In his fourth game, Walker makes connections

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Larry Walker didn't need very long to find his
home run swing.

Walker hit his third homer of the game -- and third of the season
-- in the 10th inning to send the Colorado Rockies to a 10-8 win
over the Cleveland Indians on Friday night.

Walker, playing just his fourth game this year after being
sidelined for 68 games with a groin injury, drove the first pitch
from former teammate Jose Jimenez (1-6) into the right-field seats.

"That's some kind of special night," Colorado manager Clint
Hurdle said of Walker, who went 4-for-4 with five RBI.
"Regardless if you're 18 or 28 or 48, in Little League or in the
big leagues, that's some kind of special night."

Walker's two-run shot in the 10th scored Todd Helton, who opened
the 10th with a single.

Walker also connected for solo homers in the second and sixth
innings for the Rockies, who trailed 5-2 after five before scoring
six times in the sixth.

The 37-year-old Walker has homered three times in a game on
three occasions. His homer off Jimenez made him 3-for-3 with three
homers in his career against the right-hander.

The last time Walker hit three homers in a game was April 28,
1999, at St. Louis -- and two of those came off Jimenez, too.

"It's a shock to me what I did tonight," Walker said. "I
stuck with the George Brett theory, hit it hard."

Walker said he made an adjustment during batting practice, but
wouldn't reveal what it was.

"It's a secret," he said with a smile. "I could go out and
strike out five times tomorrow."

Ben Broussard had five RBI and Casey Blake homered for the
Indians, who had won 12 straight weekend home games.

Steve Reed (1-1) pitched a scoreless ninth, and Shawn Chacon
worked a perfect 10th for his 16th save in 22 tries.

"I think it's his first 1-2-3 inning since spring training,"
Hurdle said jokingly.

Walker's three homers traveled an estimated 1,255 feet on a cool
night in Jacobs Field, which for a few innings played a lot like
Coors Field in Denver.

Walker is a big fan of The Jake. In 1997, he went deep 19 times
to finish second to Tino Martinez in the All-Star home run derby.

"I guess I like it here," he said.

Walker wasn't thinking about a home run when he came up in the
10th. He had sleep on his mind.

"Victor (Martinez) asked me how I was doing," Walker said,
referring to the Indians' catcher. "I said, 'I'm tired.' That's
the longest game I've been in since September."

After their bullpen blew a three-run lead by allowing the
Rockies to score six times in the sixth, the Indians came back and
tied it 8-8 in the bottom half.

Cleveland loaded the bases off starter Jeff Fassero on a hit
batter and two walks before Coco Crisp's RBI fielder's choice made
it 8-6. Broussard then ripped a two-run double down the right-field
line to tie it.

For five innings, the Rockies were treated rudely on their first
visit to Cleveland by Indians starter Jason Davis, who matched a
career high with seven strikeouts in 5 1-3 innings.

But Walker led off the sixth with his second homer off the
right-hander to make it 5-3, igniting the Rockies' six-run outburst
-- helped by four consecutive walks -- that gave them a 7-5 lead.

"That sixth inning was never something you can anticipate,"
Indians manager Eric Wedge said. "We've had bullpen problems, but
never from a command factor like that. That inning was so bad."

Walker's blast to straightaway center to start the sixth rattled
around in the picnic tables beyond the outfield wall, an estimated
449 feet away.

Three batters after Blake tied it 1-1 in the first with his 13th
homer, Broussard connected for his third homer as the Indians
opened a 4-1 lead against Fassero.

The Rockies closed within 4-2 in the fourth on Holliday's RBI
single, but the Indians went back ahead by three on Gerut's triple
and Crisp's run-scoring groundout.

Walker, who sat out the first 2{ months with a strained left
groin, gave Colorado a 1-0 lead in the second with his first homer
since Sept. 27.

Game notes
Walker's 14 total bases were a career-high. ... The Rockies
improved to 1-7 in extras. ... The Indians are expected to finalize
a deal for free agent 3B Aaron Boone on Saturday. Boone, a
postseason hero for the New York Yankees last season, hasn't played
since tearing a knee ligament while playing basketball in January.
... Walker needs three hits for 2,000 in his career. He'll be the
234th player -- and 24th active -- to hit the plateau. ... The
Indians have eight former Rockies on their 40-man roster. ... Of
Cleveland's 68 homers this season, 45 have been solo shots.