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

"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

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).