Rockies 4, Giants 1

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP)—Shawn Chacon has grown up since last season, and he’s the first to admit it.

It sure shows in his pitching.

Chacon became the first eight-game winner in the National League and also had two hits, leading the Colorado Rockies to a 4-1 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Monday night.

The 25-year-old right-hander already has three more victories than he did in 2002, when he went 5-11 in 21 starts before being optioned to Triple-A Colorado Springs.

“There were a lot of little things,” he said. “I started to focus better, my preparation between starts, watching video, becoming a student of the game. What it comes down to is growing up and maturing.”

Greg Norton homered as the Rockies snapped a seven-game road losing streak and avoided being swept by San Francisco for the fourth time in franchise history.

The Giants saw their five-game winning streak end, losing for the first time on their 12-game homestand.

Both teams begin interleague play Tuesday—the Giants at home against Minnesota and the Rockies at home against Cleveland. Colorado desperately needs to get back to Coors Field; the Rockies are 7-22 on the road this year.

“It’s just important to get a road victory,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “We’ve played them eight games and it’s 4-4. It was important for us to finish on a good note.”

Jason Schmidt (4-2) struck out four of his first eight batters but was outpitched by Chacon (8-2), who won his career-best fourth straight start.

Schmidt, who entered 6-1 in 11 career appearances against the Rockies, is 1-2 in his last six starts. His only win since April 30 came in a 6-0 shutout at Arizona on May 21. He had complete games in his previous two starts.

The right-hander struck out nine and walked only one, allowing seven hits in seven innings.

“I’ve gotten good run support. I can’t complain here,” he said. “It’s always frustrating when you lose.”

Chacon, coming off a combined shutout of the Los Angeles Dodgers on May 28, gave up one run and six hits in seven innings, striking out five and walking four. Jose Jimenez pitched a perfect ninth for his 12th save in 13 chances, his first opportunity since May 15.

Norton hit his first homer of the season off Schmidt in the first, driving an 0-1 pitch over the outstretched glove of Marquis Grissom in center field for a solo shot.

“We have the same agent,” said Norton, from nearby San Leandro. “I like to be able to talk trash to my agent about one of his pitchers.”

Barry Bonds tied it in the bottom half with an RBI single that scored Rich Aurilia, who hit a two-out double.

Jose Hernandez hit his second double in the fourth to drive in a run for Colorado, Norton scored on Preston Wilson’s sacrifice fly in the eighth and pinch-hitter Jay Payton added a two-out RBI double in the ninth.

In the third, an odd passed ball allowed two runners to advance. Chacon’s pitch was never touched by catcher Bobby Estalella, but the ball bounced hard off plate umpire Ed Rapuano’s mask.

Rapuano fell to his knees, and Giants trainer Stan Conte rushed out to check on him. Rapuano remained in the game for two more innings.

Mark Carlson moved behind the plate from first base in the middle of the fifth and Rapuano headed into the umpire’s room. Conte said after the game Rapuano was not seriously hurt.

Chacon intentionally walked Bonds to load the bases, but Benito Santiago lined out to end the third.

J.T. Snow got a lucky infield single in the fourth when a high popup landed between four Colorado players behind the mound.

“J.T. thanked me for it,” third baseman Norton said. “The wind was pushing the ball toward right-center. I should have caught it. I was close enough.”

Pacific Bell Park has been the place for crazy plays this season. Monday marked the third game in three weeks featuring something kooky.

Last week, Giants pinch-runner Ruben Rivera was thrown out at the plate on a ridiculous baserunning blunder in the ninth inning of a 13-inning win. He ran back and forth along the bases, backtracking when he missed second, cutting across the infield grass, then heading for home when he shouldn’t have on a misplay at third.

Two weeks ago, Montreal messed up on a run-scoring infield fly. Catcher Michael Barrett and third baseman Fernando Tatis were chatting with their backs to the plate as Neifi Perez came across with the tying run. The play was ruleda fielder’s choice.


The couple from the most recent version of ABC’s “The Bachelor” attended the game, sitting in the first deck along the first-base line. … Schmidt threw 114 pitches, 75 strikes. Chacon threw 104 pitches, 61 strikes…. No Giant had more than one hit.

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