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Gonzalez singles home winning run in ninth inning

4/17/2003

PHOENIX (AP) -- The Arizona Diamondbacks, sorely in need of a
victory, pulled one off in dramatic fashion.

Luis Gonzalez singled home the winning run and Arizona rallied
for three runs in the ninth inning to finally beat the Colorado
Rockies 4-3 Wednesday night.

David Dellucci, who entered in the ninth after Danny Bautista
left with a hip flexor, singled in two runs off Jose Jimenez to tie it at 3.

"For us to start out the way we did and be able to pull the
game out in the ninth inning does a lot,'' said Dellucci, who was
hitting .188 as he walked to the plate. "And it may prove to be
big for us further down the road.''

Gonzalez, who flied out with the bases loaded in the second and
lined into a double play with the bases loaded in the seventh,
followed with a shot over the head of center fielder Preston Wilson
to give Arizona just its fourth victory in 15 games.

"I told (bench coach Glen) Sherlock before I went up that the
third time's usually a charm, so it worked out well,'' Gonzalez
said.

Jimenez (0-2) blew a save for the first time in five
opportunities as Colorado lost to the Diamondbacks for the first
time in six meetings this season.

"We really are going to savor this one,'' Diamondbacks manager
Bob Brenly said.

Matt Mantei (3-0) pitched a scoreless ninth to get the victory.

Steve Finley led off the ninth with a single, then Chad Moeller
struck out looking on three pitches, the only out Jimenez got. Tony
Womack singled, and Craig Counsell walked to load the bases for
Dellucci.

Jimenez's struggles had manager Clint Hurdler rethinking his
choice of closers.

"All those balls were ropes,'' Hurdle said. "We're going to
have to look at something. Everybody in the world knows how hard he
wants to get the job done for us, but in this outing here, not a
bad swing was taken. Every ball was hit hard.''

Both starters had good outings.

Darren Oliver allowed one run on three hits in six innings for
Colorado. Miguel Batista, starting in place of Randy Johnson,
allowed two runs, one earned, on five hits in six innings.

Johnson missed his scheduled start because of swelling under his
right kneecap. It's only the second time he has failed to pitch as
scheduled in the last three seasons.

Larry Walker drove in the go-ahead run with a single in the
sixth and Todd Helton added his fifth homer in the eighth to make
it 3-1.

Ronnie Belliard led off Colorado's sixth inning with a double.
Right fielder Bautista made a running catch of Jay Payton's sinking
line drive for the first out, but Walker singled on an 0-2 pitch to
make it 2-1, his seventh RBI in the first three games of the
four-game series.

The Diamondbacks had runners on first and third with one out in
the seventh after singles by Counsell and Bautista, but second
baseman Belliard made a leaping catch of Gonzalez's line drive,
then threw to first for a double play.

Helton homered off Mike Koplove with two outs in the eighth to make it a two-run lead.

Gonzalez robbed Oliver of what would have been a three-run homer
in the fifth inning with a leaping catch above the wall in left
field.

Rookie Lyle Overbay extended his hitting streak to nine games
with a two-out RBI double to give Arizona a 1-0 lead in the first.

Colorado tied it in the second. With two outs, Gabe Kapler
reached first on catcher's interference, and Bobby Estalella
walked. The first of Chris Stynes' two doubles drove in Kapler, but
shortstop Counsell's relay throw got Estalella at the plate.

Counsell was 2-for-3 with two walks and made a diving stop of
Belliard's grounder at second base in the eighth.

Game notes
After starting the season 1-for-10, Overbay is hitting
.368. ... A hip injury sidelined umpire Mark Hirschbeck, who was
replaced at first base by Rob Drake. ... Colorado's Jose Hernandez
was 0-for-3, twice hitting into double plays, to snap his 10-game
hitting streak. ... Diamondbacks 2B Junior Spivey was 0-for-3 and
has two hits in his last 32 at-bats.