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Sexson provides game-winning hit

7/7/2003

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The little things paid big dividends for the
Milwaukee Brewers.

Richie Sexson hit an opposite-field, two-run double to back Ben
Sheets' seven stellar innings as Milwaukee avoided a sweep with a
3-1 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Sunday.

"We've battled hard all year," said Geoff Jenkins, who had a
sacrifice fly in the third. "If we keep doing that the second
half, we're going to get some more wins."

After taking the first two games at Miller Park, the Rockies
were looking for their first road sweep since June 15-17, 2001, at
Cincinnati.

With two outs in the seventh, Sexson sent a full-count pitch
from Jose Jimenez (0-5) off the right-field wall to break a 1-1
tie.

Sheets (7-6) gave up one run on four hits. He struck out six and
his one walk was intentional. Dan Kolb pitched a perfect eighth and
Mike DeJean struck out two in a 1-2-3 ninth for his 17th save in 23
chances.

Milwaukee manager Ned Yost couldn't remember the last time the
Brewers had timely hits, solid starting pitching and a brilliant
bullpen performance all in one game.

"It was a relief for me," Yost said. "Benny pitched a great
game. He was on the attack with his fastball and his curveball and
pitched seven strong innings. And Kolb's been nursing a little bit
of a tight hamstring and came in and had a great inning and DeJean
was very good in the ninth.

"It was a big double by Richie. That was huge."

The Rockies got six strong innings from Denny Stark, who allowed
one run on five hits in his second start of the season since coming
off the disabled list (back) on July 1.

Sheets ended a personal three-game losing streak.

"We won the game, and that's what's most important," he said.

Sheets gave up back-to-back doubles to Juan Uribe and Todd
Helton in the first inning, then retired 13 batters in a row.

Jenkins tied it at 1 with a sacrifice fly in the third.

Helton, who had four RBI and needed just a double for the cycle
Saturday night, was intentionally walked in the sixth with a man on
second and one out, bringing up cleanup hitter Preston Wilson, who
has 76 RBI.

Wilson struck out and Greg Norton grounded out.

"He was good," Wilson said of Sheets. "He's got a
plus-fastball and a plus-curveball, and he was throwing them for
strikes. When you do that, it's always going to be tough."

Said Rockies manager Clint Hurdle: "Ben Sheets was outstanding
today. He's a very aggressive guy out there on the mound. He
definitely had his fastball and curve working and he threw enough
changeups to left-handers to keep them off-balance."

Yost said he will tinker with his rotation after the All-Star
break so that he mixes up his fourth and fifth starters because
those spots in the rotation have combined to go 6-26.

"The four and five holes have just been killing our bullpen,"
Yost said. "And all the weight of the world is on Ben's shoulders
because he's got no relief out there; everybody's thrown 50 pitches
the previous two nights."

After the game, Milwaukee sent reliever John Foster to Triple-A
Indianapolis and recalled Glendon Rusch, who was supposed to make
one more start in the minors Monday.

Rusch, who is 1-11 with the Brewers this season, will pitch
Wednesday against Pittsburgh and Dave Burba will go to the bullpen
as a long reliever, Yost said.

Game notes
Yost said Sexson and Jenkins were all but off-limits as the
trade deadline nears, even though they'll each top $8 million in
salary next season. Yost said teams couldn't offer enough to pry
the fan favorites away from Milwaukee. Sexson and Jenkins are the
first Milwaukee duo to each have 20 home runs before the break. But
Yost suggested 2B Eric Young could be moved: "EY has some value
for a club that's in contention," Yost said. ... Young had his
14-game hitting streak snapped when he grounded out as a
pinch-hitter in the seventh. ... Rockies OF Larry Walker got the
day off. He's one hit shy of the franchise mark of 1,278 set by
Dante Bichette. ... Brewers rookie Scott Podsednik has reached base
in 36 straight games.