<
>

Rockies top Astros; Jennings gets seven-hit shutout

DENVER (AP) -- After getting his second career shutout, Jason
Jennings couldn't help but think back to his last outing.

"I felt I threw the ball well, but realized we wouldn't have
won that game no matter how well I pitched," Jennings said after
pitching a seven-hitter in the Colorado Rockies' 5-0 victory over
the Houston Astros on Saturday night.

"We ran into a tough guy in Tim Hudson," he said, referring to
a 2-0 loss to Atlanta on Monday. "All I wanted to do tonight was
keep that going and build on what I did well."

Jennings (2-2) struck out a season-high nine against Houston,
walked one and retired 12 in a row during one stretch. He was 0-2
in his previous four starts and last won April 9 at San Diego.

"He got the ball past people and he never threw a ball over 90
mph because his off speed was so efficient," Colorado manager
Clint Hurdle said. "He was on and off the gas pedal, worked up and
down and in and out. It was basic pitching."

Houston manager Phil Garner agreed.

"Jennings pounded the strike zone and threw strikes," Garner
said. "It's amazing what happens when you throw strikes and he
did."

Jennings had three previous complete games, the last coming
April 22, 2005, against the Los Angeles Dodgers. His only previous
shutout came in his major league debut against the New York Mets on
July 23, 2001.

"This was probably my second most satisfying game, only behind
my debut start," Jennings said. "But I pitched better tonight
than I did in my debut night and it came against a team that had
really given me trouble."

He had never beaten the Astros in three previous career starts.

Choo Freeman and Todd Helton each drove in a run and finished
with two hits, and Matt Holliday hit his seventh home run.

Wandy Rodriguez (4-1) worked six innings, allowing a season-high
five runs and seven hits.

"I felt good and nothing bothered my arm, but I wasn't able to
be as sharp as I wanted to be," Rodriguez said. "I think my
problem tonight was just my location."

Jennings allowed a two-out double to Eric Munson in the second
inning. After Munson's double, Jennings retired 12 in a row before
Willy Taveras reached on a bunt single with two outs in the sixth.
Lance Berkman walked, but Jennings got Morgan Ensberg on a called
third strike.

"The one jam he got into in the sixth inning he pretty much
answered," Hurdle said. "He got behind in the count when he got
behind in the count, 2-0, and threw three straight sinkers to get
Ensberg."

Freeman and Helton had RBI singles in the first inning after the
first three Rockies reached base.

Rodriguez hit Clint Barmes with one out in the second. Three
pitches later Miguel Ojeda doubled into the left-field corner to
score Barmes and make it 3-0.

In the third, Freeman beat out an infield single and moved to
third on Helton's single to center. Garrett Atkins hit a sacrifice
fly to center to give Colorado a four-run lead.

Holliday hit a solo home run with one out in the sixth inning, a
drive into the Houston bullpen in center.

"I'm still on a high and it will sink in until tomorrow,"
Jennings said. "I'll get back to work and get ready for Houston
again at their place."

Game notes
Two jets from the USS Hornet were part of a pregame
flyover. ... Slumping OF Jason Lane, 1-for-18, was out of Houston's
starting lineup. ... OF Chris Burke left the game in the sixth
inning after crashing into the wall in right-center field while
making the catch on a ball hit by Atkins. He suffered a shoulder
injury. ... Two of the hits Jennings gave up were bunt singles. ...
Colorado RHP Mike DeJean (right shoulder tendinitis) threw a
simulated game without pain before Saturday's game.