Series: Game 1 of 3

Colorado leads 1-0 (as of 9/20)

Game 1: Friday, September 20
Arizona 4Final
Colorado 9
Game 2: Saturday, September 21
Arizona 8Final
Colorado 15
Game 3: Sunday, September 22
Arizona 7Final
Colorado 11

Diamondbacks 4

(94-59, 43-33 away)

Rockies 9

(70-84, 45-34 home)

    9:05 PM ET, September 20, 2002

    Coors Field, Denver, Colorado 

    123456789 R H E
    ARI 012010000 4 - -
    COL 30011004 - 9 - -

    W: S. Lowe (5-2)

    L: C. Schilling (23-6)

    Schilling fails to win No. 24 on second attempt

    DENVER (AP) -- Taking advantage of a rare "speed bump'' by Arizona's Curt Schilling, the Colorado Rockies delayed the Diamondbacks' drive toward the NL West title.

    Curt Schilling

    Schilling matched his career worst by giving up eight earned runs, allowing a tiebreaking homer to Todd Helton in the fifth inning and a four-run eighth as the Rockies prevailed 9-4 Friday night.

    Schilling failed in his second straight attempt at 24 wins, and the Diamondbacks' magic number for clinching the NL West remained at three. Second-place San Francisco beat Milwaukee 5-1 to cut Arizona's lead to 6 games.

    Schilling (23-6) allowed a career-worst 14 hits and gave up eight earned runs for the third time in his career. The nine runs allowed were two shy of his career worst, damaging his hopes for his first career Cy Young Award.

    Schilling, who remained tied with teammate Randy Johnson for the most wins in the majors, had his ERA rise from 2.81 to 3.02.

    "It was a horrible night,'' Schilling said. "I just wasn't making pitches. Every time we got in the game, I let them back ahead.

    "Of course, I'm frustrated. I gave up 14 hits and nine runs. I have a lot of pride in what I do. I felt fine, there's no reason to not think that I will get the job done.''

    Arizona manager Bob Brenly said Schilling "wasn't his usual self tonight. He didn't have his usual crisp stuff. He has set the bar pretty doggone high this year. He's entitled to a couple of speed bumps. I'm not concerned for his next start, and hopefully he isn't either.''

    Outfielder Luis Gonzalez said Schilling and Johnson "are humans. As much as we put the weight on their shoulders, we know they're not going to be invincible every time out.

    "We're still sitting on top of our division, and we like our chances of wrapping this thing up.''

    The Rockies scored four runs in the eighth, chasing Schilling with four straight one-out singles. Brent Butler had a two-run single. The third run scored on reliever Mike Fetters' wild pickoff throw to first, and Helton added an RBI groundout.

    Gonzalez had a two-run homer and drove in three runs for Arizona, giving him 100 RBI for the fourth straight season.

    Helton led off the fifth with a 429-foot shot to center to put Colorado up 5-4. It was Helton's 29th homer of the season and also gave him his fourth straight 100-RBI season.

    Left-hander Randy Flores, making his first career start after five relief appearances since being recalled from Triple-A Colorado Springs on Sept. 1, allowed four runs and seven hits in 4 2/3 innings.

    Sean Lowe (5-2) pitched 1 1/3 innings to earn the victory.

    "Obviously, I don't think Schilling was on top of his game,'' Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. "When he's bad, he's still good. You've still got to beat him with the bat. You never have an easy night against him.''

    The Rockies got three runs off Schilling in the first, including Todd Zeile's two-run single.

    Juan Pierre, who had four hits, led off with a bunt single but was erased on Jay Payton's fielder's choice grounder. Helton singled and Larry Walker walked to load the bases. Zeile singled to right. With two outs, Gary Bennett hit an RBI single up the middle.

    The Diamondbacks battled back to tie it. Quinton McCracken had an RBI double in the second. Greg Colbrunn doubled and scored on Gonzalez's 28th homer in the third.

    Bennett singled again in the fourth and Juan Uribe also singled. Pierre hit a run-scoring double into the right-field corner.

    With two outs in the Arizona fifth, Colbrunn doubled again off the left-field wall. After Junior Spivey walked, Gonzalez hit an RBI single to center, chasing Flores.

    Game notes

    Rockies ace Mike Hampton won't pitch again this season. Hampton has missed his last two starts because of a strained ligament in his right foot. ... Payton was back in the lineup, nine days after straining his right oblique muscle. ... Rockies players greeted fans at the gates to Coors Field for 15 minutes before the game. ... Colorado LHP Kent Mercker began serving a three-game suspension for throwing at the Mets' Timo Perez on Aug. 25. ... The Rockies, who had drawn an average of about 26,000 over their previous 15 home dates, drew 37,842 on their third Fireworks Night of the season.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press