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Rockies tag Worrell, Benitez for four-run rally in ninth

DENVER (AP) -- The Colorado Rockies won one for their ailing
slugger.

Garrett Atkins' run-scoring single capped a four-run rally in
the ninth inning, lifting the Rockies over the San Francisco Giants
9-8 on Friday night.

The Rockies rallied without Todd Helton, who was hospitalized
overnight with stomach pains and a fever.

"I'm very concerned," teammate Matt Holliday said. "Any time
you have to go to the hospital, it's never a good thing. When I
leave here, I'm going to see if I can call him."

The team hopes to know more regarding Helton on Saturday. Fellow
first baseman Eli Marrero also was sent to Rose Medical Center
earlier this month for similar symptoms. He was sidelined for
several days.

The Giants built an 8-5 lead thanks to a pair of impressive home
runs by Pedro Feliz, who finished with five RBI.

Barry Bonds' search for his lost power stroke didn't end in the
thin air of downtown Denver in the series opener. He went 0-for-2
with three walks and watched his homerless start stretch to 12
games and 30 at-bats. In 1998, Bonds didn't homer until his 13th
game, the longest season-opening drought when healthy of his
career.

"I don't have any comments to make tonight," Bonds said.

The Giants' bullpen failed miserably. Closer Tim Worrell (2-1)
didn't to record an out and was tagged for four earned runs, and
Armando Benitez's season debut was ruined by Atkins' game-winning
single.

"You aren't going to replace a Todd Helton, but we have guys
that can do things for us," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said.

Marrero led off the ninth with a home run and Worrell gave up
singles to Luis Gonzalez, Danny Ardoin and pinch-hitter Choo
Freeman. Steve Kline then relieved Worrell and struck out Cory
Sullivan.

Benitez, who came off the disabled list Thursday night after
recovering from left knee bursitis, followed Kline. He gave up a
sacrifice fly to Clint Barmes and an RBI single to Holliday before
surrendering Atkins' game-winner.

"It was not pretty," Giants manager Felipe Alou said. "I
(had) to use Benitez in a situation where I really didn't want to
pitch him. But he was one strike away twice from getting a save."

David Cortes (2-0) picked up the win with a perfect ninth
inning.

Holliday's three-run homer off Jason Schmidt put the Rockies
ahead 4-0 in the third, and Feliz cut the deficit in half with his
first homer of the season, a 433-foot shot to left an inning later.
Feliz's second drive was a three-run homer that snapped a 4-4 tie
in the fifth.

Both of his homers came off Jason Jennings, who was tagged for
seven earned runs and eight hits over six innings. He was relieved
by Miguel Asencio, who pitched a scoreless seventh inning in his
first major league appearance in nearly three years.

In his first at-bat, Bonds, who leads opposing players with 24
homers at Coors Field, sent a fastball more than 400 feet away to
dead center for a long third out.

He would get just one other cut all night as the Rockies didn't
change their pitching philosophy with Bonds scuffling.

"I told my guys in the meeting today, man, it's like a snake.
If somebody tells me it's dead, I'm going to run over it three
times before I believe it," Hurdle said. "You tell me he's not
swinging the bat good, I'll believe it when he's left here and
we've been able to handle him."

Hurdle said it's just a matter of time before Bonds makes up for
his early struggles and he had no intention of letting Bonds off
the hook against his team.

"We will pitch to him only when we feel it's practical,"
Hurdle said.

Sure enough, Bonds drew intentional walks in the third and fifth
innings and an unintentional one in the seventh, although that
might have been attributed more to nerves as Asencio, two years
removed from elbow surgery, was making his first major league
appearance since May 2003.

The strategy on Bonds didn't pan out in the fifth, when Jennings
also walked Moises Alou to load the bases with one out and Colorado
clinging to a 4-2 lead. Lance Niekro's fly to left dropped just in
front of Holliday, who threw wildly past third, allowing Bonds to
score the tying run. Feliz followed with his three-run homer for a
7-4 lead.

The Coors Field crowd pelted Bonds with shouts of "Juice!" and
boos every chance it got, especially when he grounded out to first
with two men on base and two outs in the eighth.

"When he isn't playing it's quiet," Alou said. "It has been
like a cemetery. There was no energy in the parks. We like the boos
now."

Although, he sure could have done without all the cheers in the
ninth.

Game notes
The Giants are 7-2 with Bonds and Alou in the starting
lineup. ... Feliz has six multihomer games in his career and 12
career homers at Coors. ... Bonds swung at two of the 17 pitches he
saw.