SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Mike Hampton kept it simple and made it
easy on himself. As a result, he earned a rare road win, picking on
a familiar victim and pitching the Colorado Rockies past the San
Francisco Giants 5-4 Saturday.
"I just told (catcher Gary Bennett) to put a sign down and I'll
throw it,'' said Hampton. "I was barely good enough today. I gave
up a lot of hits, but I didn't leave the ball up in the zone.'' Todd Helton had four hits and drove in two runs, helping the
Rockies win their third straight game. The Giants lost their fourth
in a row. Hampton (3-6) improved to 12-1 in 20 career starts against the
Giants. The left-hander began the day with an 0-5 record and 9.21
ERA away from Coors Field this season. "Numbers are there for a reason,'' Rockies manager Clint Hurdle
said. "For whatever reason he pitches well against this ballclub.
We'll have to make sure he matches up against them a few more
times. That was a strong outing, a momentum builder.'' Hampton gave up four runs on 11 hits over seven innings, walking
one and striking out one. Jose Jimenez pitched a perfect ninth for his 15th save in as
many chances, striking out pinch-hitter Barry Bonds. Todd Hollandsworth, Terry Shumpert and Todd Zeile also drove in
runs as the Rockies won for the 10th time in 12 games. "We've been coming out and jumping on them,'' said Helton.
"There are a lot of factors involved. Some days you can hit right
at people. Today we didn't.'' Livan Hernandez (5-5) lost for the fifth time in six decisions
after giving up five runs on 10 hits over eight innings. He walked
two and struck out seven. The Giants lost their fourth straight and nine of their last 12. Helton's sacrifice fly in the first inning gave Colorado a 1-0
lead, but the Giants tied it in the second when Jeff Kent scored on
a double-play groundout by Damon Minor. "This is still a tough place to hit,'' said Helton. Hollandsworth and Shumpert each drove in runs in the fourth as
the Rockies took a 3-l lead. Helton doubled home a run and Zeile added a sacrifice fly in the
fifth to pad Colorado's advantage. "He's a great hitter,'' said Giants manager Dusty Baker. "You
say not in this park, but maybe he's had a couple of bad series.
This guy can hit, he can really hit.'' The Giants responded with three runs in the sixth to make it
5-4. Minor hit a sacrifice fly and Hernandez delivered a two-run
single. San Francisco's Tsuyoshi Shinjo went 4-for-4, his second career
four-hit game. "The thing I like is he got a bunt and some infield hits,''
said Baker. "They were playing him deep and the I like the bunt
hits a lot.''
David Bell made his first start at shortstop in five years,
and the 10th of his career. He last started there with the St.
Louis Cardinals on Sept. 24, 1997. ... J.T. Snow was a late scratch
due to an allergic reaction to medication. ... The Giants honored
their 1962 World Series team in ceremonies before the game. ...
Brooke Shields read Lou Gehrig's famous "I'm the luckiest man on
the face of the earth'' speech as part of a nationwide
presentation. ... Larry Walker missed his eighth straight game with
elbow soreness. He was available to pinch hit. ... Hampton has hit
safely in eight of his 12 starts this season. ... Helton is hitting
.611 (11-for-18) with nine RBIs against the Giants this season. He
entered the game with a .194 lifetime average at Pac Bell Park.