Rockies 7, Braves 6, 12 Innings

Wednesday, August 23rd 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

DENVER (AP) — Brent Mayne became the first position player to be a winning pitcher since 1968, working a scoreless inning Tuesday night as the Colorado Rockies beat the Atlanta Braves 7-6 in 12 innings.

Mayne, a catcher, was called on for his first major league pitching appearance after the Rockies ran out of relievers.

Mayne wound up as the first major league position player with a win since outfielder Rocky Colavito threw 2 2-3 shutout innings for the New York Yankees against Detroit on Aug. 25, 1968. The last NL position player to get a win had been Pittsburgh second baseman Johnny O'Brien on July 3, 1956, against Philadelphia.

Adam Melhuse's first career hit, an RBI single with two outs in the 12th, won it. Melhuse pinch-hit with the bases loaded for Mayne, who was unable to bat because of a sore left wrist.

Mayne (1-0), was the first position player to pitch for the Rockies, who started play in 1993. John Rocker (1-1) took the loss.

Colorado used 10 pitchers, tying the NL record set by the Chicago Cubs against Pittsburgh in a 17-inning game that began on April 20, 1986, and was finished that Aug. 11.

Mayne shook off signs and made pickoff throws, just like a real pitcher. His first batter, in a bit of irony, was pitcher Tom Glavine, who pinch-hit for reliever Scott Kamieniecki.

After bouncing a two-strike pitch behind Glavine, Mayne got him on a comebacker. Walt Weiss flied out to center and Rafael Furcal singled.

Furcal moved up on a wild pitch and, after a walk to Jones, Chipper Jones hit a routine grounder to third for the final out — completing one of the most unlikely pitching performances ever at Coors Field.

Mayne, 32, has been in the majors since 1990. He received hearty congratulations after retiring Chipper Jones — the reigning NL MVP — and got hugs and handshakes once the Rockies won.

Rocker entered the game in the bottom of the 12th and Neifi Perez singled. Todd Helton, who went 1-for-4 and dropped his average to .397, then singled to right, with Perez taking third.

Jeffrey Hammonds hit a soft liner to short center and Andruw Jones, playing in, made the catch as Perez held.

Stan Belinda relieved struck out Terry Shumpert, then intentionally walked Jeff Cirillo. Melhuse, 0-for-6 in his career, singled to left on the first pitch to drive in Perez with the winning run.

Before Mayne, the last position player to get a decision as pitcher was Los Angeles third baseman Jeff Hamilton, who took the loss as the Dodgers were defeated in a 22-inning game at Houston on June 3, 1989.

In the 11th, there was a brawl after Andres Galarraga, who spent five seasons in Colorado, charged the mound after being hit in the shoulder by Rockies reliever John Wasdin on a 3-2 pitch.

Galarraga was slowly walking toward first base when Wasdin gestured at him. Galarraga rushed Wasdin, and the benches emptied.

Wasdin, Galarraga and Rockies manager Buddy Bell were ejected.

Chipper Jones went 3-for-6 and hit his fourth homer in three games for the Braves.

The Braves escaped a ninth-inning jam by intentionally walking Helton with two outs and runners at first and third. The strategy worked as Kerry Ligtenberg got Hammonds to foul out.

Notes: Colorado OF Juan Pierre extended his hitting streak to 15 games, the longest to open a major league career in at least 25 years, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. ... Braves leadoff hitter Furcal went 1-for-6 and is 3-for-32 in his last seven games. ... Before the game, the Rockies traded LHP Scott Karl and cash to the Anaheim Angels for a player to be named.