Helton, Walker power Rockies past Reds, 7-2
DENVER -- With just two swings of the bat, Colorado sluggers Todd Helton and Larry Walker accounted for seven runs.
Helton hit a grand slam and Walker a three-run shot, powering the Colorado Rockies past the Cincinnati Reds 7-2 on Wednesday night.
One inning after Walker homered, the Reds elected to intentionally walk him, even though it loaded the bases with Helton coming up.
''Pick your poison,'' Rockies acting manager Toby Harrah said. ''Those are two really great hitters.''
Helton agreed with the strategy, since he has been struggling at the plate in the past month while Walker is the NL's leading hitter at .360.
''It was a good move for them,'' Helton said. ''If I was in the other dugout, I would have done it, too. I haven't been swinging the bat that well, and he's been swinging better than anybody in the league. I wasn't surprised (with the intentional walk). I was actually more surprised when I hit the ball.''
But Helton was quick to add that he felt slighted by the move.
''I do take it personally,'' he said. ''Any ballplayer should.''
Jason Jennings (12-5) went eight innings, limiting the Reds to five hits, including solo home runs by Ken Griffey Jr. and Aaron Boone. He struck out seven.
Jennings tied the Rockies record for most victories by a rookie pitcher -- Armando Reynoso won 12 in the club's inaugural season, 1993.
''My release point was off, and I panicked a bit in the first two or three innings,'' Jennings said. ''It seems like when I get more tired, later in the game, I get a better slider, change and sinker, and that was the case tonight.''
Colorado is the only team in the majors without a complete game, but Harrah said he had no intention of letting Jennings pitch the ninth.
''His pitch count was getting up there pretty high,'' Harrah said. ''He had pitched enough, about 115 pitches. And Todd Jones hadn't pitched in a couple of days, so it was good to get him in there.''
Rockies manager Clint Hurdle, given a two-year contract extension on Wednesday, left Coors Field before the game to be with his wife, Karla, for the birth of their first child.
Reds manager Bob Boone said his team ''didn't do much of anything. Either Jennings was good or we got much worse. We didn't touch his changeup.
''(Joey) Hamilton looked outstanding for three innings and made a bad pitch to Walker. In the fifth there were too many high sliders, and that doesn't get the job done.''
Boone put the Reds ahead 1-0 with a homer in the first, his 18th.
In the third, Griffey hit an opposite-field solo home run, his fifth. It was Griffey's 465th career homer, tying Dave Winfield for 24th place on baseball's career list.
Hamilton (3-7) pitched three perfect innings before Jay Payton opened the fourth with a double to left-center. Brent Butler reached on shortstop Boone's fielding error, and Walker hit a 448-foot homer into the second deck in right-center, his 23rd.
The Rockies chased Hamilton on Helton's grand slam in the fifth. Jennings singled, Payton hit his second double and, after a groundout, Walker was intentionally walked. Helton followed with his 20th homer and his second career grand slam.
Hamilton, who came off the disabled list Tuesday (strained left hamstring) went 4 1-3 innings, allowing seven runs -- six earned -- on five hits. Hamilton, who hasn't won since May 29, is 0-5 with a 7.62 ERA in his last eight starts.
Notes: The Reds gave SS Barry Larkin the night off. 3B Aaron Boone moved to SS, and Brandon Larson started at 3B. … Rockies OF Larry Walker recorded his 14th outfield assist, tying Montreal's Vladimir Guerrero for the major league lead. In the third, Walker caught Aaron Boone's fly ball near the wall and gunned out Todd Walker, who was slow getting back to first base. … At 2:22, it was the shortest game of the season at Coors Field. … RHP Kip Bouknight, the Rockies' 13th-round draft pick in 2001, threw a no-hitter for Class A Salem in a 5-0 win over Frederick on Wednesday night. The Associated Press
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