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Rockies take care of business vs. Devil Rays

6/23/2002

DENVER (AP) -- The Colorado Rockies honored the memory of former
teammate Darryl Kile the best way they could.

They never gave up.

Todd Hollandsworth ended an emotional day for Colorado with a
single in the 11th inning as the Rockies beat the Tampa Bay Devil
Rays 6-5 Saturday night.

The Rockies were shaken before the game after learning Kile had
been found dead in a Chicago hotel earlier in the day. They
responded by rallying late for their team-record third straight
victory in extra innings.

"Obviously, today there were some heavy hearts on the field,''
Colorado manager Clint Hurdle said. "We just, collectively as a
group, wanted to take the ball like Darryl took the ball in the
time that he was here. We were fortunate to battle back and win a
game late again.''

The Rockies scored four runs in the ninth and beat the Devil
Rays 8-7 in 10 innings on Friday and came back from an 8-2 deficit
to beat the Yankees 14-11 in 10 on Thursday.

Tampa Bay led 5-3 after a three-run seventh inning, but
Colorado's Mark Little and Brent Butler had consecutive run-scoring
singles off Doug Creek in the eighth to tie it.

In the 11th, Steve Kent (0-2) walked Todd Helton with one out,
then Todd Zeile singled to put runners on first and third.
Hollandsworth, who entered in the ninth inning, followed with a
single just past Tampa Bay first baseman Steve Cox.

"A lot of good things happened, but we lost the lead again and
we didn't play well enough to win,'' Tampa Bay manager Hal McRae
said. "I thought they played hard and battled, but we surrendered
the lead again late. It's something we have to overcome.''

Colorado's Larry Walker fought back tears before the game as he
talked about Kile, but shook it off to finish with three hits,
including his 16th homer. He also extended his hitting streak to 11
games.

Walker had five straight hits in two games before he flied out
to the warning track in the seventh.

Kile was honored with a moment of silence before the game. He
played two seasons with the Rockies before being traded to St.
Louis in 1999.

Colorado's Mike Hampton, who played with Kile in Houston, bowed
his head and tightly squeezed his eyes shut, then wiped away tears
as the national anthem started.

Hurdle also appeared to wipe away tears.

Walker, who played two seasons with Kile in Colorado, stood with
his head down before rubbing his face with his hands.

"Emotionally, I'm burnt out right now,'' Walker said. "The
moment of silence, I was a wreck. I talked to my wife and she was
crying five minutes to the first pitch. Once the game gets going
it's a few hours where you don't think about it as much because
you're doing your job and you've got to perform.''

Colorado had just three hits in the first four innings, but went
up 3-1 in the fifth on consecutive homers by Butler, Walker and
Helton.

It was the fifth time Colorado hit three straight homers in an
inning and first since Walker, Andres Galarraga and Dante Bichette
did it against Florida on June 7, 1997.

Butler, who had one career homer before this year, has three in
five games. It was the 16th for Helton.

"The game starts, the competition picks up your adrenaline, but
I still think it took the guys a little bit of time to get back in
the flow of competing and putting things behind,'' Hurdle said.

Jose Jimenez (2-4) allowed two hits in the 11th to get the
victory.

Tampa Bay's Randy Winn had four hits and was a homer short of
hitting for the cycle. He also has 34 hits in June, breaking Fred
McGriff's team record of 31 set in 2000.

Tampa Bay scored three runs in the seventh on a wild pitch, a
triple by Winn and a double by Brent Abernathy to take a 5-3 lead,
but had two hits the rest of the way.

"Last night's loss was pretty difficult, but you have to know
coming in here that the game is never over until the 27th out is
made,'' Abernathy said. "The past couple of nights we haven't been
able to score enough runs and then we haven't been able to get to
that out.''

Tampa Bay starter Wilson Alvarez allowed three runs and eight
hits in six innings.

Colorado starter Denny Neagle allowed four runs and five hits in
six innings.

Colorado's Gary Bennett had a career-high four hits.

Tampa Bay's Chris Gomez had a solo homer in the sixth, his fifth
of the season.

Game notes
Tampa Bay allowed three straight homers in an inning for
the third time in its history. The previous time was last July 26
against Anaheim. ... Tampa Bay LF Greg Vaughn left in the fifth
with a bruised right shoulder after crashing into the wall on
Walker's homer. The Devil Rays listed him as day-to-day. ...
Hollandsworth was 2-for-2 to extend his hitting streak to 11 games.
... Tampa Bay LF Jason Conti saved a run in the eighth by throwing
Bennett out at the plate on Little's single.