<
>

Walker's homer keys four-run rally in seventh

DENVER (AP) -- Colorado manager Clint Hurdle went with his gut
feeling instead of playing the averages with the game in the
balance.

It paid off.

Larry Walker hit a two-run homer to cap a four-run seventh after
Todd Jones worked out of a jam in the top of the inning as the
Colorado Rockies beat the Cleveland Indians 7-4 on Saturday night.

With the score tied at 3, Cleveland loaded the bases with one
out in the seventh. Left-hander Jim Thome was up next, but Hurdle
went against conventional thinking by bringing in righty Todd Jones
even though Thome was 8-for-12 with three homers and three doubles
against him.

The gamble worked as Jones (1-1) struck out Thome looking, then
got Milton Bradley to pop out to third to end the inning.

"Jones was due,'' Hurdle said. "I just felt we had a good game
plan on how to go at him (Thome) and fortunately we were able to
pull it off. Jones made the pitches. He did the job.''

The momentum carried over.

Terry Shumpert singled off Chad Paronto (0-2) with one out in
the bottom of the inning, then Mark Little put the Rockies up 4-3
with a triple that landed just inside the right-field foul line.

Juan Uribe followed with a single on the next pitch to put
Colorado up by two, and Walker capped the rally with a two-run shot
to center.

Walker's 13th homer came after an attempted bunt rolled just
foul.

"Thank goodness it went foul,'' said Walker, who tied Dante
Bichette's team record with his 489th extra-base hit. "Fortunately
I got something to hit and out of the park it went.''

Bill Selby cut the lead to 7-4 with an RBI single off Jones in
the eighth, but Jose Jimenez pitched a perfect ninth for his 18th
save in 19 chances.

"We had chances to knock in runs, but we couldn't get the big
hit,'' said Cleveland manager Charlie Manuel, whose team has lost
six of 10 and dropped to 10-16 in interleague games the past two
years. "That was pretty much the story of the game.''

Colorado won for just third time in 12 games overall and the
second time in eight interleague games this season. The Rockies had
lost 15 of 17 against AL teams since last season.

Travis Fryman had the first hit off Colorado starter Shawn
Chacon, a single to center with two outs in the fourth inning, and
put the Indians up 3-2 in the sixth with a three-run homer.

Fryman's sixth homer of the season gave him 1,001 career RBI.
He finished 3-for-3.

Walker had a run-scoring single in the first, and Todd Zeile
made it 2-0 with a sacrifice fly two batters later.

C.C. Sabathia allowed one hit over the next 4 2/3 innings before
Walker singled in the sixth and Zeile knocked him in with a double
to tie it at 3.

Sabathia allowed three runs on five hits in six innings and
singled in the seventh for his first hit in the majors.

"I just was not being aggressive,'' Sabathia said. "I wasn't
getting my fastball over, and when I first came out for the first
inning, my velocity was down. I just had to kick it up a notch and
that was when I started throwing a little better.''

Zeile was 3-for-3, and Walker 3-for-4.

Chacon allowed three or fewer earned runs for the sixth
consecutive start, but got his second straight no-decision after
coming off the disabled list with a strained pectoral muscle.

Chacon, who allowed one hit in six innings against Toronto on
Sunday, mixed his pitches well but struggled with his control at
times.

He walked five, including Sabathia in the fifth while he was
trying to bunt, and left a fastball up in the strike zone that
Fryman hit out in the sixth.

Chacon allowed three runs on three hits in six innings.

"Chacon gave us a good outing,'' Hurdle said. "He's still
cutting some teeth as far as controlling the strike zone. He
pitched fine. He still gave us an opportunity to win a ballgame.''

Game notes
Todd Helton started his 670th career game at first base,
most for the Rockies. ... Colorado 2B Jose Ortiz played for the
first time since straining his left hamstring against Boston on
Wednesday. ... Sabathia has reached the sixth inning in 10 of 14
starts this season. ... Helton was 0-for-4 after five straight
multihit games. ... Sabathia's hit was the first by a Cleveland
pitcher since Bartolo Colon singled July 17, 2001, against Houston.