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Colorado 7, Arizona 1

3/30/2004

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) -- Scott Elarton and Shane Reynolds are close
friends and hunting partners. Their performances this spring could
hardly be more different.

Elarton cemented his claim as the No. 4 starter in Colorado's
rotation, and Arizona's Shane Reynolds had another shaky outing in
the Rockies' 7-1 victory over the Diamondbacks on Tuesday.

"I've never been a good spring training performer," Elarton
said. "I don't know what this spring will translate into. I'm not
going to read anything into it, but I'm definitely glad I had a
good spring. I felt I made progress pretty much every outing."

Elarton missed the entire 2002 season after shoulder surgery and
spent much of last year in the minors.

"It's great to see him doing so well," Reynolds said.

Elarton gave up one run on four hits through six innings,
striking out two and walking one. He also drove in three runs with
singles in the fifth and sixth. Elarton threw just 71 pitches, 44
of them strikes.

Rockies manager Clint Hurdle wasn't around to see any of it. He
was ejected by plate umpire Casey Moser for arguing balls and
strikes in the top of the first.

Reynolds, who entered with a 16.36 ERA, had skipped two starts
to work on his mechanics and study videotape. In his first outing
in 10 days, he allowed six runs on eight hits in 5 2-3 innings,
striking out five and walking three, one intentionally.

Reynolds, who tried out a new pitch -- a cutter -- that was
effective against left-handed hitters, thought this 97-pitch effort
was at least an improvement.

"The outcome? No," he said, "but as far as going out there
and pitching into the sixth inning and getting my pitch count up
and having some confidence, I guess, that was a lot better for me
than the last few outings."

Manager Bob Brenly said Reynolds remains "a candidate" for the
No. 4 spot in the rotation, a position that seemed more secure for
the right-hander when spring training began.

"Ask me again Saturday," Brenly said. "We've been trying all
along not to handicap this thing."

Brenly said that Reynolds' stuff was good but that he was
missing some spots. He also said that a veteran pitcher who relies
on finesse often struggles in the spring.

Reynolds said he remains confident.

"I feel I'll be ready when the season starts," he said.
"Spring training is so different than the season."

Diamondbacks reliever Oscar Villarreal, pitching for the first
time this spring after recovering from a sore elbow, gave up a hit
in one scoreless inning.

Brenly said that barring any setback he sees no reason
Villarreal won't be on the 25-man roster when the season begins.