Series: Game 3 of 4

Colorado leads 2-1 (as of 7/2)

Game 1: Monday, June 30
in 12
Game 2: Tuesday, July 1
Game 3: Wednesday, July 2
Game 4: Thursday, July 3

Diamondbacks 2

(45-38, 21-20 away)

Rockies 6

(44-42, 31-14 home)

    8:05 PM ET, July 2, 2003

    Coors Field, Denver, Colorado 

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    W: J. Jennings (8-6)

    L: J. Patterson (1-4)

    S: B. Fuentes (1)

    Jennings wins for fifth time in past six starts

    DENVER (AP) -- Jason Jennings is finally starting to resemble the pitcher who was the NL's Rookie of the Year in 2002.

    Jennings allowed only two hits in 6 2-3 scoreless innings, Jay Payton had three RBI and the Colorado Rockies beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 6-2 Wednesday night.

    Jennings (8-6) walked four and struck out three to win for the fifth time in his last six starts.

    "I still don't see the command I saw last year," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said, "but he's getting results. He set the bar pretty high in his rookie season. We've got to be realistic about it. It's only his second year in the big leagues, and his record speaks for itself."

    Despite control problems, Jennings repeatedly made a key pitch when he needed it.

    "I tried to be aggressive," Jennings said. "I've gotten into trouble lately just being too picky around the zone and nibbling too much early in the count. For the most part, I was able to keep guys off base.

    "With our bullpen working so hard lately, I knew I needed to eat up as many innings as possible. Getting into the seventh, I'm more proud of that than I am the actual result of the game."

    The two Arizona hits off Jennings were a leadoff double by Luis Gonzalez in the second inning and a single by Steve Finley in the third. It extended Finley's hitting streak to 13 games.

    Finley added a solo homer off Javier Lopez in the eighth.

    Colorado's Todd Helton singled in the third to extend his hitting streak to 17 games, a personal best.

    Payton had an RBI double in the second, an RBI single in the fifth and a run-scoring single in the seventh.

    "Payton is a slasher at the plate," Hurdle said. "He's hit wherever we've used him. We've asked him to hit second and sixth. The RBI opportunities weren't there for him hitting second. So we moved him to sixth, which I think is a more comfortable fit for him and for us."

    After the game, Hurdle said the Rockies were changing their closer situation, moving Jose Jimenez into a setup role and using Brian Fuentes and Justin Speier as co-closers.

    Arizona's Matt Kata drove in a run with a bases-loaded single in the ninth, but Fuentes got the last two outs for his first career save in three opportunities.

    John Patterson (1-4) went six innings, allowing seven hits and three runs as Arizona lost its second straight game following a 12-game winning streak that was the longest in the majors this season.

    "Jennings was mighty good," Diamondbacks manager Bob Brenly said. "He pounded the hard sinker down in the zone early in the game and seemed to find his slider around the third inning. There wasn't much we could do with him."

    Gonzalez said Jennings "made some good pitches on me."

    Larry Walker and Payton had back-to-back doubles in the second to put Colorado ahead 1-0.

    Both teams loaded the bases in the third but failed to score.

    With two outs, the Diamondbacks had a single and two walks, but Jennings retired Gonzalez on a fly ball. Also with two outs, the Rockies had a single and two walks, but Walker popped out.

    Colorado made it 3-0 in the fifth. Ronnie Belliard singled and, with two outs, scored on Preston Wilson's double into the left-field corner. After Walker was intentionally walked, Payton lined an RBI single.

    Colorado scored three runs -- one earned -- in the seventh. Walker doubled with two outs and scored on Payton's third hit. Chris Stynes walked and a throwing error by third baseman Shea Hillenbrand allowed a run to score.

    Lopez followed with a single -- his first major league hit and RBI.

    Game notes

    LHP Randy Johnson's rehab start scheduled for Thursday in Tucson has been postponed indefinitely. The Diamondbacks want Johnson, who has been on the DL since April 28 following arthroscopic surgery on his right knee, to spend more time doing agility work before he returns to the mound. ... RHP Curt Schilling (broken right hand) began his rehab assignment Wednesday night with Triple-A Tucson, going four innings and allowing four hits and two runs with one walk and six strikeouts. He threw 76 pitches. ... Arizona's Carlos Baerga singled in the ninth inning for the 1,500th hit of his career. ... The Rockies recalled RHP Jason Young from Triple-A Colorado Springs and optioned OF Ben Petrick to Colorado Springs. ... 2B Kata made a diving stop to throw out Jennings in the fourth and save a run. ... A Fireworks Night crowd of 47,032 was the Rockies' second-largest of the season, trailing only the home opener (48,087).

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press