Chacon just second Rockies pitcher to win 10 before break


DENVER (AP) -- Shawn Chacon is working faster this year, and it's
made him a better pitcher.

Chacon pitched 6 2/3 efficient innings to become the majors'
fifth 10-game winner as the Colorado Rockies beat the San Diego
Padres 5-3 Wednesday night.

Chacon (10-3) was criticized by manager Clint Hurdle last season
for walking around too much between pitches, but he's spent more
time on the dirt this year.

He worked quickly against the Padres, allowing two runs on five
hits to join Seattle's Jamie Moyer, Los Angeles' Kevin Brown,
Esteban Loaiza of the Chicago White Sox and Toronto's Roy Halladay
with 10 wins.

"I think it (working quickly) has helped me a lot, especially
here," Chacon said."If you work quick and throw strikes, the
defense is on their toes. There are plays being made and I might be
able to contribute to that by working fast and throwing strikes."

That's just what he did against the Padres.

Chacon gave up just two hits in the first five innings and
didn't allow a runner past first base until Mark Kotsay hit a
run-scoring double down the line in left with one out in the sixth.

San Diego scored another run on Mark Loretta's sacrifice fly to
center, but Chacon got Ryan Klesko to fly out to end the inning
with the Rockies ahead 4-2.

Charles Johnson made it 5-2 in the bottom half with a sacrifice
fly after Larry Walker led off with a double.

Chacon has allowed four runs in 14 2/3 innings since giving up a
team-record 12 runs his last home start, June 7 against Kansas
City. He's won six of his past seven starts and tied Kevin Ritz's
1996 team record for most wins before the All-Star break.

"He was efficient and he pitched a good ballgame," Hurdle
said."He gave us just what we needed out of this start."

It was the finish the Rockies had trouble with -- again.

Leading 5-2 heading into the ninth inning, Hurdle brought in
Jose Jimenez even though the Rockies' closer had given up a
three-run homer in the ninth inning of Colorado's 7-5 loss to San
Diego on Monday night.

Klesko opened the ninth with a double, then Jimenez walked Sean
Burroughs. Xavier Nady followed with a soft single to right to cut
Colorado's lead to 5-3, leading Hurdle to give Jimenez a quick

After replacing a stunned Jimenez, Justin Speier got Gary
Bennett to ground into a fielder's choice on a nice play by
shortstop Juan Uribe. He then struck out Keith Lockhart and
pinch-hitter Rondell White to end the game.

"Speier came in and shut us down at the end," said Padres
manager Bruce Bochy, whose team had its three-game winning streak

The Rockies had a runner at third with one out in the fourth
inning after Todd Helton tripled for the second straight game, but
Kevin Jarvis (0-1) struck out Preston Wilson and got Walker on a
weak ground out.

Jarvis wasn't as fortunate in the fifth.

Chris Stynes broke a scoreless tie on Jarvis' third pitch of the
inning, sending it over the wall in left-center for his sixth homer
of the year.

Johnson followed with a single up the middle and Brent Butler
hit one to nearly the same spot on the next pitch. The Padres got
Johnson at third on a sacrifice attempt by Chacon, but Uribe
followed with a run-scoring single to left.

Jay Payton added an RBI single up the middle and Helton made it
4-0 with a sacrifice fly.

Jarvis allowed five runs on nine hits in five innings.

"They strung together some hits. That can happen here. I
know," Jarvis said."But I didn't get my job done."

Game notes
Struggling Rockies SS Jose Hernandez was given the night
off. He leads the majors with 95 strikeouts, including 22 in the
past 14 games. ... Loretta was 0-for-3 to end an 11-game hitting
streak. He was robbed of a base hit in the eighth inning on a
diving stop by Stynes at third. ... Walker is 10-for-19 in his
career against Jarvis after going 2-for-3 against him Monday night.