Series: Game 1 of 3

San Francisco leads 1-0 (as of 7/3)

Game 1: Monday, July 3
San Francisco9Final
Game 2: Tuesday, July 4
San Francisco1Final
Game 3: Wednesday, July 5
San Francisco3Final

Giants 9

(43-40, 20-20 away)

Rockies 6

(42-40, 20-19 home)

    8:05 PM ET, July 3, 2006

    Coors Field, Denver, Colorado 

    123456789 R H E
    SF 000210132 9 17 1
    COL 000100410 6 9 1

    W: J. Accardo (1-2)

    L: R. Ramirez (3-2)

    S: A. Benitez (8)

    Alou wins 1,000th game as Giants rally past Rockies

    DENVER (AP) -- Felipe Alou leaned back in his office chair as a bottle of unopened champagne sat on his desk.

    The San Francisco manager had just won his 1,000th game during a 9-6 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Monday and the magnitude was beginning to dawn on him.

    "I know it's not big," Alou said. "There are managers with 2,000 wins. I didn't start managing until I was 57.

    "To me, it's a small gift."

    The Giants gave him an even bigger gift when he entered the clubhouse -- a brand new, top of the line rod and reel. The present meant a lot to him. It's the same gift his minor-league players gave him back in 1977 when he was managing at West Palm Beach.

    "The reel (the Giants' players) gave me is very expensive," Alou said. "I don't know (the brand) and I don't want to jeopardize my chances with those companies. I'm a fisherman, I may need some stuff from them later."

    Alou, 71, made all the right moves Monday as the Giants leapfrogged Colorado into second place in the NL West, a half-game behind San Diego, which was idle Monday. Colorado is a game off the lead.

    This has been as close to the division lead as San Francisco has been since April 29.

    Alou is sixth among San Francisco managers with 309 wins. Dusty Baker (1993-2002) had 840 wins for San Francisco from 1993-2002. He's also eighth in victories among active managers. Alou didn't break into the managerial ranks until 1992 with Montreal.

    The players brought baseballs up to him after the game.

    "Skip, can you sign this?" infielder Mark Sweeney said.

    While there was champagne all around the locker room, there was none on Alou. He was dry.

    "At my age, I get sick if I get wet at this time of night," Alou said with a laugh.

    "I dedicate this to my friends, family and my country."

    He should also dedicate it to Randy Winn, who drove in the go-ahead run with a broken-bat double to center. The Giants scored three runs in the eighth to take back a lead they'd had all evening.

    The Giants had a 4-1 lead heading into the bottom of the seventh, but couldn't hold it. The Rockies scored four times with two outs. The big blow was a two-run homer by Todd Helton, his ninth of the season.

    Jeremy Accardo (1-2) earned the win by retiring just one batter in the seventh. He gave up three hits and two runs in the inning. Armando Benitez got three outs for his eighth save in 12 chances.

    Ramon Ramirez (3-2) couldn't hold the lead for Colorado, either, giving up two runs.

    "I tried to throw hard and it didn't work," Ramirez said.

    Alou couldn't believe how rapidly the game went from a pitcher's duel to an old-fashioned Coors Field slugfest. There were four total runs scored through six innings and 11 over the next three.

    "It was a really strange game," Alou said. "It seemed like the air got lighter in the later innings."

    File this play in the bizarre category. With two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning, left fielder Jason Ellison was camped under a routine fly ball by Helton, and then dropped it. It allowed Jamey Carroll to score and cut the score to 7-6.

    "I never saw Ellison dropping the ball," Alou said. "I guess Ellison didn't see it either."

    Ellison made up for the blunder in the ninth. He led off with a double and scored on Pedro Feliz's two-run homer. It gave the Giants some breathing room.

    After the game, the celebration got into full swing. There were toasts to Alou and pictures snapped with players and coaches.

    Alou still can't believe he's in a manager in the majors. Breaking in with the Giants as a player in 1959, he couldn't have imagined he'd be leading the team one day.

    "Back (then), I wasn't thinking about anything but going back and doing some fishing when I was done playing," Alou said. "I still have an urge to do that."

    He now has the rod and reel, too.

    Game notes

    Colorado starter Aaron Cook has pitched at least six innings in eight start starts. ... Starter Noah Lowry gave up five hits and three runs in 6 2-3 innings. ... Winn extended his hitting streak to 10 games. ... Omar Vizquel went 4-for-5, which is his third four-hit game of the year. ... Helton has reached base safely with a hit or walk in 33 straight games. It's two shy of Larry Walker's team record.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press