DENVER (AP) -- Shawn Estes was missing his best pitch and he
still managed to throw another outstanding game at Coors Field.
Estes pitched six shutout innings for his first win since June
24 and Chad Tracy hit a three-run homer to lead the Arizona
Diamondbacks past the Colorado Rockies 7-1 Friday night."My curveball wasn't great tonight," said Estes, who improved
to 12-6 lifetime at Coors Field. "I got a majority of my outs on
my fastball, but I kept them off-balance with my changeup."Estes (7-7) allowed five hits, walked four and struck out two.
The left-hander was activated from the disabled list before the
game -- he had been out since July 6 with a stress fracture in his
right ankle."This is not the ideal place to come back from the DL," Estes
said. "Your body doesn't feel as good out there with the altitude,
you get dehydrated and my body just didn't feel great today."But when you get into the flow of the game and get the
adrenaline going, then that kind of stuff leaves."Troy Glaus and Craig Counsell also connected for the
Diamondbacks, who began the day eight games behind first-place San
Diego in the NL West.The Rockies stranded nine runners in the first six innings
against Estes."Some of it is the pitching," Colorado's Todd Helton said.
"Some of it is us."Rockies starter Byung-Hyun Kim (5-11) matched a career high with
eight strikeouts. He gave up three runs and eight hits in six
innings.Kim was once an effective closer for Arizona. He pitched for the
Diamondbacks from 1999-03.Arizona reliever Brandon Medders, manager Bob Melvin and bench
coach Jay Bell were ejected in the ninth inning after Medders hit
Luis Gonzalez in the back with a pitch.Three times Colorado had two on in an inning with one out and
failed to score. Garrett Atkins walked and Dustan Mohr singled with
none out in the second, but Estes retired the next three batters.Gonzalez, who had three hits, singled and Helton walked with one
out in the third. After a double steal as Matt Holliday struck out,
Atkins tapped weakly back to Estes.The Rockies also left runners at second and third in the sixth.
Estes got pinch-hitters Ryan Shealy to pop out and Todd Greene to
ground out."We couldn't buy a hit when we needed one," Colorado manager
Clint Hurdle said. "We went three games where we got the hit when
we needed it and we haven't been able to get one the last three
games."The Diamondbacks stranded four runners and hit into two double
plays in the first four innings before Tracy's 21st homer in the
fifth.Estes reached on a fielder's choice and Counsell drew a one-out
walk. Tracy followed with a long drive to center."The pitch came back out over the plate a little bit," Tracy
said. "I just tried to put a good bat on it and I hit it pretty
good."The Diamondbacks made it 5-0 in the seventh. Counsell homered
just inside the foul pole in right off Randy Williams, and Jamey
Wright issued a bases-loaded walk to Royce Clayton.The Rockies scored in the eighth against Lance Cormier. Holliday
reached on Tony Clark's error at first base and Atkins doubled to
left. Holliday scored on a groundout.Glaus hit his 31st homer in the ninth and pinch-hitter Alex
Cintron added an RBI double."You have to put a game away and that's what Estes does,"
To clear a roster spot for Estes, Arizona recalled
infielder Jerry Gil from Double-A Tennessee and placed him on the
60-day disabled list. ... Right-hander Dustin Nippert is scheduled
to start for Arizona on Sept. 16 against Colorado. ... Atkins has a
career-high 14-game hitting streak.