Final

Series: Game 3 of 3

Cleveland won 2-1

Game 1: Friday, June 14
Cleveland 5Final
Colorado 3
Game 2: Saturday, June 15
Cleveland 4Final
Colorado 7
Game 3: Sunday, June 16
Cleveland 5Final
Colorado 4

Indians 5

(34-35, 14-19 away)

Rockies 4

(33-36, 21-14 home)

    3:05 PM ET, June 16, 2002

    Coors Field, Denver, Colorado 

    123456789 R H E
    CLE 001001300 5 - -
    COL 000100300 4 - -

    W: B. Colon (9-4)

    L: D. Neagle (4-4)

    S: B. Wickman (16)

    Rockies' interleague woes continue

    DENVER (AP) -- Given some playing time, John McDonald is starting to feel like a baseball player again.

    Bartolo Colon
    Colon

    McDonald drove in two runs, and Bartolo Colon won for the fourth time in five starts to lead the Cleveland Indians to a 5-4 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Sunday.

    McDonald had played just 18 games this season before second baseman Ricky Gutierrez went out Thursday with a strained groin. In three starts against Colorado, McDonald was 5-for-12 with two doubles, two triples and four RBI.

    "I've been able to feel little more comfortable being in the last couple of days and I think it's helped me relax a little bit,'' said McDonald, who had one career extra base hit before the Colorado series.

    "I'm starting to feel more like a baseball player rather than someone who just gets a chance fill in sometimes. It's tough to feel comfortable when you don't get that many at-bats.''

    McDonald scored Cleveland's first run in the third inning after tripling with one out, then put the Indians up 4-1 in the seventh with a two-run double off Colorado starter Denny Neagle (4-4).

    McDonald finished 2-for-4 and scored twice after being a homer short of hitting for the cycle Friday night.

    "This indicates that he can be a better hitter,'' said Cleveland manager Charlie Manuel, whose team has won four of six overall and six of nine on the road. "One of the things about baseball is your durability and strength. Those are the things he has to prove.''

    Colorado has lost seven of nine interleague games this season and 16 of 19 the past two years. The Rockies have lost 10 of 13 overall to fall three games under .500, and haven't won a series since taking two of three from San Francisco May 31-June 2.

    "We battled and got close and it came down to the last swing of the bat,'' Colorado manager Clint Hurdle said. "We were still hanging in there. We are getting better. We still have to get better, but we are getting better.''

    Colon (9-4) kept the Rockies off-balance with a fastball that reached 98 mph and a hard-breaking slider. He allowed three runs -- two earned -- and seven hits in 6 2-3 innings.

    Colon also struck out eight for his sixth win in seven decisions and had a bunt single in the seventh inning, the second hit of his career.

    "I've been working on bunting, but I was lucky to get the bunt down,'' Colon said through an interpreter. "He left a pitch away and I put it right on the line.''

    Omar Vizquel followed McDonald's two-run double in the seventh with a sacrifice fly that put the Indians up 5-1, but Colorado answered with three runs in the bottom half of the inning.

    Juan Pierre scored from second on an infield hit by Brent Butler that made it 5-2, then Larry Walker cut the margin to one with a two-run homer to left.

    It was Walker's 14th homer of the season and his third in three games. He was also Walker's 490th extra-base hit, a franchise record.

    Colorado had a runner on first with two outs in the ninth, but Bob Wickman earned his 16th save in 17 chances by getting Butler to fly out to right with Walker on deck.

    "We were trying to get around Larry (in the ninth),'' Manuel said. "We seemed to be pitching the ball where he likes it.''

    Neagle was strong early, holding the Indians to three hits in the first five innings, but gave up three straight hits and allowed three runs in the seventh.

    Neagle allowed five runs and eight hits in six innings. He is 0-2 with 15 earned runs allowed in his last three starts and 1-3 with a 4.53 ERA at Coors Field.

    "It's getting frustrating because as a starting pitcher you pride yourself on being able to keep your team in the ballgame and I wasn't able to do that,'' Neagle said. "That's been a recurring theme for me so far this year, and it's something I have to get over, because I've been around too long.''

    Cleveland's Jolbert Cabrera, who arrived an hour before the game after being called up from Triple-A Buffalo, opened the scoring with single in the third inning.

    Gary Bennett tied it in the fourth with a single to right after Todd Hollandsworth singled and reached second on an error by center fielder Milton Bradley.

    Jim Thome put the Indians up 2-1 in the sixth with a sacrifice fly.

    Game notes


    Thome finished the series 1-for-11 with seven strikeouts. ... Colorado has not won an interleague series since July 17-18, 2000, against Oakland. The Rockies are 18-39 against the AL since going 9-7 in 1997. ... Colon has pitched into the sixth inning in 14 of his 15 starts. ... Bradley had two errors after bobbling singles.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

    SPONSORED HEADLINES