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Sexson cancels out Greene's HR

4/9/2004

PHOENIX (AP) -- The Arizona Diamondbacks needed a power surge, so
they brought Richie Sexson to town.

Three games into the season, he provided a big-time jolt when
the Diamondbacks needed it most.

The big first baseman hit a two-run home run in the 11th inning
Thursday night to give Arizona a 6-5 victory over the Colorado
Rockies.

"Ideally we'll see a whole lot of that this summer,"
Diamondbacks manager Bob Brenly said. "That's why we brought
Richie over here. Boy, when he catches one, it's a sight to
behold."

Sexson hit a 1-0 pitch from Shawn Chacon (0-1) 434 feet onto the
Bank One Ballpark concourse in left-center, his second homer of the
season.

"Fortunately I got a good pitch to hit right there," Sexson
said. "I was just trying to stay through the middle of the field
and get a fly ball. I got a little extra wood on it and it carried
out of there. I hit it pretty good, you know."

Chacon made the NL All-Star team as a Colorado starter last
season, but was converted to closer this year. Thursday was his
first save opportunity.

"It wasn't exactly how I pictured it," he said. "I just take
this first one and learn from it. I got beat. It's probably not the
last time it's going to happen, but it ain't going to happen all
the time. I'll tell you that right now."

Colorado had taken a 5-4 lead in the top of the 11th on Todd
Greene's leadoff homer, his third RBI of the game.

Matt Kata led off the 11th with his third single in five at
bats. He advanced to second on a wild pitch, then took third on
Luis Gonzalez's fly out. Kata threw his hands up in a victory
celebration as soon as the ball left Sexson's bat.

"I think he hits the ball as hard as I've seen anybody hit the
ball," Kata said. "You guys have been out there for his batting
practice. I mean, it's stupid. That's why he's here. He's dangerous
in the lineup."

The Rockies lost two of three and have not won a series at
Arizona in five years.

Greene, who had a pair of RBI singles, hit a 2-2 pitch from
Stephen Randolph (1-0) -- Arizona's sixth pitcher of the night --
that bounced off a table just over the fence in front of the
swimming pool in right.

Bobby Estalella hit a three-run homer in his first Arizona
at-bat, and Shea Hillenbrand had a solo shot for the Diamondbacks.

"We just got victimized by the long ball tonight," Rockies
manager Clint Hurdle said. "All six of their runs were off home
runs. We played well."

Preston Wilson was 3-for-5 with two RBI and a double for
Colorado.

Colorado broke a 3-all tie in the seventh. Pinch-hitter Rene
Reyes walked, was sacrificed to second by Aaron Miles, then moved
to third on Royce Clayton's bunt single down the third-base line.

Left-hander Randy Choate relieved righty Mike Koplove and struck
out Todd Helton, but Wilson singled on an 0-2 pitch to bring in the
go-ahead run.

The lead didn't last long. Hillenbrand's leadoff home run of
Turk Wendell in the Arizona half of the seventh tied it at 4-4.

Arizona went up 3-0 in the second when Sexson walked, Danny
Bautista doubled with two outs and Estalella hit starter Joe
Kennedy's 1-1 pitch high and just over the left-field fence.

Elmer Dessens held the Rockies hitless through three innings,
but Colorado scored two unearned runs in the fourth. Clayton
singled up the middle, then second baseman Kata's fielding error on
Helton's hard grounder put runners at first and third with no outs.

Wilson's RBI single cut the lead to 3-1. Burnitz struck out and
Vinny Castilla flew out, but Greene's single brought home Helton to
make it 3-2. Denny Hocking struck out to end the inning.

Colorado tied it at 3 in the sixth. Wilson doubled off the
center-field wall, and Jeromy Burnitz singled to right. The right
fielder Bautista fielded the ball and fired toward home. Sexson cut
the throw off at first, then tagged Burnitz, who had overrun the
base, for the second out. But Castilla walked, then Greene's RBI
single ended Dessens' night.

Arizona ended the Colorado ninth and 10th with double plays.

Game notes
Castilla caught Gonzalez's foul ball while running down the
steps of the Arizona dugout to end the eighth. ... The Rockies have
not won a series at Arizona since May 14-16, 1999. ... Kennedy is
0-9 in his last 24 appearances. His last victory was on May 13,
2003, for Tampa Bay against Toronto. ... Dessens pitched in the
Mexican League last winter in an attempt to improve his endurance
so he could pitch later into games.