Rockies' rally snaps five-game skid


SEATTLE (AP) -- Kazuhiro Sasaki couldn't quite get excited about
the All-Star Game, because this was a rare occasion when he just
didn't feel like one.

Seattle's star closer allowed only his second and third earned
runs all season Sunday as the Colorado Rockies came back in the ninth inning to beat the Mariners 4-3.

Sasaki (2-2) blew only his fourth save opportunity in 22
attempts and Seattle had its five-game winning streak snapped on
the day Sasaki and teammates Ichiro Suzuki and Freddy Garcia were
picked for the AL All-Star team.

"This should have been a happy day because I was picked for the
All-Star game,'' Sasaki said. "I'm just thinking about the loss
today and I'm feeling really bad.''

Todd Hollandsworth hit a game-tying double in the ninth and Todd
Zeile scored the winning run on a sacrifice fly for Colorado. The
Rockies snapped a five-game losing streak and avoided being swept
by the Mariners for the first time ever.

"Getting swept here would not have been good,'' said first
baseman Todd Helton, who went 2-for-5 in his first game back after
missing two games with a strained back.

Larry Walker had a season-high four hits and Justin Speier (3-0)
pitched the eighth, giving up a walk. He was also called for a
balk. Jose Jimenez worked the ninth for his 21st save in 23

Walker led off the ninth with a double, went to third on
Helton's groundout, then scored on Hollandsworth's double. Zeile
walked, went to third on Hollandsworth's double and scored on a
sacrifice fly to left by Bobby Estalella.

Walker surprised himself in the ninth.

"I got sitting on deck and saw his ERA was like
zero-point-three or something like ridiculous,'' he said. "I
wasn't expecting to get anybody on base with what looked like
impossible numbers to hit against.''

Sasaki said he isn't sure what caused his pitches to stay up,
especially the one to Walker, and planned to study tape of his

"He's one of those type of guys who you can't fool him,''
Seattle starter James Baldwin said of Walker. "You hope he hits
the ball at someone.''

The Mariners went ahead in the sixth on home runs by Ruben
Sierra and John Olerud off John Thomson.

"We had the game, we just didn't hold onto it at the end,''
Mariners manager Lou Piniella said.

The Rockies left the bases loaded three times. They had runners
on second and third with no outs in the seventh after a wild pitch
by Arthur Rhodes. Then Olerud, Seattle's first baseman, fell into
the stands to catch a foul by Zeile, and Rhodes struck out

Shigetoshi Hasegawa relieved Rhodes, and intentionally walked
Brent Butler before Estalella flied out to center.

Thomson, making his first career start against Seattle, gave up
five hits with two strikeouts and a walk in six innings.

Baldwin escaped two bases-loaded jams and allowed two runs on 10
hits with three strikeouts and two walks in six innings.

The Mariners took a 1-0 lead in the second on Bret Boone's
double that scored Edgar Martinez from third. Martinez doubled to
leadoff the inning and finished 1-for-4 in his fourth game back
full-time after surgery on his left hamstring April 13.

Colorado tied the game in the fourth on a double by Brent Butler
that went to the corner in left and scored Hollandsworth from
first. The Rockies went ahead 2-1 when Butler came home on a single
by Juan Pierre.

After Pierre flied out to right to start the game, Baldwin gave
up singles to Terry Shumpert, Walker and Helton to load the bases.
Shumpert was thrown out at the plate as Zeile went to first on a
fielder's choice. Baldwin then struck out Hollandsworth to end the

"We thickened the plot as thick as we could make it,'' Colorado
manager Clint Hurdle said.

Game notes
The Mariners finished interleague play 11-7. The Rockies
were 7-11, including 2-7 on the road. ... Seattle 3B Jeff Cirillo
was struck out by Denny Stark in the seventh -- the player traded
for him in the offseason. ... The Mariners are 55-47 since
interleague began in 1997. The Rockies are 32-50. ... The Mariners'
bullpen gave up its first run in 17 2-3 innings. ... Colorado won
its first game when trailing after eight innings on the road and is
now 1-26 on the road overall. It was only the second time the
Mariners lost when leading after eight innings. They're 43-2 in
that situation.