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3-run homer in the ninth seals Giants’ win over Rockies

By John Marshall The Associated Press
Tuesday July 02, 2002

DENVER — Jeff Kent hit a three-run homer in the ninth inning as the San Francisco Giants rallied for an 8-6 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Monday night. 

Colorado led 6-5 after eight innings, but closer Jose Jimenez (2-5) hit leadoff hitter David Bell and Ramon Martinez followed with a single. 

Kent then hit Jimenez’s first pitch to left field for his 14th of the season. 

Kent had three hits and is 13-for-24 with 15 RBIs since moving from cleanup to the third spot in the lineup five days ago. 

Colorado has lost six of seven after winning five straight. The Giants have won four of six. 

Felix Rodriguez (3-4) didn’t allow a hit in one inning to pick up the victory. Robb Nen worked a perfect ninth to earn his 22nd save. 

Reggie Sanders, who stranded six runners in the Giants’ 7-0 loss to Oakland Sunday, had a two-run triple in the first after Colorado’s Terry Shumpert took a bad angle on a line drive to left. 

Larry Walker answered with a three-run homer in the bottom half, a 455-foot shot to the second deck in rigrun on second with none out in the seventh, but Justin Speier struck out Barry Bonds and got a pair of fly outs to right. 

Bonds finished 0-for-4 and walked once. 

Colorado’s Juan Pierre had three hits to end a 2-for-24 slump. 

Colorado starter Shawn Chacon allowed five runs on seven hits in 5 1-3 innings. Chacon also had a single and scored a run. 

San Francisco starter Kirk Rueter allowed six runs — four earned — on eight hits in six innings. He is 1-4 since winning six straight and hasn’t won since June 4. Notes: Giants 1B J.T. Snow, who missed two games with turf toe, was a defensive replacement in the ninth. ... Walker is 11-for-26 in his career against Rueter.... Bonds was walked intentionally for the 38th time this season in the fifth inning. The major league record is 45, set by Willie McCovey in 1969. ... Sanders is 1-for-7 this season after Bonds walked intentionally. ... Colorado’s Todd Zeile ground into a double play in the seventh and leads the majors with 20. 

his previous eight starts. In interleague play, he improved to 3-0 this season and 8-1 overall. He walked three and struck out one. 

“We just started playing pretty good baseball about the start of interleague play,” Hudson said. “We have a lot of guys on the team with all-star caliber talent and hopefully we can carry that momentum to the American League.” 

Hudson, who retired 14 of 15 during one stretch, also recorded his eighth career complete game. 

“You have to give Hudson credit for throwing the shutout,” said Giants manager Dusty Baker. “We had opportunities early, but we couldn’t capitalize.” 

Russ Ortiz (6-5), who was 2-0 in his previous five starts, lasted five-plus innings. He allowed six runs on nine hits, walked four — including three in the second inning — and struck out four. 

“I was throwing hard, but my location was off today,” Ortiz said. 

The A’s finished interleague play with a major league-best 16-2 mark. Their only losses came to the Giants, who won three of their previous four games. The A’s are 66-38 in interleague play, best in the majors. 

“I hope we can look back on it and say that’s the reason we got into postseason,” A’s manager Art Howe said. “Everything fell into place for us.” 

Oakland scored twice in the third as four of the first five batters reached. Mark Ellis and Hatteberg each singled and Tejada drove in a run with a single. One out later, Eric Chavez added a run-scoring single. 

Hatteberg added an RBI single during a three-run rally in the sixth. 

Jeff Kent continued to flourish in the No. 3 spot for the Giants. He was 2-for-4 and is 10-for-19 with 12 RBIs since flip-flopping with Bonds in the lineup four days ago. He has hit safely in 17 of his past 18 games.