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Six one-hit innings open experiment

5/6/2004

MONTREAL (AP) -- Joe Kennedy gave the Colorado Rockies' new
four-man rotation a great start.

Kennedy allowed one hit over six scoreless innings and Mark
Sweeney hit a two-run double to lead Colorado over Montreal 2-0
Wednesday night -- the seventh time in 28 games this year the Expos
were shut out.

With a major league-high 6.38 ERA going into the game, Rockies
manager Clint Hurdle already had decided to go with only four
starters for the rest of the month.

Kennedy (4-0) pitched on three days' rest, giving up just Juan
Rivera's single in the second inning.

"It's probably important to get off to a good start when you
have a four-man rotation," Kennedy said. "It will give me a
little more confidence to go out there next time."

Kennedy, whose next scheduled start is Sunday in Chicago, struck
out six and walked two.

"He was a hot knife through butter," Hurdle said.

Sweeney hit for Kennedy in the seventh with runners on first and
second doubled on a 3-2 pitch from Zach Day (2-3) to drive in the
game's only runs.

"As utility guys we want to do our piece and help the team win,
especially that Joe was throwing well," Sweeney said.

Sweeney, who got his 100th career pinch hit Saturday, is hitting
.364 in 11 pinch-hit at-bats with six RBI.

"He's made a living doing that," Hurdle said. "He's got a
hundred hits in front of him before that pinch hit, it's his 101st
and it might have been one of the biggest ones. I have a lot more
confidence in him hitting there than I did Kennedy."

Kennedy and relievers Tim Harikkala, Brian Fuentes, Victor Nunez
and Shawn Chacon combined to hold Montreal to five hits. The Expo
have scored a major league-low 65 runs.

"You get a little sick to your stomach the way things have been
going," Day said.

The Expos loaded the bases with one out in the eighth, but Nunez
got Tony Batista to pop out and Brad Wilkerson to fly out.

Chacon allowed back-to-back singles to Juan Rivera and Terrmel
Sledge to begin the ninth. He struck out the next two batters
before getting Endy Chavez to fly to left for his seventh save in
eight chances.

"It's not how many hits you get, it's when you get them,"
Expos manager Frank Robinson said. "We were kind of shut down
tonight but we still had opportunities to win the ballgame and we
just didn't come through."

Only 3,609 were on hand as, for the second straight night,
Montreal drew its smallest crowd since Sept. 5, 2002, when 2,134
showed up at Olympic Stadium.

Day scattered five hits while holding the Rockies scoreless
until the seventh.

Matt Holliday hit a one-out double and Brad Hawpe was walked
intentionally. Sweeney hit a drive over center fielder Endy
Chavez's leaping attempt.

"I knew (Kennedy) was pitching a great game, a one-hitter,"
Sweeney said. "If no one's on, he's hitting there. Day didn't give
me much to hit in the at-bat. I was just trying to see a strike and
drive the ball. I was looking for something elevated."

Chavez led off the first with the first of three straight bunts
by Montreal and reached on an error by second baseman Aaron Miles.

Jose Vidro sacrificed Chavez to second before Orlando Cabrera
also bunted and was thrown out.

Asked how he reacted to Cabrera's decision to bunt in that
situation, Kennedy said simply, "Thank you."

Game notes
The Rockies have not been shut out this season. Montreal
has pitched two shutouts. ... The Expos have scored two or fewer in
17 games. ... Several games in the Triple-A International League
drew more fans than the Expos. Crowds at Toledo (7,888), Buffalo
(5,447) and Richmond (5,114) were among those that topped them.