Series: Game 3 of 3

Cincinnati won 2-1

Game 1: Tuesday, April 29
Game 2: Wednesday, April 30
Game 3: Thursday, May 1

Reds 7

(12-16, 5-8 away)

Rockies 2

(15-13, 11-4 home)

    3:05 PM ET, May 1, 2003

    Coors Field, Denver, Colorado 

    123456789 R H E
    CIN 303100000 7 12 0
    COL 000000200 2 3 0

    W: J. Austin (1-1)

    L: N. Cruz (3-2)

    Austin takes shutout into seventh inning

    DENVER (AP) -- Jeff Austin wasn't about to let Coors Field deprive him of his first major league win.

    Shrugging off the burdens of the hitter-friendly ballpark, Austin took a shutout into the seventh inning, and Aaron Boone and Jose Guillen each hit two-run homers as the Cincinnati Reds beat the Colorado Rockies 7-2 on Thursday.

    "He doesn't get rattled," Reds manager Bob Boone said of Austin, who was making his second big league start. "He never got rattled in this park, and that is pretty special."

    Austin (1-1), who had a two-hit shutout through six innings, departed after walking the first two batters in the seventh. Pinch-hitter Greg Norton hit a two-run double off reliever Gabe White to cut Cincinnati's lead to 7-2.

    "You just go out and pitch like anyplace else -- keep the ball down, hit your spots, change speeds, nothing more," Austin said. "Baseball is baseball. You've got to pitch your game.

    "Maybe I changed a little bit here. I threw a few more sliders than curves. Those walks in the seventh inning bothered me. I didn't like to finish that way. I had gotten there by attacking hitters. Then I started to nitpick."

    All seven of Cincinnati's runs came with two outs. The Reds won for the sixth time in eight games and posted their third straight series victory.

    Austin said being staked to an early 7-0 lead was "huge."

    "It helped me relax. I could throw a curveball without worrying," he said.

    Aaron Boone had three hits, including two doubles, and three RBIs. He also made a diving stop near the third base line to rob Preston Wilson in the eighth.

    "Jeff was awesome," Aaron Boone said. "We need guys like him to step up if we're going to make a run. I think we're starting to come around."

    Austin, who made 31 relief appearances over two seasons for Kansas City before being acquired by Cincinnati on March 6, gave up a leadoff single to Jose Hernandez in the second and issued two walks in the third, but escaped without any damage. The only other hit Austin allowed was a one-out single by Chris Stynes in the fourth.

    Nelson Cruz (3-2) gave up seven runs and nine hits in five innings for his second straight loss. He struck out a career-high nine.

    Cruz made some mistakes," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. "He got some balls up in the zone. He got beat with some breaking balls, his third-best pitch.

    "We need to hit better. Three hits in this ballpark? Come on."

    Cruz said he got what he deserved.

    "Every mistake I made they made me pay for,'' he said. ``It was just one of those days. But it's something I can fix."

    Felipe Lopez led off the game with a walk, stole second and scored on Austin Kearns' two-out single. Boone followed with his fifth homer.

    The Reds made it 6-0 in the third. Sean Casey singled and, with two outs, Boone hit an RBI double. Guillen then homered to left-center, his fifth.

    After Cruz struck out the first two batters in the fourth, Lopez homered, his second.

    Austin, who began the season at Triple-A Louisville, got his first major league hit, a single in the second.

    Game notes
    The Rockies placed INF-OF Chris Richard on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring and purchased the contract of OF Mark Sweeney from Triple-A Colorado Springs. To make room for Sweeney on the 40-man roster, RHP Denny Stark was moved from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL. Stark went on the 15-day DL on March 29 because of a strained upper back muscle. ... The Rockies also recalled RHP Scott Elarton from his rehabilitation assignment, activated him from the 15-day DL and optioned him to Colorado Springs. ... Reds SS Barry Larkin, who went on the 15-day disabled list April 14 with a strained left calf, took batting practice but isn't expected to be activated until the weekend series in San Francisco. ... Rockies pitchers tied a club record with 16 strikeouts. Cincinnati's Adam Dunn fanned four times.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press