DENVER (AP) -- With an ice bag wrapped tightly around his right
shoulder, Byung-Hyun Kim stood in front of his locker and answered
questions as best as he could.
"My English isn't so good," Kim said after throwing seven
solid innings in Colorado's 3-0 win over the Texas Rangers on
Sunday.How did he feel?"OK," he said.What did he do right?"Good command," he said.Is he pitching the best he's ever pitched?Kim grinned."In high school I used to strike out 18 in nine innings," he
said. "But here [in the major leagues], yes."Kim (5-4) has gone two straight starts without giving up a run.
He's now tossed 13 consecutive scoreless innings. He allowed five
hits and struck out seven against Texas."He did everything right," catcher Yorvit Torrealba said of
Kim, who turned in the longest scoreless outing of his career.
"Everything."With three shutouts during the Rockies' six-game homestand,
Colorado is turning Coors Field into a pitcher's park."I don't know about that," Torrealba said.There have been eight shutouts at Coors this season, with the
Rockies winning a club-record five. It's the most shutouts at Coors
in its 12-year history. The previous record was six in 1997.Colorado has now had six shutout wins total this season. The
team record is eight in both 2001 and '02."It is something we don't take lightly," manager Clint Hurdle
said. "This was a nice exclamation to the end of the homestand."Hurdle knows the talk will be of the Rockies' use of a humidor
instead of the way his pitchers are throwing.When Oakland left town last Wednesday, the A's openly questioned
the use of the humidor after being shut out twice.Talk like that is fine with Hurdle. That means Coors is in their
heads."They can have conversations about it," he said.The Rangers -- shut out for just the third time this season --
didn't blame the loss on the humidor."Sometimes you have to give credit to the pitcher," Texas
manager Buck Showalter said. "Quality pitching makes a
difference."The Rangers only had one runner get to third all game and had
the leadoff man reach base just twice. They blamed Kim's unorthodox
side-armed delivery for that."He is tough to pick up and tough to put a bat on the ball,"
Gary Matthews Jr. said. "We didn't put anything together."The victory gave Colorado its fourth-best start (38-37) after 75
games. It's the first time the Rockies have been above .500 this
late in the season since they were 60-59 on Aug. 9, 2003."We're just going to keep playing baseball," Hurdle said.When the season began, Hurdle envisioned Jamey Carroll being a
role player, getting perhaps 250-to-300 at-bats this season. He
already has 198 and is hitting .343. Carroll is two at-bats shy of
qualifying among the NL leaders. If he was qualified, however, his
average would rank in the top five in the league. Not that he's
thinking about that."I'm just worrying about what's going on with the team,"
Carroll said.Carroll and Cory Sullivan hit consecutive triples in the fifth
to give Colorado a 3-0 lead.The Rockies scored a run in the third. Carroll led off with a
single before Vicente Padilla hit Todd Helton and Matt Holliday
with pitches. Carroll scored on a sacrifice fly by Garrett Atkins.Padilla (6-5) is tied with Florida's Dontrelle Willis for the
major league lead in hit batters with 11.With a single to right in the second inning, Holliday became the
third member -- and first in the NL -- to the 100-hit club this
season. Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki and Texas' Michael Young had
already joined the list.Holliday scored the first run of the game when Torrealba beat
out what would've been a 5-4-3 inning-ending double play. Holliday
got to third after Atkins slapped a single to left on a hit-and-run
play.Since May 1, Holliday has the highest batting average in the
majors at .404. He has nine multihit games in his last 17 and has
hit safely in 14 of his last 16. He's batting .441 in interleague
play.Jose Mesa struck out two in the eighth and Brian Fuentes fanned
two in a perfect ninth for his 15th save in 18 chances.The Rangers have hit a double in 25 straight games thanks to
Mark DeRosa's leadoff double in the sixth. Kim was able to get
Young to ground out and Mark Teixeira and Hank Blalock to pop out
to end the inning.Young didn't get a hit, ending his 14-game hitting streak in
interleague play.The Rockies won both series in the homestand and have won three
of their last four series."I'm proud of the way our guys have pitched," Hurdle said.
The Rangers purchased the contract of RHP Nick Masset from
Triple-A Oklahoma and optioned RHP Robinson Tejeda back to
Oklahoma. ... Texas pitchers are 0-for-10 at the plate this season.
The last pitcher to have a hit for the Rangers was Ricardo
Rodriguez on June 12, 2005. ... Padilla turned in his third quality
start in his last four outings, but has one win to show for it. ...
Colorado is 7-2 in interleague play this season.