Holliday homers in sixth to boost Rockies

DENVER (AP) -- His breaking balls squirting in all directions and
his fastball riding up in the strike zone, Jason Jennings appeared
to be headed for another bad outing.

Not this time.

Jennings overcame a slow start to pitch seven solid innings and
Matt Holliday drove in the go-ahead run with a solo homer in the
sixth, lifting the Colorado Rockies over the New York Mets 6-4
Tuesday night.

"Some days it takes you a little while to find your rhythm and
it took me two or three innings to find myself today," Jennings
said. "I was able to do some damage control early on and get into
a rhythm after that. It was ugly early on. I was kind of all over
the place, and making bad pitches. I finally found my rhythm and
was able to get going."

Jennings (11-10) gave up 11 runs in 11 innings his previous two
starts and wasn't much better at the start of this one. He gave up
a leadoff double to Eric Valent in the first inning followed by
Danny Garcia's single. Jennings struck out Cliff Floyd on a sinker
in the dirt, but Richard Hidalgo lined a two-run double to the gap
in right-center to put the Mets up 2-0.

Hidalgo also had an RBI double in the third inning, but Jennings
settled in after his rough start. The right-hander retired 13 of
the next 14 batters he faced, leaving after giving up three runs
and seven hits. He also struck out six, including Floyd four times.

Jennings also helped himself with two hits, including a
run-scoring single in the second inning.

"He needed to take a step forward today," Rockies manager
Clint Hurdle said. "Yeah, he spun his wheels a little bit early,
but he settled down and pitched a pretty good ballgame."

He got plenty of help.

Aaron Miles drove had three hits and two RBIS, Vinny Castilla
eclipsed the 100-RBI mark and the Rockies had 12 hits to end a
seven-game losing streak to the Mets. This after managing just nine
singles no runs their final 16 innings against Pittsburgh last

"It is good to see the guys swinging the bats, getting hits and
pushing guys across the plate after those two games in
Pittsburgh," Miles said

Hidalgo had two doubles and three RBI, but the Mets couldn't
overcome the early loss of starter Victor Zambrano to a sore elbow.

The right-hander is questionable for his next scheduled start,
Sunday against San Francisco, not good news for a team that's
already missing catcher Mike Piazza (knee), second baseman Jose
Reyes (leg) and shortstop Kaz Matsui (back).

"They said it couldn't get any worse. It can," Mets manager
Art Howe said.

Zambrano has pitched well since being acquired from Tampa Bay --
four earned runs in 12 innings of a pair of victories -- but
couldn't make it out of the second inning. He gave up a two-out
double to Matt Holliday and walked J.D. Closser in the inning
before leaving with elbow inflammation -- a problem he said bothered
him before the trade.

"I haven't been feeling very good," Zambrano said. "I was all
right, feeling that I can pitch every game, but today it really was
sore. I tried to keep battling and stay in the game, but I

The Rockies quickly took advantage of his departure.

Jennings hit Dan Wheeler's first pitch between first and second
for a run-scoring single, giving the Rockies their first run in 17
2-3 innings since Castilla's solo homer in the second inning
against Pittsburgh on Saturday. Miles then beat out a single up the
middle, scoring Closser to tie the game at 2.

The Mets went back up in the third inning on Hidalgo's RBI
double, but the Rockies tied it in the bottom half on Castilla's
run-scoring single.

Holliday made it 4-3 in the sixth, lifting his 11th homer over
the wall in right-center off Wheeler (3-1). The Rockies added two
runs in the eighth inning on Miles' RBI single off Pedro Feliciano
and Royce Clayton's bases-loaded groundout against Ricky Bottalico.

New York scored an unearned run in the ninth and had two runners
on before Shawn Chacon struck out Garcia and got pinch-hitter Todd
Zeile on a popup to join Jose Jimenez and Dave Veres as the only
Colorado pitchers to save 30 games in a season.

"There's probably a few in here who thought he'd never see
30," Hurdle said. "He picked up his 30th. That's a testament to
his perseverance and obviously some patience on the organization's

Game notes
Colorado 1B Todd Helton made a spectacular catch in the
second inning, reaching in the stands to snare Jason Phillips'
popup down the line in right. ... Castilla has 100 RBI in a season
for the first time since driving in 102 runs at the end of his
first stint with Colorado in 1999. ... The Rockies' two runs in the
second inning were their first in 14 2-3 innings against the Mets.
... Colorado RHP Steve Reed appeared in his 50th game, matching Lee
Smith's major league record of 12 consecutive seasons with 50