Chacon, Rockies win home opener


DENVER (AP) -- Banished to the minor leagues late last season and
blasted by his manager, Shawn Chacon came all the way back Friday.

Chacon retired the first 16 batters, and the Colorado Rockies
got a home run from Chris Stynes to win their home opener, 2-1 over
the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Chacon (1-0), allowed one run and two hits in seven innings. He
struck out eight and walked none.

"This is probably the best one for me," Chacon said about
where this game ranked. "I had command of all my pitches. To come
out in the home opener and pitch seven strong innings and win a 2-1
game in this ballpark is huge. This is one I won't forget.

"I couldn't have asked for a better outcome than what we had

The Diamondbacks didn't have a baserunner until one out in the
sixth, when Chad Moeller's flyball to deep right-center fell beyond
the reach of Larry Walker and Preston Wilson for a double.

Chacon retired the next two batters to preserve his shutout, but
he lost it in the seventh when Steve Finley led off with a 422-foot

"I'd be lying if I said I wasn't thinking about the
no-hitter," Chacon said. "Pitchers know when they give up hits
and when they've got something good going. I thought about it, but
I kept telling myself it doesn't matter, what matters is getting a

Chacon, sent to Triple-A last Aug. 23 after going 5-11 with a
5.73 ERA, was criticized by manager Clint Hurdle and wasn't
recalled in September. But he earned his way back into the rotation
with a strong spring. It was his first win since July 19.

"I was surprised to get the nod for the opening day start
here," he said. "As far as the way I pitched, I wasn't surprised.
Considering what happened last year, there's a lot that I want to
prove this year, and today was the first step in doing that."

Todd Helton had RBI single for the Rockies against former
Arizona closer Byung-Hyun Kim (0-1). Kim moved to the rotation this
season after closing the past two years.

Todd Jones pitched a perfect eighth, and Jose Jimenez pitched
the ninth for his first save. Jimenez, who surrendered five runs in
the ninth in the Rockies' 8-7 loss to Houston on Wednesday, gave up
a leadoff single to pinch-hitter Carlos Baerga but worked out of
trouble, striking out Junior Spivey for the final out.

In four games this season, the Diamondbacks are hitting .156 and
have scored only six runs.

"Conditions had a lot to do with today," Arizona manager Bob
Brenly said. "I mean, a total of eight hits and three runs --
that's usually an inning here. It was extremely cold, and the wind
was blowing.

"We didn't hit a lot of balls hard, and the balls we hit we hit
right at people. Chacon just pitched a great game for them."

The Rockies threatened early off Kim. Wilson doubled with one
out in the second and stole third, but he was stranded when Jose
Hernandez struck out and Charles Johnson flied out.

Stynes also was stranded at third in the next inning. He led off
with a walk, was sacrificed to second and went to third on a
groundout. But Kim retired Jay Payton on a flyout.

Stynes put the Rockies ahead 1-0 in the fifth with his first
home run.

"I got a 3-2 count, and he's not looking to walk me," Stynes
said. "I got a good fastball to hit. With the wind blowing in, he
challenged me, and I don't blame him. I really didn't think it
would go out because of the wind."

The Rockies added a run in the sixth. Payton led off with a
double and scored on Helton's single. Walker was hit by a pitch,
chasing Kim, but Oscar Villarreal averted further damage, retiring
the next three batters.

Kim, making his second career start, allowed two runs and five
hits in five-plus innings.

Game notes
The Diamondbacks formally released LHP Greg Swindell,
allowing him to sign with any team. Swindell, 38, was designated
for assignment last Saturday as the team finalized its opening-day
roster. ... Rockies RHP Jason Jennings, the NL's Rookie of the Year
in 2002, was honored in a pregame ceremony. ... Kim's only previous
start also was at Coors Field, on Sept. 26, 2000, when he allowed
four runs in 2 1-3 innings of a no decision. ... The Rockies drew
48,087, a sellout. They distributed 50,622 total tickets, a Coors
Field record in the regular season. ... At 2 hours, 13 minutes, it
was the fourth-shortest nine-inning game in Coors Field history.