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Smallest Rockie Peaks at Right Time

May 07, 1997|From Associated Press

With his team down four runs, the smallest player in Colorado's colossal lineup finally got the Rockies in gear.

Eric Young hit the first of three Colorado home runs and eight players drove in runs Tuesday as the Rockies outlasted the New York Mets, 12-11, at Denver.

"I thought that gave us a great lift even though it was 4-1," Rockie Manager Don Baylor said of Young's first homer this season. "The smallest one of the bombers--the little bomb went off."

Ellis Burks and Dante Bichette added back-to-back homers in the fifth to give Colorado an 11-6 lead, and the Rockies held on, enabling Bill Swift (4-1) to win his fourth consecutive decision.

"It was ugly," said Swift, who gave up six runs on 11 hits in five innings. "Those are wins you don't deserve, but fortunately Steve [Reed] closed them out."

Reed, filling in for injured closer Bruce Ruffin, pitched the ninth for his second save, getting Carlos Baerga on a game-ending pop out with the bases loaded.

Todd Hundley hit his third homer in two games and walked four times, and John Olerud went four for five with a homer and three runs batted in. The Mets, who had 20 hits, blew an early 4-0 lead.

Trailing, 6-5, in the fourth, the Rockies went ahead for good with four runs off reliever Toby Borland (0-1). Jeff Reed tied the score with a run-scoring single, and Jason Bates followed with another. Swift then hit a two-run double to left.

Chicago 2, San Diego 1--Dave Hansen, who had only one RBI before the game, hit a two-run single in the seventh and Kevin Foster won for the first time in seven starts against the Padres as the Cubs won at San Diego.

Chicago's second victory in six games gave the Padres their 13th loss in 16 games. San Diego fell to 3-9 in one-run games; no other big-league club has lost more one-run games.

Foster (3-2) had been 0-5 with a 5.97 earned-run average in his career against the Padres. He gave up one run and six hits in seven innings, with five strikeouts and one walk.

The Padres loaded the bases with one out in the seventh, but Foster struck out John Flaherty and pinch-hitter Chris Jones.

Hansen's hit to center off Andy Ashby (2-2) followed a walk to Mark Grace and a double by Sammy Sosa into the left-field corner. Until that inning, Ashby had faced only two batters over the minimum.

Ken Caminiti went three for four with two doubles for San Diego.

Pittsburgh 4, Florida 0--Steve Cooke combined with two relievers on a four-hitter as the Pirates ended the Marlins' eight-game home winning streak.

The victory was Pittsburgh's first over Florida Manager Jim Leyland, who managed the Pirates for 11 years before accepting the Marlin job Oct. 4.

Cooke (3-3) gave up only three hits in 6 2/3 innings in handing the Marlins only their third loss in 16 home games this season. It was Florida's first home loss since April 15, a 9-3 setback to St. Louis.

Marlin starter Alex Fernandez (3-4) helped the Pirates score their first two runs.

In the fourth, Fernandez (3-4) walked Mark Johnson with two outs and Kevin Elster followed with a run-scoring double. An inning later, Fernandez hit Joe Randa and Cooke sacrificed before Randa scored on Castillo's throwing error.

St. Louis 4, Atlanta 3--Ron Gant hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning as the Cardinals defeated the Braves at St. Louis.

The Braves had won four in a row over the Cardinals since falling behind, 3-1, in the NL championship series last fall. They also had won eight consecutive games at Busch Stadium since Aug. 20, 1995.

With one out in the eighth, Mike Bielecki (1-2) walked Ray Lankford and Gant followed with his fourth homer, a 418-foot drive into the Cardinals' bullpen.

It was the third time Gant has defeated the Braves with a home run since they let him go after the 1994 season.

Atlanta took a 3-2 lead in the eighth on a fielding error by center fielder Ray Lankford. John Smoltz, a .353 hitter, walked with one out and scored when Kenny Lofton followed with a double to left-center off Tony Fossas and Lankford bobbled the ball.

Philadelphia 5, Houston 1--Curt Schilling scattered seven hits in seven strong innings as the Phillies defeated the Astros at Houston to stop a three-game losing streak.

Schilling (4-3) struck out seven, increasing his league-leading strikeout total to 56.

Scott Rolen had three hits, and Rico Brogna had two RBIs for the Phillies.

Brogna hit a run-scoring double in the second, and Philadelphia took a 5-0 lead in the third when Mike Lieberthal hit a two-run single, Darren Daulton walked with the bases loaded and Brogna singled off reliever Jose Lima.




Player: John Olerud

Team: New York

Performance: 4 for 5, 3 RBIs, 3 runs, homer

Team's Result: Loss


Player: Dante Bichette

Team: Colorado

Performance: 3 for 5, 2 runs, homer

Team's Result: Win


Player: Ron Gant

Team: St. Louis

Performance: Third game-winning homer against Braves

Team's Result: Win


Player: Steve Cooke

Team: Pittsburgh

Performance: 6 2/3 innings, 3 hits, 0 runs

Team's Result: Win


Player: Curt Schilling

Team: Philadelphia

Performance: 7 innings, 7 hits, 1 run, 7 strikeouts

Team's Result: Win


Player: Kevin Foster

Team: Chicago

Performance: 6 hits, 1 run; was 0-5 against Atlanta

Team's Result: Win

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