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Rockies Go Down Swinging to Padres

September 19, 1997|From Associated Press

SAN DIEGO — Greg Vaughn and Ken Caminiti hit solo home runs Thursday and the San Diego Padres defeated Colorado, 7-6, surviving three late Rocky homers--including Larry Walker's 48th--and getting the final out on a play at the plate.

Ellis Burks hit a two-run homer, his 29th, that brought the Rockies within one run. Singles by Walker and Todd Helton put runners on first and third with one out. Vinny Castilla flied out to left-fielder Chris Jones, who then threw out Walker at the plate on a questionable tag.

"It's one of the best throws you're going to see all year," catcher John Flaherty said.

Flaherty gave a coy smile when asked if he tagged Walker.

"It's a bang-bang play," Flaherty said. "In my opinion, the call could go either way, but I think we got a good call."

Walker, leading Tony Gwynn by seven points--.372 to .365--in the NL batting title race, set a Rocky record with his 48th homer, which also leads the NL. Walker has five home runs in four games.

With the Rockies trailing, 7-1, in the eighth, Walker hit a two-run homer off Tim Worrell that landed about 15 rows up in the right-field seats. Galarraga followed with a 441-foot shot to left-center, his 39th.

The Rockies play a three-game series in Los Angeles that starts tonight, and they play host to the Dodgers in a season-ending, four-game series Sept. 25-28.

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