Rockies' Coors Field Shutout Streak Ends

Friday, September 19th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

The Colorado Rockies can begin another streak in their next game _ if they score a run.

For more than four years, they could count on the thin air and wide-open spaces at Coors Field to help them score at least one.

Not Thursday night, when the Rockies were shut out for the first time in 362 consecutive games.

Wade Miller, Octavio Dotel and Mike Gallo combined on a three-hitter as Houston won 6-0. Jeff Bagwell homered and drove in three runs as the Astros moved a game ahead of the idle Cubs in the NL Central.

``You've got to give their pitchers some credit,'' Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. ``We had shots in the first, the third and the seventh and we weren't able to convert. Opportunities against good pitchers don't come around very often.''

In other NL games, it was Los Angeles 2, Arizona 0; Philadelphia 5, Florida 4; San Diego 7, San Francisco 3; Pittsburgh 7, Cincinnati 0; St. Louis 13, Milwaukee 0 and Montreal 1, New York 0.

The last time the Rockies were shut out at home was when San Diego's Andy Ashby pitched a six-hitter on July 4, 1999.

Before Colorado, the post-1900 record was held by the New York Yankees. They scored in 233 straight home games from 1930-33, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, baseball's statistician.

``I wasn't aware of the streak,'' Miller said. ``They told me afterward. Sure, it's nice. But the thing is, we needed a win here to go back up by a game over Chicago. We have only 10 games left now, so every one is important.''

The Astros jumped out to a three-run lead in the first, on RBI singles off Jose Jimenez by Lance Berkman and Brad Ausmus.

Jimenez (2-9) gave up eight hits in six innings.

``It was very critical for us to win the series,'' Bagwell said. ``The last couple of weeks we've been talking about just winning each series we play. If we win all of our series and we don't win the division, then we didn't deserve it.''

Miller (14-12) gave up hits to Todd Helton and Jay Payton before he walked two straight with one out in the seventh. Miller walked five and struck out seven.

Dotel came on to get pinch-hitter Mark Sweeney on a double-play grounder and Gallo pitched a perfect ninth.

``We've been able to put up at least a run at home every night, someway, somehow,'' Hurdle said. ``We don't have to worry about that now, do we?''

Dodgers 2, Diamondbacks 0

At Los Angeles, Eric Gagne nearly blew a save, but instead got his first two-inning save of the season when the potential tying run was thrown out at the plate on Steve Finley's double.

He combined with Wilson Alvarez (6-1) on a seven-hitter, and Robin Ventura homered

The Dodgers are 2 1/2 games behind Florida in the NL wild-card race. Los Angeles plays seven of its final 11 games against NL West champion San Francisco, beginning Friday at home.

It was Gagne's 52nd consecutive save this season, and his major league-record 60th in a row dating to Aug. 28, 2002.

Miguel Batista (10-9) gave up one run on four hits in seven innings.

Phillies 5, Marlins 4

At Philadelphia, the Phillies rallied against Dontrelle Willis and beat Florida behind Jim Thome's tiebreaking homer in the eighth.

The Phillies pulled within a half-game of the Marlins for the NL wild-card lead.

The win also clinched the NL East for Atlanta, the Braves' 12th straight division title.

Rheal Cormier (7-0) pitched two shutout innings. Chad Fox (2-1) took the loss.

Padres 7, Giants 3

At San Francisco, Gary Matthews Jr. hit a two-run double and San Diego avoided a four-game sweep by San Francisco with a win over a Giants lineup of all reserves.

The Giants clinched the NL West title Wednesday night and manager Felipe Alou gave all of his regulars a day of rest.

Sidney Ponson (3-5) was tagged for a season-high 11 hits.

Jake Peavy (12-11) pitched 6 1-3 solid innings for the Padres, who ended a six-game losing streak.

Pirates 7, Reds 0

At Pittsburgh, Kip Wells retired his first 17 batters and combined with Brian Meadows on a three-hitter to lead Pittsburgh over Cincinnati.

Wells (9-8) didn't allow a hit until there were two outs in the sixth, when Reds reliever Scott Randall (2-3) singled to right in his first major league at-bat.

Wells allowed two hits in seven innings, struck out four and walked two.

Cardinals 13, Brewers 0

At St. Louis, Edgar Renteria had four hits and five RBIs, and Woody Williams rebounded from his worst start of the year to combine on a three-hitter.

The Cardinals won three of four against the Brewers but remained five games behind Houston, the NL Central leader, with eight games to go.

Williams (16-9) set a career best for victories, topping his 15-win season in 2001 for the Padres and Cardinals. He left the bases loaded in the second, falling behind 3-1 on pitcher Matt Kinney (10-12) before getting an inning-ending groundout on a 3-2 pitch.

Expos 1, Mets 0

At New York, Javier Vazquez struck out 12, and Todd Zeile homered for Montreal.

Vazquez (13-11) allowed three hits in seven innings, outpitching Steve Trachsel to help the Expos retain their slim mathematical chance at the NL wild card.

Trachsel (15-10) retired his first six batters on 23 pitches before Zeile's homer. He allowed seven hits in eight innings with seven strikeouts and two walks.