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No wingman needed: Solo shots carry Giants past Rockies

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Since his return from the minor leagues
three weeks ago, Todd Linden has learned to calm his nerves. The
approach has resulted in better production offensively and
defensively.

Linden hit the last of San Francisco's four solo home runs, and
the Giants rebounded from an injury to starter Kevin Correia to
beat the Colorado Rockies 5-3 Wednesday.

Moises Alou, Mike Matheny and Ray Durham also homered as the
Giants, who won for the fourth time in five games. Matheny added an
RBI single.

Linden also robbed Todd Helton of a potential two-run,
extra-base hit in sixth inning.

"That was one of the best plays that we have seen this
season," Giants manager Felipe Alou said. "That was the game
right there. If the ball goes over his head it is two runs and who
knows what is next."

Linden caught Helton's two-out drive just in front of the
warning track, then tumbled to the ground.

"I knew it was going to be over my head but it didn't have any
back spin so I knew I could catch it," Linden said. "It was a
good feeling with two guys on, two outs and one of the best hitters
in the league up."

Linden led off the sixth with his fourth homer, and has a
combined 34 on the year -- best in the Giants organization. He's
hitting .358 (19-for-53) in his second stint with the Giants.

"I'm just being patient and not trying to do too much," Linden
said. "There's a good mix on the club with the young guys and the
veterans. Alou, Matheny and Durham hit homers and I jumped on the
bandwagon."

Correia left the game with tightness in his right shoulder.

"It's just a tight spot but it's been causing me to throw
differently," Correia said. "I couldn't get on top of the ball.
It's been there the last start or two but it's nothing serious.
I've been throwing every day."

Garrett Atkins, JD Closser and Aaron Miles drove in runs for the
Rockies, who have lost consecutive road games for the first time
since July 23-24 in Pittsburgh.

"A lot of good things happened this month," Rockies manager
Clint Hurdle said. "We've raised the bar and are disappointed we
didn't win the series. We're not going to accept mediocrity or just
being OK."

Jeff Fassero (4-6) won his third straight decision, allowing an
unearned run and two hits in three innings. Correia left with an
injured right shoulder after giving up one run, two hits and two
hits in two innings.

Armando Benitez worked the ninth for his fifth straight save
since coming off the disabled list two weeks ago, his ninth in 11
chances overall.

Jeff Francis (12-10) remained winless in three starts in San
Francisco, where he has given up 18 runs in 14 1-3 innings, an
11.04 ERA. He gave up four runs and six hits in six innings and
allowed four homers in a game for the second time this month.

"I felt like I had good command but when it came time to make
those 3-2 pitches, I came over the plate and they wouldn't miss
it," Francis said.

Atkins hit an RBI double in the first, but Alou homered leading
off the second and Matheny homered with two outs for a 2-1 lead.
Matheny has a career-high 11 homers, and is one RBI shy of his
career-high of 50, set last year with St. Louis.

Dustan Mohr reached in the fourth on shortstop Angel Chavez's
throwing error and scored on Closser's single.

Durham, batting .333 since the All-Star break, homered leading
off the bottom half for a 3-2 lead and Linden homered leading off
the sixth. Lance Niekro tripled off Jamey Wright in the seventh and
scored on Matheny's hit.

Miles hit an RBI single in the eighth.

Game notes
OF Brad Hawpe and IF Clint Barmes are expected to be
activated off the DL on Thursday, when active rosters expand to 40.
... OF Larry Bigbie (strained right Achilles' tendon) was scheduled
to begin his rehab assignment on Wednesday night at Colorado
Springs. ... Giants SS Omar Vizquel was out of the starting lineup
for a second day due to illness. He had a headache Tuesday and felt
dizzy. ... Giants OF Barry Bonds continued his regular workouts in
the L.A. area but was unable to take batting practice due to
logistical problems. ... Moises (294) and his father, Felipe (206)
Alou have a combined 500 career home runs. ... Benitez got his
253rd save, taking sole possession of 23rd place, one ahead of
current Giants pitching coach Dave Righetti.