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Rockies get another well-pitched game at home

4/20/2003

DENVER (AP) -- Colorado revamped its lineup this season to take
advantage of Coors Field. So far, it's been the pitchers that have
carried the Rockies at the hitter-friendly park.

Shawn Chacon and two relievers combined on the 21st shutout in
Coors Field history as the Rockies beat the San Diego Padres 8-0
Sunday to sweep the three-game series.

Colorado's pitchers have won five of their nine starts at Coors
Field and the Rockies are 8-1 at a place where they use a humidor
to counteract the effects of the ballpark.

The Rockies have won three straight overall after Aaron Cook
came within one out of a complete-game shutout on Friday and Nelson
Cruz allowed three runs on six hits in five innings the next day.

"There's always been this thing that you can't pitch at Coors
Field,'' said Chacon, who struck out six. "Other pitchers come in
here and pitch well here, so there is no reason why our staff can't
do well here.''

Chacon allowed four hits in seven innings and Brian Fuentes
threw a perfect eighth, but then things got interesting.

Jose Jimenez, who blew a two-run lead on Wednesday, allowed a
one-out single to Ryan Klesko and Xavier Nady followed with another
single with two outs.

Jimenez walked Dave Hansen to load the bases, but left fielder
Jay Payton made a sliding catch to seal Colorado's 12th shutout
since Coors Field opened in 1995.

"One thing I've learned here from managing a short number of
games is you take your heart out before the game, you put it in
your locker and you put it back in after the game,'' Rockies
manager Clint Hurdle said.

Chacon (3-0) has been sharp this year after being demoted the
minors late last season. He has given up just three runs and 17
hits in 27 2/3 innings, and his 0.98 ERA is second in the National
League to St. Louis' Woody Williams (0.00).

Chacon allowed just two hits in the first five innings against
San Diego and struck out Sean Burroughs to end the sixth after the
Padres loaded the bases.

"We ran into another well-pitched game,'' said Padres manager
Bruce Bochy, whose team has lost five straight since taking two of
three from Colorado last weekend. "He (Chacon) has been throwing
well. He put together a good game today. You tip your hat.''

San Diego starter Jake Peavy (3-1) showed just what can happen
when a pitcher is even a little off at Coors.

Peavy had allowed five runs in his first three starts, but gave
up six in the first four innings against Colorado.

Charles Johnson started things off with a two-run homer in the
second that landed in the back row of the bleachers in left. Chris
Stynes followed with a solo homer to left four pitches later, his
third of the season.

Preston Wilson made it 4-0 with a single in the third, and
Colorado got two more in the fourth on Ronnie Belliard's single and
a sacrifice fly by Payton.

"I just made some bad pitches,'' said Peavy, who gave up six
runs and six hits in six innings. "I let it get away from me in
the early innings. It's not good to make bad pitches in this
ballpark.''

Payton made it 8-0 in the seventh with his fourth homer of the
year, a two-run shot to left off Mike Matthews. He finished the
series 7-for-12 with two homers and four RBI.

Johnson also led off the fourth with a double off the top of the
wall in right-center, and is 5-for-8 since an 0-for-16 string last
week.

Game notes
The homers by Johnson and Stynes in the second inning were
the first back-to-back by the Rockies this season. ... San Diego's
Shane Victorino had his first hit in the majors, a single to right
in the third inning. ... Colorado also took three games from
Arizona April 4-6 in its first sweep this season. ... Mark Loretta
reached on a fielder's choice in the sixth inning after Rockies RF
Larry Walker lost the ball in the sun and still threw out Ramon
Vazquez at second.