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Controversial call at home plate nixes tying run

8/10/2003

DENVER (AP) -- Nelson Figueroa threw six strong innings, and
Randall Simon hit a two-run homer as the Pittsburgh Pirates beat
the Colorado Rockies 5-3 Sunday.

Figueroa (1-0), called up from Triple-A Colorado Springs earlier
in the day, allowed two runs and seven hits. He had been 0-6 in
nine starts since his last major league win April 30, 2002, when he
beat Atlanta with Milwaukee.

Mike Lincoln pitched the ninth, allowing a solo homer to Charles
Johnson before finishing for his fifth save in seven chances.

Simon hit his second home run of the series. The Pirates took
two of three from the Rockies.

Shawn Chacon (11-7) allowed three runs -- two earned -- and five
hits in seven innings, losing his fourth straight decision in five
starts. He hasn't won since June 23 at San Diego.

Figueroa retired his first five batters before Rene Reyes
homered into the Colorado bullpen for his first career home run.

Ronnie Belliard homered to left in the third to make it 2-0.

The Pirates tied it in the fourth on Simon's two-run shot.
Chacon walked Matt Stairs with two outs and Simon hit his 10th
homer to right.

Pittsburgh took a 3-2 lead with an unearned run in the seventh.

Jose Hernandez hit a one-out single and stole second. Chacon
appeared to be out of the jam when Humberto Cota struck out and
Abraham Nunez hit a routine groundball to shortstop -- but Juan
Uribe threw wildly past first for an error and Hernandez scored.

Pittsburgh's defense saved a run in the seventh. Pinch-hitter
Garrett Atkins singled and, with two outs, pinch-hitter Larry
Walker doubled to center.

Tike Redman made a sliding stop and threw to shortstop Jack
Wilson, who relayed the ball home from short center. Atkins went
past the plate on a fadeaway slide, but Cota ran him down and
tagged him out.

Redman hit an RBI triple and scored on a squeeze bunt by Wilson
in the ninth.

Game notes
The Pirates demoted reliever Duaner Sanchez to Triple-A
Nashville and designated outfielder Adam Hyzdu for assignment. ...
Figueroa is the ninth pitcher to start a game for Pittsburgh this
season. ... The Pirates won the season series 6-3. ... Reyes had
six home runs in 370 at-bats at Colorado Springs. ... Colorado's
Bobby Estalella has fanned 55 times in 142 at-bats. ... Plate
umpire Brian O'Nora ejected Rockies manager Clint Hurdle for
arguing the call at home on Atkins. It was Hurdle's fourth ejection
this year.