ST. LOUIS (AP) -- New closer Shawn Chacon is quickly learning
about late-inning pressure.
The last out Sunday was definitely the toughest one for Chacon,
who worked a scoreless but eventful ninth inning in the Colorado
Rockies' 8-5 victory over St. Louis. The Cardinals loaded the bases
with two outs before Chacon retired Albert Pujols on a fly ball to
the right-field wall.
"He had his arms up like he knew he got it," Chacon said. "So
then I turned back and I was like, 'Please stay in the yard."
Last year, Chacon went 11-8 as a starter and made his first
All-Star team before being derailed by elbow problems in the second
half. He was converted to short relief in spring training, and has
three saves in four chances thus far.
"I won't say I'm comfortable yet, but I'm starting to
understand what needs to be done," Chacon said. "I've still got
the training wheels on."
Todd Helton homered for the third straight game and Jason
Jennings stopped another Colorado losing streak.
Vinny Castilla hit his fourth homer and rookie Kit Pellow had a
three-run double for the Rockies, who roughed up Woody Williams to
end a three-game skid. Colorado pitchers gave up 32 runs in those
three games. Pellow also caught Pujols' drive to end the game,
glancing off the wall as he made the play.
"That's as good of an at-bat as you can have," Cardinals
manager Tony La Russa said. "When he hit it, that ball was out of
the park, and I think the wind knocked it down."
Jennings (1-1) allowed five runs, four earned, in six innings
with four strikeouts and a walk. He even added an RBI single in the
Last year, Jennings stopped the Rockies' franchise-record
10-game road losing streak at Busch Stadium on Sept. 9, and ended
eight- and nine-game skids in 2002.
"Yeah, it's happened for me before," Jennings said. "I don't
like having to do that. I'd rather we win more games."
Marlon Anderson had a two-run homer and an RBI single for the
Cardinals, who are 3-7 at home.
Williams (0-1) allowed seven runs and eight hits in 5 2-3
innings. He's struggled after pitching only five innings in spring
training due to shoulder tendinitis and has a 7.98 ERA, losing in
his first appearance against the Rockies since 2001.
"I stink. I am not carrying my weight here," Williams said.
"I'm getting sick of the way I'm pitching.
"Spring training or no spring training, the bottom line is I've
got to go out there and make pitches."
Colorado chased Williams in a four-run sixth that made it 7-3,
with the big blow Pellow's bases-loaded double off the wall in
left-center. The three RBI matched Pellow's career best, also
accomplished against the Cardinals last September.
Matt Holliday was 3-for-3 with an RBI for Colorado, his first
three major league hits.
Castilla hit his fifth homer in 28 career at-bats against
Williams, putting the Rockies ahead in the second.
The Cardinals answered with three runs in the bottom half,
including an RBI double by Edgar Renteria and a run-scoring single
by Anderson. The third run scored when Williams barely beat the
throw to first after second baseman Aaron Miles bobbled his sharp
grounder for an error.
Helton cut the gap to one run with his third homer of the season
with one out in the fourth. The Rockies tied it in the fifth on an
RBI single by Jennings.
Anderson's third homer in the sixth trimmed the deficit to 7-5.
The Rockies added a run in the ninth on Miles' RBI single.
Rockies catchers had been 0-for-13 in trying to throw out
basestealers before Charles Johnson got Pujols going for second in
the third. ... The Cardinals turned three double plays to help
Williams and made a few outstanding plays. CF Jim Edmonds robbed
Johnson of extra bases or perhaps a home run with a leaping catch
at the wall in the fifth, and 3B Scott Rolen snared Castilla's
grounder down the line and threw to second for a forceout in the
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