<
>

Perez fans 13 to help shut down Rockies

7/7/2002

DENVER (AP) -- When Bruce Bochy looks out on the mound at Oliver Perez, he sees a young Fernando Valenzuela.

The 20 year-old rookie allowed one hit over 6 2-3 innings and
struck out a career-high 13, and Ryan Klesko hit two home runs
Sunday as the San Diego Padres ended a six-game losing streak with
a 7-1 win over the Colorado Rockies.

"He reminds you of Fernando with completely different stuff,''
Padres manager Bochy said. "He loves to compete and he loves to
play baseball.''

Perez (3-1) struck out the side in the second, fifth and sixth
innings in winning for the first time in three starts. He fell two
strikeouts short of the franchise single-game record of 15 set by
Sterling Hitchcock on Aug. 29, 1998, against Montreal and by Fred
Norman on Sept. 17, 1972. He walked five and allowed only Larry
Walker's two-out double in the third inning.

"That is nice being compared to Fernando,'' said Perez, who was
pitching in Double-A until a month ago. "I thought I should have
been up sooner, but I waited for my chance.''

Perez also got his first major league hit in the second inning.

"My only disappointment was the walks and my high pitch
count,'' Perez said. "I want to tighten that up and go deeper into
games.''

Ross Gload singled off Trevor Hoffman in the ninth for the
Rockies only other hit.

Klesko went 2-for-4 with his 16th and 17th home runs of the year
and drove four runs. Ramon Vazquez had four hits for the Padres who
avoided matching their longest losing streak of the year.

Shawn Chacon (3-6) struggled through 5 2-3 innings, allowing
three runs and nine hits in failing to win for his sixth straight
start.

"Oliver Perez was filthy and Jake Peavy threw well last
night,'' Colorado manager Clint Hurdle said. "Neither of them gave
us many opportunities to score and they ought to be excited with
those two arms for years to come.''

Klesko gave San Diego a 1-0 lead in the first inning with a
bases-loaded ground out. The Padres left the bases loaded in the
second, but Klesko extended the lead in the third inning with a
solo home run leading off the third.

"It was actually a pretty good pitch,'' Klesko said. "It was
down and out in the outside corner.''

San Diego extended its lead to 3-0 in the sixth. Deivi Cruz
doubled to right to lead off the inning and Jimenez hit a two-out
RBI single to right.

Klesko made it 4-0 with his second homer of the game in the
seventh inning. The Padres had a three-run eighth inning that
included Klesko being hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.

"This was a nice win, but I'm glad the road is trip over
with,'' Bochy said of the 2-9 trip. "I want to put the whole first
half behind us and move ahead.''

Game notes
The Padres have lost seven straight series. ... Mark Kotsay
reached in the first inning when second base umpire Jay Klemm
kicked the ball into right field. ... Klesko has 18 two-homer games
in his career. ... Vazquez had his first four-hit game of the year.
... LHP Denny Neagle made his first relief appearance since Oct.
1,2000. ... All-Star Todd Helton was out with soreness in his lower
back. ... Prior to the game, the Rockies held a one-hour Family Day
on the field. ... Colorado closer Jose Jimenez turned 29.