Rockies 8, Diamondbacks 2

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PHOENIX (AP)—The Colorado Rockies hit four home runs and were still talking about their defense.

Larry Walker homered and drove in three runs, Vinny Castilla tied a career high by homering in his fourth straight game and the Rockies beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 8-2 Saturday night, their franchise-high 13th straight loss.

Walker also started the first of five double plays—Arizona’s most in a nine-inning game. The Diamondbacks have lost a club-record 10 straight at home and if the Rockies beat Randy Johnson on Sunday, the Diamondbacks will conclude a homestand against Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston and Colorado 0-11.

The Diamondbacks, who haven’t won since beating San Francisco on July 8, are 4-29 since starting an 11-game losing streak June 18 that was a franchise worst until the current skid.

Castilla broke a 1-all tie with his leadoff shot off rookie Lance Cormier in the fourth inning—his fifth homer during the run and 21st of the year. Castilla had a homer in four consecutive games from May 31-June 3, 1998.

He had 46 homers that year and set a National League record for RBIs by a third basemen with 144.

“That was an unbelievable year,” Castilla said. “I don’t know if I can do that again, but I feel pretty good.”

Aaron Miles, Todd Helton and Walker also had solo shots against Cormier (0-2), who gave up seven runs in 1 1-3 innings against Tampa Bay in his major league debut June 19.

Recalled from the minors for this game, Cormier lasted six innings, allowing five runs on seven hits and four walks.

“I talked to (bullpen coach) Dennis Lewallyn and said I didn’t have my best stuff, and he said I competed out there for six innings and gave the team a chance to win,” Cormier said.

Miles and Helton homered one batter apart in the fifth, and Walker homered in the sixth. Walker added a two-run double off Greg Aquino in the eighth and scored on a single by Jeromy Burnitz to make it 8-2.

“For the first time in a decade that I’ve been with the team, it seems we’re swinging the bats better on the road than at home,” Walker said. “We’re getting caught in a trap that other teams get into: You go there (Denver) trying to hit home runs and the complete opposite happens.”

Arizona scored once—on a bases-loaded walk to Cormier—in five innings against Jamey Wright in his return to the team for which he made 91 starts from 1996-99.

Wright (1-0), who signed Thursday as a free agent from Kansas City’s Triple-A team, allowed five hits and four walks for his first big league win since shutting out Detroit on Sept. 13 for the Royals.

Arizona got to 5-2 on Brent Mayne’s RBI single off Travis Driskill in the sixth, but the threat ended when Colorado turned its fourth double play in six innings on a grounder by pinch-hitter Carlos Baerga.

The Rockies’ Charles Johnson had a run-scoring single in the second. The Diamondbacks tied it in their half when they loaded the bases on a two-out single by Scott Hairston and three straight walks.

A blown call by first base umpire Eric Cooper ended Arizona’s threat in the first.

Steve Finley left second when Walker apparently trapped Danny Bautista’s sinking liner to right, but Cooper ruled the ball was caught and Finley was tagged out between third and home on a 9-4-2 double play. Replays showed the ball hitting the grass inches in front of Walker’s glove.

“I didn’t catch it,” Walker said. “I told (Cooper) too. He asked me in the fourth inning if I tried to deke him. I said if I did it was unintentional; I kind of took a bad route to the ball.”

The Rockies turned two other unusual double plays—an 8-4-3 when Alex Cintron left first without tagging on Brent Mayne’s liner to Preston Wilson in the fourth, and a 4-3 by Miles in the ninth. Miles backhanded a grounder by Tim Olson, tagged Mayne on the fly and threw to first.

“That was a Globetrotter play,” Rockies manager Clint Hurdle.

Arizona manager Al Pedrique was disheartened by Cintron’s blunder.

“I’m running out of patience,” Pedrique said. “I understand what we’re going through and having a real bad season, the young team. But we’re making mistakes that you should not see those mistakes up here.”


The Rockies have homered in their last 10 road games, matching a season high set April 6 to May 4. … Arizona LF Luis Gonzalez played in his 2,000th game, 888th with the Diamondbacks. … Helton’s homer was his 800th career RBI. … Miles has a 12-game hitting streak, second-longest by a rookie this year. … Finley robbed Castilla of two extra-base hits with good catches—diving for one out in the first and running down a liner to center in the seventh.

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