<
>

Kennedy strikes out seven

DENVER (AP) -- Joe Kennedy is reaping the rewards for taking a
simpler approach to pitching.

Kennedy pitched seven strong innings, Vinny Castilla homered and
drove in two runs and the Colorado Rockies ended the Los Angeles
Dodgers' five-game winning streak with a 7-1 victory Tuesday night.

"Last year I thought about a lot more things than this year,"
Kennedy said. "I am just going out there and taking it pitch by
pitch and not getting too far ahead of myself.

"I kept the ball down and they put up some runs for me,"
Kennedy added. "I was able to settle in, get comfortable and throw
strikes."

Charles Johnson and Jeromy Burnitz hit back-to-back homers in
the second inning as Colorado won for the second time in five
games. Royce Clayton added a two-run single for the Rockies.

Kennedy (2-0) struck out seven and allowed six hits in winning
consecutive starts for the first time since July 30 and Aug. 4,
2002.

"I think it's way too early to say he (Kennedy) has this park
figured out," Colorado manager Clint Hurdle said. "He has been
very consistent, and again, he stayed out in the middle of the
plate, two-seamed his fastball, four-seamed it, he was able to
control their bat speed the entire ball game."

Kazuhisa Ishii lasted only four innings, giving up seven runs
and eight hits for the Dodgers (9-4), who are off to their best
start since they opened the 1981 season 11-2.

"My breaking balls and pitches weren't that bad," Ishii said
after his shortest outing of the year. "I made good pitches and
they hit them."

The Rockies went up 2-0 when Johnson and Burnitz homered leading
off the second. It was Johnson's third career home run off Ishii
(2-1), while Burnitz became the 10th player to hit a home run into
the third deck in right field. Just 21 home runs have reached the
third level.

Colorado extended its lead to 5-0 in the third inning on Todd
Helton's one-out RBI single to left. Castilla followed with a line
home run to left.

Clayton's two-out single to left scored Kit Pellow and Matt
Holliday, who walked leading off the fourth for Colorado.

The Dodgers put two on with consecutive two-out infield singles
in the sixth, but Kennedy got Paul Lo Duca to bounce out to first.

Adrian Beltre homered off Kennedy just inside the foul pole in
right with one out in the seventh to make it 7-1. It was his fifth
homer of the season.

"Just too many runs in the early part of the game," Los
Angeles manager Jim Tracy said. "And too big a mountain to have to
climb over tonight."

Game notes
Beltre has 18 career home runs against Colorado. ... OF
Preston Wilson began rehab a day after having surgery to repair a
torn meniscus in his left knee. ... Colorado began a season-long
12-game homestand. ... Johnson has three career homers off Ishii.