SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Darren Oliver retired the first 13 batters and
took a no-hit bid into the sixth inning, all without striking out a
"Today was just pitching to your defense, I guess," Oliver
said after leading the Colorado Rockies to a 5-2 win over the San
Diego Padres on Tuesday night. "They were hitting balls right at
people."Oliver did not allow a runner until grazing rookie Xavier Nady
on the left biceps with a pitch in the fifth inning. He gave up one
run and four hits in six innings and didn't have a strikeout or a
walk."I just try to work fast and make the guys put the ball in
play," Oliver said.Larry Walker homered for the second straight game as the Rockies
won their fourth win in a row.Oliver (5-5), who's been awful on the road and crisp at home,
did not allow a hit until a bloop single with one out in the sixth
by pitcher Adam Eaton, pinch-hitting for starter Brian Lawrence.Eaton hit a fly to shallow right field, and right fielder Walker
and second baseman Ron Belliard closed in on it. The ball appeared
to hit off the end of Walker's glove as he tried to make a sliding
catch."I was trying to pull the ball and hit the ball to the left
side," Eaton said. "Instead, I break my bat and got lucky."Oliver couldn't get an out in the seventh and was chased by
three straight singles. With Mark Loretta and Rondell White aboard,
Brian Buchanan beat out an infield single, and first baseman Todd
Helton's throwing error allowed Loretta to score.Jose Jimenez pitched the ninth for his 18th save in 20 chances.
The Padres loaded the bases with one out, but Sean Burroughs struck
out and Gary Matthews Jr. grounded out.Oliver won for the first time this year on the road, where he
had been 0-5 with a 6.91 ERA. One of those losses was in San Diego
on April 11, when he lasted just 4 1-3 innings and allowed six runs
on nine hits.Oliver was coming off a 10-5 win over the Padres on Thursday at
Coors Field, where he's 4-0 with a 3.08 ERA."He's been efficient with his pitches," manager Clint Hurdle
said. "He's not blowing anybody away, he's just getting outs,
which is the best thing you can do when you're pitching."Said Padres manager Bruce Bochy: "We were hoping to get some
better at-bats against him and we didn't.""We keep getting off to slow starts and it's hurting us,"
Bochy said.Walker hit a two-run homer, his eighth, into the seats in
right-center with one out in the sixth to give the Rockies a 3-0
lead. Helton was aboard on a leadoff double.Oliver reached on a grounder in the seventh and scored on Ron
Belliard's double to left to make it 4-0. Juan Uribe, who was
3-for-5, drove in the Rockies' first run on a fifth-inning double.
The final run scored on a wild pitch by Jesse Orosco with the bases
loaded in the ninth.Keith Lockhart had a pinch-hit homer in the eighth, his third.Lawrence (4-9) lost to Oliver and the Rockies for the second
straight start. He allowed three runs and six hits in six innings,
struck out five and walked two.
Eaton is 2-for-4 this year as a pinch-hitter. Overall,
Eaton is 8-for-24 (.333) this season. ... Burroughs was back in the
lineup after missing two starts after tweaking a groin muscle. ...
Tim Flannery and Duane Espy, fired as Padres coaches on the
second-to-last day of the 2002 season, spoke for several minutes on
the field during batting practice. Espy is the Rockies' hitting
coach and Flannery was at the game to do color commentary for the
local TV broadcast.