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Fassero pitches five-plus innings

DENVER (AP) -- Striking hitters out, beating out infield singles
and scoring runs -- it's a lot to ask of a 41-year-old in the Mile
High City's thin air.

Not that Jeff Fassero is complaining -- much.

Fassero threw five-plus solid innings to win for the first time
in nearly a year and Preston Wilson drove in four runs in his
second game since coming off the disabled list, lifting the
Colorado Rockies to an 11-6 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on
Saturday night.

"I played the whole game, though I would prefer to do all that
in some other city than Denver," Fassero said. "It's just so hard
to get oxygen back in your system. You do it only once every five
days and that makes it hard because you can't simulate game
activity here."

Getting a little help from the offense certainly helped him
catch his breath.

The Rockies scored five runs in the third inning off Eric DuBose
(5-5) and three more in the fourth to win consecutive series for
the first time since beating San Francisco and Los Angeles last
July.

The run support was a nice change for Fassero (1-6), who had
allowed five earned runs in 18 1-3 innings over last three starts,
but got two losses and a no decision because the Rockies managed
six total runs.

Fassero took advantage, allowing eight hits and four runs in 5
2-3 innings to win for the first time since beating Kansas City
last June 28 while with St. Louis -- a span of 11 decisions. It was
his first win as a starter since Aug. 9, 2000, against Anaheim
while pitching for Boston.

"You start the season in a new place and before you know it
you're 0-6 and you haven't pitched that bad," Rockies manager
Clint Hurdle said. "He went out there and took it to them tonight,
made pitches."

He got plenty of help.

Vinny Castilla drove in three runs, Todd Helton drove in two,
and Royce Clayton had two RBI and scored three runs for Colorado,
which has won four of five since an eight-game losing streak.

Wilson, who missed 58 games due to knee surgery, picked up where
he left off last year when he led the NL with 141 RBI. He had two
doubles and finished 2-for-3 after going hitless in four at-bats
Friday in his first game back.

"I've been waiting for him to get back and see what was going
to happen," Hurdle said.

The Orioles have to be wondering what's going to happen next
after losing yet another player.

Left fielder B.J. Surhoff was placed on the 15-day disabled list
before the game with a strained calf and third baseman Melvin Mora
missed his second straight game because of sore foot. Outfielder
Luis Matos also didn't play because of sore ribs, leaving Baltimore
with just two position players on the bench.

Javy Lopez was 3-for-5, Rafael Palmeiro had three RBI and
Baltimore had 14 hits, but it still wasn't enough to keep the
Orioles from matching their season high of seven straight losses.

"You're mad when you lose, sure," Orioles manager Lee Mazzilli
said. "They're just giving me what they have. That's it, that's
all I can ask for. Obviously, you want different results, just
right now we're not getting them."

Baltimore got a run in the second inning on Larry Bigbie's
sacrifice, then Palmeiro made it 2-0 in the third with a single to
right.

The lead didn't last long.

With DuBose struggling with his control -- consecutive walks
after Luis Gonzalez tripled -- the Rockies scored five times in the
bottom of the third on Clayton's two-run single and Wilson's
three-run double to left.

Colorado scored three more in the fourth on Helton's two-run
double and Castilla's sacrifice that made it 8-2.

DuBose allowed seven runs on six hits and walked three in 3 1-3
innings after giving up eight runs and six hits in just 2 2-3
innings Monday against Cleveland. He's given up at least six runs
in four of his past seven starts, losing three straight decisions
and four of the past five.

"Sometimes you're like anyone else, you go through a slump,"
Mazzilli said. "I don't know where I can go with that."

Baltimore cut Colorado's lead to 8-4 on Roberts' two-run single
in the sixth inning, and Palmeiro knocked in two more with a double
in the eighth that made it 9-6.

Castilla made it 11-6 in the eighth with a two-run single.

Game notes
Baltimore's Jerry Hairston was caught trying to steal home
in the fourth inning. Hairston took off from third when C Todd
Greene threw the ball back to the mound, but Fassero got it back
just in time. ... Baltimore's Jay Gibbons ended an 0-for-16 slump
with a single in the second inning, but lost a hit in sixth when
Helton made a diving stop down the line at first. ... Colorado
failed to hit a homer at home for the fourth straight game, its
longest streak since going four games without a longball last July.