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Klesko records 22nd multihomer game

6/18/2003

DENVER (AP) -- With thunderstorms bearing down on Coors Field and
Colorado mounting another late-inning comeback, San Diego Padres
manager Bruce Bochy knew a win depended on getting out of the
eighth inning.

He was right.

Ryan Klesko homered twice and drove in three runs, and the San
Diego Padres survived another late rally to beat the Colorado
Rockies 4-3 Tuesday night in a game called after eight innings
because of rain.

"We got word that it was coming soon and you could feel it out
there," Bochy said. "We knew it was going to be hard rain and
from what we understood, it was going to be here for a while. That
was very key for us to get out of that inning with the lead."

It wasn't easy.

The Padres led 4-1 after six innings, but Colorado cut it to two
in the seventh on Juan Uribe's single. Todd Helton led off the
eighth with a triple and scored on Preston Wilson's groundout to
make it 4-3.

Mark Sweeney followed with a single and Mike Matthews walked
Greg Norton, but Jay Witasick earned his first save by getting
pinch-hitter Larry Walker to fly out to center and Jose Hernandez
to ground out.

Shortstop Donaldo Mendez made a tough play in the hole on
Hernandez's grounder and Klesko helped him by digging the low throw
out of dirt.

"We had trouble getting the last out, but Witasick got it,"
Bochy said. "It was a big out because we knew heavy rain was
coming."

Colorado scored four runs in the eighth inning Monday night
before losing 7-5 to San Diego on Monday night, but didn't get a
final at-bat this time. The game, which also was delayed 40 minutes
at the start, was called following an 82-minute wait.

The Rockies have lost five of seven overall and four of five at
home.

"They hit the ball around and we just didn't get the big hits
when we needed them," Wilson said. "We scored late, but it was
too little too late."

Padres starter Jake Peavy (6-5) limited the damage in a shaky
fourth inning for his second straight win for San Diego, which has
won three straight games for just the third time this season.

Peavy breezed through the first three innings, but got into
trouble in the fourth right away.

Helton hit Peavy's second pitch of the inning off the wall down
the line in left, then Sweeney knocked him in with another double
off the wall in left to make it 3-1.

The Rockies had the bases loaded with one out after Norton hit a
bloop single and Bobby Estalella walked, but Peavy ended the threat
by striking out Hernandez and getting pitcher Denny Neagle to pop
out.

Peavy allowed two runs and seven hits in 6 2-3 innings in his
second strong outing after an eight-game winless streak.

"I stayed out of the big inning," Peavy said. "When they
threatened to have one, I bore down to get Hernandez and Neagle.
This was one of my better outings here."

Neagle (0-1) had trouble with his command at times and gave up
three homers in his first start of the year.

He was projected as Colorado's opening day starter, but spent
the first two months of the season on the DL with a sore elbow.
Neagle allowed four runs, eight hits and three walks in six
innings.

"It was his first start and four runs in six innings in this
ballpark isn't necessarily a bad thing," Rockies manager Clint
Hurdle said. "He got an opportunity to pitch and get his feet
underneath him a little bit. Maybe we will get a little better from
him in the future."

Klesko needed just three pitches to notch his third multihomer
game of the season.

He hit Neagle's second pitch of the second inning out to right
for a solo homer, then hit the first one Neagle threw him in the
third for a two-run shot to right-center.

Klesko has 22 career multihomer games, including two at Coors
Field this year.

"He had a huge day," Bochy said. "He's really been starting
to swing the bat better lately and he's starting to get on his
game."

Brian Buchanan led off the sixth inning with his sixth homer of
the year to put the Padres up 4-1.

Game notes
San Diego's Mark Loretta, who had a three-run homer in the
ninth inning Monday night, doubled in the third inning to extend
his hitting streak to 11 games. ... San Diego leads all-time series
73-72. ... Rockies 3B Chris Stynes was given the night off after
slipping on first base in the eighth inning Monday. Manager Clint
Hurdle said it wasn't serious and that Stynes was due for a day off
anyway. ... Klesko also hit two homers at Coors on April 19.