Series: Game 1 of 4

Colorado leads 1-0 (as of 4/14)

Game 1: Monday, April 14
Game 2: Tuesday, April 15
Game 3: Wednesday, April 16
Game 4: Thursday, April 17

Rockies 5

(8-5, 3-4 away)

Diamondbacks 3

(3-10, 2-5 home)

    9:35 PM ET, April 14, 2003

    Chase Field, Phoenix, Arizona 

    123456789 R H E
    COL 010000301 5 10 0
    ARI 000000003 3 10 1

    W: N. Cruz (3-0)

    L: B. Kim (0-3)

    S: J. Jimenez (4)

    Walker breaks into homer column -- twice

    PHOENIX (AP) -- The Arizona Diamondbacks wanted Larry Walker in the offseason. He reminded everyone why on Monday night.

    Larry Walker

    The Colorado slugger drove in four runs with his first two homers of the season and Nelson Cruz became the fourth Colorado pitcher to win three games in April as the Rockies beat the Diamondbacks 5-3.

    Walker has struggled at the plate early in the season, and had struck out twice before his three-run homer put Colorado up 4-0 in the seventh inning.

    There were scattered boos when he came to the plate as fans remembered that he and Arizona's Matt Williams vetoed a trade that would have brought Walker to the Diamondbacks. Walker said he has no ill feelings against Arizona.

    "Arizona's another team we've got to beat in order to get where we want to go,'' he said. "I don't come in with a vendetta because this didn't happen or that didn't happen or this was said in the offseason.''

    He was, however, motivated by his own discomfort.

    "I've just been absolutely lost at the plate,'' Walker said. "It's been like bringing marbles up there right now. It's tough to see it, tough to hit them. I want it to be back to beach balls or softballs or something.''

    Cruz (3-0), who was supposed to be Colorado's long reliever but moved into the rotation because of injuries to Denny Neagle and Denny Stark, scattered four hits in 5 2/3 scoreless innings. Cruz is making a strong case that his move to the rotation should be more than just a stopgap measure.

    "He pretty much put his foot down tonight,'' Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. "He's bought some time.''

    The 30-year-old right-hander struck out three and walked three in a tough pitching matchup with Arizona's Byung-Hyun Kim.

    "I know what I can do,'' Cruz said, "and I'm happy that they see I'm more than a one-inning guy.''

    Diamondbacks rookie Lyle Overbay homered leading off the ninth against Dan Miceli to ruin the shutout bid before Jose Jimenez came on to get two outs for his fourth save in as many chances.

    Craig Counsell added an RBI single and pinch-hitter Mark Grace had a sacrifice fly, but Jimenez struck out Steve Finley with the bases loaded to end it.

    Kim (0-3), Arizona's closer before this season, gave up one run -- Preston Wilson's solo homer -- on five hits through six innings before leaving with a bruised right shin. He was struck in the shin by a piece of Wilson's broken bat on a groundout leading off the sixth.

    Kim hopped around in pain, but finished the inning. He left the game after he experienced swelling in the shin on the Arizona bench. In his home debut as a starter, Kim struck out six and walked two.

    Manager Bob Brenly said the preliminary diagnosis was a deep bruise. It wasn't known whether Kim would be able to make his next scheduled start on Saturday.

    Reliever Oscar Villarreal gave up a leadoff single to pinch-hitter Chris Richard in the seventh. Richard advanced to third on a pair of groundouts, then Todd Helton was walked intentionally.

    Rookie left-hander Stephen Randolph came on to pitch to Walker, who smashed an 0-1 pitch 417 feet into the right-field seats to make it 4-0.

    "That's what he's down there for. He's one of our lefties and we just thought that was the best matchup we could get in that situation,'' Brenly said of Randolph. "Of the two lefties, Helton's been swinging the bat better lately, so we took our chances with Walker and got burned.''

    Walker added an opposite-field solo homer off Mike Koplove in the ninth.

    The only other Rockies pitchers to go 3-0 in April were Brian Bohanon in 1999 and Roger Bailey and Mark Thompson in 1997. Bohanon went 4-0 in April. Cruz is the sixth pitcher to win his first three starts in a Colorado uniform.

    Colorado improved to 4-0 against Arizona this season and snapped a nine-game losing streak at Bank One Ballpark. The Diamondbacks fell to 3-10, their worst start since opening the 1998 expansion season 2-13.

    "Guys are going to keep grinding it out,'' Luis Gonzalez said. "Eventually, we're going to turn this thing around, and we'll wind up laughing about this later in the season.''

    Game notes

    Wilson has hit safely in 12 of Colorado's 13 games. ... Overbay extended his hitting streak to seven games and has homered twice. ... Two of Kim's three losses have been to Colorado. ... The Rockies' 8-5 start is their best since 1997. ... The crowd of 25,688 was smaller than for any Arizona home game last season. The franchise low was 23,057 against Florida on April 25, 2001.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press