DENVER (AP) -- Even the victories are difficult for the Colorado
Not that they're complaining. The last-place Rockies will take
any win they can get.
"It's an absolute blast," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said.
"We've gone from the outhouse to at least working our way into the
backyard. The team has responded well. Guys have shown up and we
are playing exciting baseball."
The Rockies knocked around Curt Schilling (8-4) to beat the Red
Sox for the second straight night, winning for just the sixth time
in 26 games. It's just the third time Colorado has won consecutive
home games this season and its first home series victory since May
1-2 against Atlanta.
It certainly wasn't as easy as the Rockies would have liked.
Colorado led 7-4 heading into the ninth before closer Shawn
Chacon made things interesting -- again.
Chacon gave up four hits in the inning, including RBI singles by
Kevin Youkilis and Jason Varitek, before retiring pinch-hitter
David McCarty with runners at second and third to preserve the win.
The Red Sox loaded the bases in the ninth inning against Chacon on
Tuesday night, but didn't score a run in Colorado's 6-3 victory.
"I never thought this would be easy," said Chacon, who earned
his 12th save in 17 chances. "A lot of guys make it look easy. For
me, I don't care how I get it done. As long as we are shaking hands
at the end of the game, I don't care if it's ugly or pretty."
Boston's Trot Nixon didn't waste any time finding his stroke
after coming off the disabled list, lining a solo homer to right in
the fourth inning. He finished 1-for-4 after missing Boston's first
63 games with back and leg injuries.
Varitek and Youkilis also homered, but the Red Sox couldn't take
advantage of having Jennings on the ropes for much of the night.
"Little things turned into big things," Boston manager Terry
Just ask Schilling.
His sore right ankle didn't appear to affect him, but he didn't
have his normal control.
Schilling allowed nine hits, including two by Jennings, and
walked four in six innings, losing for the first time in five
starts. He gave up seven runs -- five earned -- in his first loss
since May 13 against Toronto.
"No real excuse. I felt great early in the game, I felt like we
were hitting every spot we wanted to hit," said Schilling, who
will have another MRI on his ankle Friday. "We had a chance, but I
failed to make some pitches in situations that would have kept us
in the game, and ultimately we could have won the game."
Jennings (6-6) allowed six hits, walked five and hit a batter,
but limited the Red Sox to three runs in six innings. He worked out
of bases-loaded jams in the fourth and fifth to bounce back from a
shaky start against the Yankees last Thursday.
"I wanted to get us through this one and we needed a series
win," Jennings said. "We had a big crowd and the electricity was
definitely there tonight."
That's for sure.
Nearly 40,000 fans filled Coors Field for the second straight
night, with about half wearing red and black and cheering as if it
were Fenway Park.
Youkilis brought the Boston section to its feet in the second
inning with a solo homer to left, his third of the season.
The Rockies gave the home fans something to cheer about in the
bottom half, going up 2-1 on a run-scoring single by Jennings and
Royce Clayton's fielder's choice.
A chant of "Let's go Red Sox!" started in the fourth inning
after Nixon's homer and Johnny Damon's run-scoring single put
Boston up 3-2.
Colorado's fans answered with a roar in the bottom half, when
Castilla followed two-out walks by Clayton and Todd Helton with a
two-run double that put the Rockies up 4-3.
A chant of "Rockies! Rockies!" broke out in the sixth after
Jeromy Burnitz's RBI single capped Colorado's three-run inning.
Varitek hit his ninth homer in the eighth, a solo shot off Scott
Dohmann that made it 7-4, setting up Boston's chance in the ninth
"It's coming along," Hurdle said. "It's drama. Nobody left
Varitek is 3-for-23 the past seven games. ... Rockies LF
Matt Holliday took a hit away from Nomar Garciaparra in the fourth
inning with a sliding catch on a liner. Garciaparra is 5-for-20
since coming off the DL last Wednesday. ... Colorado is 11-25 in
night games. ... Boston's Mark Bellhorn was 0-for-4, ending his
hitting streak at 13 games.