Series: Game 1 of 4

Colorado leads 1-0 (as of 9/12)

Game 1: Thursday, September 12
Los Angeles 1Final
Colorado 7
Game 2: Friday, September 13
Los Angeles 4Final
Colorado 5
Game 3: Saturday, September 14
Los Angeles 16Final
Colorado 3
Game 4: Sunday, September 15
Los Angeles 4Final
Colorado 5

Dodgers 1

(83-63, 43-32 away)

Rockies 7

(67-80, 42-30 home)

    9:05 PM ET, September 12, 2002

    Coors Field, Denver, Colorado 

    123456789 R H E
    LA 000000100 1 - -
    COL 01310011 - 7 - -

    W: D. Stark (10-3)

    L: O. Daal (11-8)

    Stark allows only two hits in seven innings

    DENVER (AP) -- Locked in a tight wild-card race, the Los Angeles Dodgers had the misfortune of running into a pitcher who loves throwing in Coors Field.

    Denny Stark

    Denny Stark limited Los Angeles to two hits over seven innings, and the Colorado Rockies cruised to a 7-1 victory Thursday night.

    Shawn Green broke up Stark's shutout bid, leading off the seventh with his 42nd homer. But that was all the offense the Dodgers could manage.

    Los Angeles, which is tied with San Francisco for the NL wild-card lead, has lost five of six games.

    "It's real early still,'' Green said. "We have almost two and a half weeks left. Each game is important. But if they (Giants) win tonight, we are only one game back. If they lose, we're still tied.''

    Manager Jim Tracy agreed.

    "We aren't going to dwell on this,''' he said. "We have to put this behind us. There are 16 games left in our season, so to hell with this one. Tomorrow is another day.

    "They got some balls to hit, we created some opportunities, and they took advantage of them. They made some of the best defensive plays against us that we've seen all year, and they got a great effort from their starter.''

    Stark (10-3) improved to 8-1 at Coors Field this season with a 3.12 ERA, but insisted he has no explanation for his success in a hitter's park.

    "I don't know. "I just try to stay aggressive and keep the ball down. It was a good night for us,'' he said. "The fact that those guys are in a pennant race, you want to give them your best and make them earn it.''

    Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said Stark "set the tone'' for what he called "one of the better games we've played all year. Defensively, that's our best game thus far.''

    A rainstorm that dumped 2 inches in 45 minutes delayed the start of the game by 53 minutes.

    A crowd of 25,593 was the smallest in the Rockies' 10-year history.

    Omar Daal (11-8) allowed five runs and seven hits in 3 2/3 innings to take the loss.

    Colorado pushed across a run in the second. Terry Shumpert singled and Ben Petrick walked, and Juan Uribe hit a two-out, RBI single.

    The Rockies made it 4-0 in the third, keyed by Sandy Alomar's two-run single.

    Gabe Kapler doubled to left-center and scored on Todd Helton's single. With two outs, Shumpert and Petrick both walked, loading the bases, and Alomar followed with a sharp single to center.

    Stark led off the fourth with a double to the left-field corner and was sacrificed to third. He scored on Todd Zeile's single to right.

    Dave Roberts led off the game with a single and stole second -- his 44th steal, tops in the majors. He was stranded, however, when Stark struck out Paul Lo Duca and Green and retired Brian Jordan on a groundout.

    After Roberts' first-inning single, Stark retired the next 11 batters. After a two-out walk to Jordan in the fourth, he then retired seven more in a row.

    Shumpert had a solo homer in the seventh, and Kapler added an RBI single in the eighth for Colorado.

    Game notes

    Rockies OFs Larry Walker (sore left arm) and Jay Payton (strained right oblique muscle) were not in the lineup. ... LHP Mike Hampton will miss his next start, on Saturday, because of a sprained right ankle and foot. ... Los Angeles LHP Kazuhisa Ishii, struck in the head by a line drive on Sunday, is scheduled to be released from a Los Angeles hospital on Friday. ... Stark made a diving catch of Daal's popped-up bunt in the third. ... LF Petrick made a diving catch in left-center to rob Lo Duca of a hit in the fourth. ... Colorado began its final homestand of the season, 10 games in 11 days. ... Stark gave Colorado the distinction of being the only team in the majors with two rookie 10-game winners. Jason Jennings is 16-7.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press