in the six-run sixth inning and followed a
one-out walk to Mark Kotsay.

"Jennings didn't have his best stuff,'' Colorado manager Clint
Hurdle said. "I thought he was out of gas and let my heart get in
the way and gave him a shot at getting Klesko out and try to get
him through the inning and see if we could get him a 'W.'''

Later in the inning Phil Nevin stole home on the back end of a
double steal with Ron Gant stealing second base. Lampkin also
homered to put the Padres ahead 8-2.

The Rockies scored twice in the ninth inning. Pinch-hitter Jack
Cust hit an RBI single off Jason Shiell and Mike Holtz threw a
run-scoring wild pitch.

Holtz then walked Todd Zeile to re-load the bases before Trevor
Hoffman came in and retired Sandy Alomar on a flyout to earn his
36th save in 38 chances.

Lawrence (12-10) had lost his previous four starts and hadn't
won since Aug. 14 against the New York Mets. Lawrence allowed two
runs and seven hits in seven innings.

Jennings was roughed up five runs and five hits and issued a
franchise record 10 walks. Gabe Kapler tied a career high with four
hits as the Rockies had their three-game winning streak snapped.

"I made some mistakes to him (Klesko), a couple to him,''
Jennings said. "Obviously, walking too many guys was the main
problem.''

Jennings walked six in the first four innings including Gant to
open the fourth that led to a run. Bubba Trammell doubled to left
and Sean Burroughs was walked intentionally to load the bases. Gant
scored when Lampkin flied out to left.

Klesko homered to right on the first pitch of the fifth inning.

The Rockies tied it at 2 with a two-out rally in their half of
the fifth. Jennings, Juan Pierre and Kapler had successive singles
and Jennings and Pierre scored when Gant let Kapler's grounder get
past him in left field and roll to the wall.

Game notes
The Padres hadn't had a steal of home since Mike Darr stole
home on Sept. 11, 2000. ... Lampkin matched a career high with his
ninth home run. ... The Padres equaled a season high with two
homers in an inning. ... Mark Kotsay was robbed of a hit by a
diving stop by 2B Brent Butler in the fourth inning. ... The
Rockies won the season series 11-8. ... Larry Walker was walked
three times by Lawrence. ... The game drew a franchise-low 25,706.