DENVER (AP) In describing Byung-Hyun Kim's unorthodox pitching
style, Jeff Cirillo drew upon his boyhood experience with a bright
yellow plastic bat and a fluttering white ball.
Cirillo hit a hanging slider for a tiebreaking two-run homer as
the Colorado Rockies wasted a five-run lead before recovering for a
9-8 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday.
"It's kind of like when you're a kid and you play Wiffle ball.
You get the air underneath that ball and it goes like this,"
Cirillo said, indicating a rising motion. "He's very good. He's as
close to unhittable as anyone in this league."
Cirillo, 3-for-5 in his career against Kim, finished with three
RBI, and Todd Helton went 3-for-4 with a homer and two RBI to
help the Rockies beat an NL West rival for the first time in five
"I thought this was the biggest win we've had all season,"
Colorado manager Buddy Bell said. "After pretty much being
schooled by Randy Johnson, the next day becomes even more
Less than 24 hours after Johnson struck out 14 in seven innings,
the Rockies saw Arizona turn a 5-0 deficit into a 7-5 lead before
they rallied against rookie Troy Brohawn and Kim (0-1), who had not
allowed a hit in six innings this season.
With the game tied at 7 in the seventh, Helton hit a one-out
single off Kim and Cirillo lined the next pitch into the left-field
stands for his third homer.
"I made a mistake," Kim said. "I threw a slider that came up
like a flat fastball."
The victory was Colorado's second in eight games. Arizona also
has lost six of eight.
"Being in the hole early, that always makes things tough in
this ballpark," Arizona manager Bob Brenly said. "And knowing
they have the last ups makes them doubly tough."
Luis Gonzalez, the major league home run leader with nine, went
1-for-3 with two walks and a double after homering twice for
Arizona on Friday night. Matt Williams was 2-for-4 with four RBI.
Mike Myers (1-1) pitched a scoreless seventh for Colorado, and
Jose Jimenez preserved the victory by working around a walk and a
single for his third save.
"You lose the lead. You regain the lead. You'd like to breeze
through the ninth, but normally that's not the case," Bell said.
Held hitless through four innings, the Diamondbacks trailed 5-0
before scoring three runs off Denny Neagle in the fifth and four
against reliever John Wasdin in the sixth.
Williams ended an 0-for-18 drought with a two-run, broken-bat
single off Wasdin that gave Arizona a 6-5 lead, and he scored on
Jay Bell's single to center.
"I made an impact today," Williams said. "When you play here,
you have to keep plugging. If you don't, you might as well go back
Colorado tied it at 7 in its half of the sixth on Juan Uribe's
RBI double and a run-scoring groundout by pinch-hitter Mark Little,
ending a streak of 12 scoreless innings by Arizona relievers.
The Rockies got to Diamondbacks starter Mike Morgan early,
taking a 3-0 in the first.
Helton, showing signs of emerging from an early season slump,
hit a solo homer in the third, and Brent Mayne hit a run-scoring
double to give Colorado a 5-0 lead in the fourth.
"That's a good start," said Helton, the reigning NL batting
champion. "I'm not trying to figure out why. I'm just trying to
figure out the answers as far as my swing. I spend too much time on
the other stuff and worry about that too much."
Morgan gave up five runs and eight hits in four innings as he
started in place of injured right-hander Bobby Witt (sprained
|Jeff Cirillo, left, is greeted at the plate by Todd Helton after his two-run homer, which was the difference in the game.|
Rockies RF Larry Walker, who leads the team with six homers
and 16 RBI, did not play because of a sprained left ankle. He is
expected to miss Sunday's series finale and Colorado hopes to have
him back after an off day Monday. ... Morgan's last win as a
starter came for Texas on Aug. 9, 1999, against Minnesota. ...
Brohawn made his major league debut and gave up two runs and two
hits in two innings. ... Arizona CF Steve Finley went 0-for-5 and
is hitless in 25 at-bats in the last nine games. He is 3-for-37
this season. ... Jimenez has converted 11 consecutive save chances
dating to 2000. He is five short of the team record of 16 straight
by Darren Holmes in 1993. ... Williams was cut on his right knee
and left ankle when he was spiked by Mayne in the eighth. He is not
expected to miss any games.
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Rockies' Larry Walker out two games with ankle sprain
NY Yankees 3
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