Series: Game 3 of 3

Colorado won 3-0

Game 1: Friday, June 21
Tampa Bay 7Final
in 10
Colorado 8
Game 2: Saturday, June 22
Tampa Bay 5Final
in 11
Colorado 6
Game 3: Sunday, June 23
Tampa Bay 5Final
Colorado 6

Devil Rays 5

(24-49, 11-28 away)

Rockies 6

(37-38, 25-16 home)

    3:05 PM ET, June 23, 2002

    Coors Field, Denver, Colorado 

    123456789 R H E
    TB 000131000 5 - -
    COL 30200010 - 6 - -

    W: R. White (2-5)

    L: J. Kennedy (5-6)

    S: J. Jimenez (19)

    Zeile continues to contribute to Rockies' cause

    DENVER (AP) -- Todd Zeile has quieted the criticism the Colorado Rockies received when they acquired him in the offseason.

    Todd Zeile

    Zeile hit a three-run homer and Todd Helton went 3-for-4 and scored two runs to lead the Rockies to a 6-5 victory Sunday and a three-game sweep of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

    After struggling last season with the Mets, Zeile has been a valuable contributor as Jeff Cirillo's replacement in Colorado.

    ''I heard it and the skepticism was justified at the time because I was 36 years old and I was coming off an in-season injury and offseason surgery and I had a down year production wise,'' Zeile said. ''I felt confident the surgery and my desire was good to make this all good for everyone involved."

    He's done just that, hitting .296 with 12 homers and 47 RBI.

    ''Look at his numbers,'' Colorado manager Clint Hurdle said. ''He has been all we could have asked for and he backs up Larry Walker and Todd Helton.''

    Zeile hit a three-run homer in the first inning as the Rockies broke out to an early 5-0 lead and won their fourth consecutive game.

    ''The productivity I've been able to muster this year is largely due to the surgery,'' said Zeile, who had surgery to remove a large spur and a couple of bone chips from his elbow. ''I couldn't extend the elbow at all last year now I can finally extend again.''

    After the Devil Rays rallied to tie the game at 5, Mark Little hit a run-scoring single off Joe Kennedy (5-6) in the seventh inning to give Colorado the lead for good.

    Rick White (2-5) pitched a scoreless seventh for the victory. Jose Jimenez pitched a perfect ninth for his 19th save of the season and 60th in his Rockies' career, tying Bruce Ruffin for the franchise record.

    ''This is a six-run park, one you have to score about that many to win,'' Tampa Bay manager Hal McRae said. ''The key is not to shut them down, but to pitch better than they do and we got a good enough outing from Joe to do that.''

    Jason Conti 2-for-3 with two RBI and Steve Cox had three hits and an RBI for Tampa Bay, which lost its third in a row. Kennedy pitched a nine-hitter for his third complete game of the season. He had two hits and his first career RBI.

    The Rockies took a 3-0 lead in the first when Zeile's drive hit off the top of the center-field fence and bounced over for a three-run homer. Colorado added two runs in the third on a throwing error by catcher John Flaherty and a run-scoring double by Terry Shumpert.

    Kennedy began Tampa Bay's comeback with a two-out, run-scoring single in the fourth against Jason Jennings.

    The Devil Rays added three runs in the fifth. With runners on first and second and no outs, Ben Grieve hit a grounder to Helton at first base. Helton threw to shortstop Juan Uribe, but Uribe's relay to first hit off Jennings' glove and went into right field for a run-scoring error.

    Conti added a two-run single with two outs to make it 5-4.

    The Devil Rays took advantage of another error to tie the game in the sixth inning. Brent Abernathy reached second on a throwing error by Uribe and scored on Cox's single.

    Colorado went back ahead with an unearned run in the seventh. Juan Pierre reached on a fielder's choice and went to third on Kennedy's wild pickoff throw. Little then singled to give the Rockies the lead.

    ''Pierre has 26 stolen bases or something like that, and I went over when I saw him leading off,'' Kennedy said. ''I tried to hurry up and I hurried a little too fast.''

    Jennings allowed four runs and nine hits in five innings.

    Game notes

    Tampa Bay outfielder Greg Vaughn will have his bruised right shoulder examined when the team returns home Monday. Vaughn injured the shoulder when he crashed into the left-field wall attempting to catch Larry Walker homer in the fifth inning of the game Saturday. ... Devil Rays outfielder Randy Winn leads the majors with 27 hits in interleague games. ... Colorado outfielder Todd Hollandsworth had his 11-game hitting streak snapped. ... The Rockies used seven right-handed batters against Kennedy. Colorado completed it fifth, three-game series sweep, all at home.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press