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Shea homers again as Arizona wins fourth straight

7/10/2003

PHOENIX (AP) -- Shea Hillenbrand was acquired to provide
right-handed power behind Luis Gonzalez in the Arizona lineup. This
week, he's even overshadowed his slugging teammate.

Hillenbrand homered again and drove in four runs as the
Diamondbacks tied a team record with their 11th straight home
victory, beating the San Diego Padres 8-3 Wednesday night.

On Monday, Hillenbrand had a three-homer game and went 5-for-5.

"That's my best half-season," said Hillenbrand, who was sent
to Arizona from Boston on May 29. "But you never know. There were
countless nights, a week-and-a-half ago, when I was sitting in bed
-- couldn't sleep because I had four home runs and the numbers
weren't there."

Craig Counsell, Gonzalez and Steve Finley also homered for
Arizona, making it easier for Chris Capuano (1-2) to earn his first
major league victory.

The Diamondbacks have won four in a row overall and 18 of 21.
They matched the club mark for consecutive wins at Bank One
Ballpark set in May 2000.

Hillenbrand set a franchise record Monday with 15 total bases in
a 14-6 rout of Colorado. In addition to hitting three home runs, he
doubled in his last at-bat to become the first player in 25 years
to have extra-base hits in four consecutive innings.

On Tuesday night, Hillenbrand doubled and singled against
Colorado.

Hillenbrand hit a three-run homer off Jake Peavy (8-7) in the
fifth for a 6-1 lead.

"He feels good at the plate right now," Gonzalez said. "And
obviously it's a mistake to walk me to pitch to him because of the
way he's been swinging."

Hillenbrand added a sacrifice fly in the seventh off reliever
Mike Matthews, giving him four RBI in the game and 11 in the last
three. He has 11 hits in his last 14 at-bats and is hitting .368 in
18 games with Arizona.

Capuano, recalled from Triple-A for the game, justified
Arizona's confidence in him by pitching seven strong innings. He
gave up one unearned run on three hits, striking out eight and
walking none.

The left-handed rookie had been with Triple-A Tucson since a
ragged performance against Pittsburgh in his only previous major
league start on May 17.

"It's great," Capuano said. "To get over that hump and get
that first win, that first good performance."

Peavy, the Padres' winningest pitcher, allowed six runs on six
hits and three walks in six innings, striking out five.

"I'm not throwing the ball where I need to throw it," Peavy
said.

Capuano allowed San Diego to load the bases in the first inning,
but got the second out on Sean Burroughs' RBI grounder and struck
out Xavier Nady.

"He had a real idea what he was doing after the first inning,"
manager Bob Brenly said. "He was a little shaky, but I think we
can chalk that up to nerves."

Gonzalez tied it with his 18th homer with two out in the first,
Finley led off the second with a 414-foot drive, and Counsell
homered in the third, giving the Diamondbacks a 3-1 lead.

Game notes
Overbay, a rookie, snapped a 587-chance errorless string
when he mishandled Capuano's pickoff attempt of Loretta in the
third. ... Loretta, who was 4-for-4 Tuesday, doubled and singled
before flying out in the fifth. ... Capuano is the sixth rookie
starter to win for Arizona this season.