MILWAUKEE (AP) -- It was just another frustrating chapter in Mike Hampton's disappointing season.
Hampton couldn't protect a three-run lead, allowing a
tiebreaking, two-run single to Ronnie Belliard in the sixth inning
as the Milwaukee Brewers completed their first series sweep against
Colorado with a 5-3 victory Sunday. Hampton (5-13), who signed an eight-year, $121 million contract
with Colorado before the 2001 season, lost his fourth straight
decision. He gave up five runs and nine hits in six innings,
raising his ERA to 6.87. "The team gave me a 3-0 lead, and that should have been
enough,'' Hampton said. "Three was plenty. ... I made stupid
pitches and it cost us the game. "It's nobody's fault but my own.'' Hampton had a 3-2 lead with two outs and nobody on in the sixth
inning before the Brewers rallied. Jose Hernandez singled and scored on Izzy Alcantara's double.
After an intentional walk to Robert Machado, pinch-hitter Jeffrey
Hammonds walked to load the bases. Belliard then singled to left to score two runs. Hammonds was
caught between second and third to end the inning, but the Brewers
had the lead for good. Ryan Thompson belted a 437-foot home run in the fourth after
Hernandez singled to give Milwaukee its first two runs. "He got one pitch up that Thompson hammered,'' Rockies manager
Clint Hurdle said. "Other than that he pitched pretty well, but he
couldn't get out of the sixth inning.'' The Brewers, who have the worst record in the National League,
won their fourth straight game to improve to 38-67 on the season. The game matched two of the worst starters in the NL in Hampton
and Milwaukee's Jamey Wright, who has a 6.52 ERA. The two starters managed only one perfect inning between them,
by Wright in the fifth. But they were aided by five double plays
from their defenses. Milwaukee turned infield double plays in the
first, second and fourth innings to help Wright, who had lost four
straight decisions. "The difference in (Wright's) performance today as opposed to
some of his recent performances is that he trusted his sinker,''
Milwaukee manager Jerry Royster said. "Threw it when he was
supposed to, when he needed a double play. That's what they were
putting in play, he got it.'' Wright (3-10) allowed three runs and eight hits in six innings.
Mike DeJean pitched the ninth for his 17th save in his second
outing since being fined for his blowup on the mound with Royster. The Rockies threatened in the seventh by putting runners on
first and third with one out. NL batting leader Larry Walker lined
out to Alex Ochoa in right and Mark Little was thrown out at the
plate. After Walker's 22nd homer in the first gave Colorado a 1-0 lead,
the Rockies added two more in the third.
Gary Bennett was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and
Hampton singled. Juan Pierre followed with his second bunt single
of the game to load the bases. Brent Butler and Todd Helton hit
sacrifice flies to make it 3-0.
Hampton was 1-for-2 with a third-inning single to raise his
batting average to .363 (16-for-44). ... Milwaukee's Richie Sexson
was 2-for-4 and is 11-for-15 in the last four games. ... Milwaukee
goes to Atlanta on Tuesday with a chance to match its longest
winning streak of the season.