Chacon gets first win this season despite shaky 'pen

DENVER (AP) -- One run here, another there, a couple hit batters, a few walks. It sure looked like the Colorado Rockies were headed for another loss because of their bullpen.

This time, the relievers came through -- barely.

Preston Wilson homered and drove in four runs and Shawn Chacon
got his first win of the season Saturday night despite some shaky moments from the bullpen during the Rockies' 8-6 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

"Sometimes you watch with both eyes open, sometimes it's with one eye open and sometimes you ask somebody what happened," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said.

Yes, it's been that bad this season.

Colorado's bullpen accounted for six of Colorado's first 10 losses and had six blown saves after setting a major-league record with 34 last season.

Chacon had gotten some of the worst of it, allowing one run in six innings in each of his first two starts only to see the relievers throw it away. He appeared headed toward more heartbreak after leaving in the fifth inning.

Jose Acevedo allowed a run in the sixth before Brian Fuentes gave up another in the eighth to cut Colorado's lead to 8-6. Chin-hui Tsao entered in the ninth and had all kinds of trouble, giving up a leadoff walk, a single and a hit batter to load the bases for Jeff Kent.

Filling the bags for Kent was hardly what the Rockies were looking for, but Tsao came through. He got Kent to ground out to end the game, slamming the ball into his glove after preserving Colorado's fourth win in five games and first series win this season.

"I don't know if Tsao was giving me some old medicine from last year," said Chacon, back in the rotation after a failed stint as Colorado's closer last season. "But he got it done."

Los Angeles had plenty of chances against Chacon and Colorado's four relievers, with 12 hits, seven walks and three batters hit by pitches. The Dodgers just couldn't come through when it counted.

They failed to score with the bases loaded three times, including the last two innings, and stranded 16 runners -- one off the franchise record -- to lose their third straight after an eight-game winning streak. It didn't help that starter Odalis Perez
(3-1) gave up as many runs in the first inning -- four-- as he had his first three starts.

Worse yet, third baseman Jose Valentin went out in the eighth inning after Fuentes hit him on the right hand, though X-rays were negative.

"It was a nice comeback. Unfortunately, we fell a little bit short," Dodgers manager Jim Tracy said. "When you fall behind 7-0 and have a couple of genuine opportunities in the eighth and ninth and the hitters that you want at the plate, the game is where you want it to be."

They certainly had some chances against Chacon (1-0).

He had trouble with his command, particularly with a curveball that almost broke too much. Chacon was effective when the pitch was over the plate but threw plenty in the dirt and often went deep in the count.

He threw 107 pitches in five innings and walked four -- three more than his first two starts combined.

The control problems hurt Chacon in the fifth, when he walked three and plunked Kent on the hand with two strikes. Ricky Ledee had the only hit in the inning, knocking in two runs with a bloop single to center that cut Colorado's lead to 7-4.

Chacon was done after that, leaving after allowing four runs -- the other two came on consecutive doubles by J.D. Drew and Kent in the third inning -- and seven hits for his first win as a starter since June 23, 2003, at San Diego.

"It wasn't a portrait on the mound by any means and he basically had to grind through five innings to keep them at four runs," Hurdle said. "That's why the game is a game. He throws two gems and doesn't get a mark, then he pitches tonight and doesn't have his best stuff and gets a win."

Perez was superb in his first three starts, allowing four earned runs in 17 2/3 innings. The Rockies got that many off him in the first inning -- highlighted by Wilson's two-run homer -- and added three more in the second.

Perez lasted five innings, giving up eight runs -- seven earned -- and 10 hits as his ERA more than doubled to 4.37.

"It wasn't like I was missing my spots," Perez said. "I was throwing good pitches and they hit them. There is nothing I can do about that. When you put your team down 7-0, it is hard to win the game and it was tough."

Game notes
University of Texas running back Cedric Benson, the fourth overall
pick in Saturday's NFL draft, went 5-for-25 in nine games for the Gulf Coast Dodgers in 2002. ... Los Angeles had a 5-6-5 fielder's choice in the third inning, when Valentin dropped Jeff Baker's line drive to third and shortstop Cesar Izturis scooped it up in time to get a forceout. ... Rockies rookie Clint Barmes was 3-for-5 to extend his hitting streak to nine games and increase his major league-leading average to .455.