Chacon continues to master Coors Field

Published 12:00 am Monday, May 19, 2003

Pitching a shutout at Coors Field is a baseball rarity. Somehow, Shawn Chacon has started two of them in less than a month.

Chacon pitched six scoreless innings, Jay Payton homered and the Colorado Rockies beat the Montreal Expos 4-0 Sunday in the 22nd shutout ever at Coors.

''I didn't try to do too much today,'' Chacon said. ''I just tried to stay within myself and get back to what I had done in spring training and in April.''

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It was the Rockies' second shutout this season and 13th overall at Coors, which opened in 1995. Chacon was part of the other one this year as well, pitching seven scoreless innings in an 8-0 win over San Diego on April 20.

Chacon (5-2) allowed four hits to outpitch Tomo Ohka (3-5) and win for the first time this month. After going 4-0 with a 1.04 ERA in April to win the NL pitcher of the month, Chacon was 0-2 with a 10.13 ERA in his last three starts.

''I think part of the problem was overanalyzing what I had done in the last few starts,'' Chacon said. ''I had been trying to go harder when things got tough. When guys get on base, you tend to get in that trap where you want to go harder and make pitches nastier. Today I just let off the gas a little bit and let my stuff work.''

After the Rockies stranded a runner at third in each of the first two innings, Payton hit a solo homer in the third.

Cardinals 6, Cubs 3

At St. Louis, Scott Rolen homered and drove in four runs and Albert Pujols snapped a seventh-inning tie with a run-scoring infield hit to lead the Cardinals.

St. Louis has won only four of 12. But the Cardinals maintained their mastery over the Cubs, who are 4-22 at Busch Stadium the last four seasons.

Mets 5, Giants 1

At San Francisco, Tom Glavine took a shutout into the ninth inning and Jason Phillips homered a day after being recalled from the minors to replace the injured Mike Piazza to lead New York.

Glavine (5-3), who lost twice to the Giants last postseason for Atlanta, allowed six hits, including a leadoff homer to Marquis Grissom in the ninth inning.

The Giants have lost seven of nine.

Braves 6, Padres 3

At San Diego, Vinny Castilla homered for the third time in two games and Russ Ortiz won his fifth straight decision to lead Atlanta to the four-game sweep.

The Braves won for the 27th time in their last 32 games to improve to 31-13, the best record in the majors. Marcus Giles drove in Atlanta's first three runs and Chipper Jones hit a solo homer.

The Padres have lost 18 of 21.

Dodgers 2, Marlins 1

At Los Angeles, Hideo Nomo pitched seven strong innings and Alex Cora drove in two runs as the Dodgers completed a 3-game sweep.

Nomo (5-4) has won his last two starts against the Marlins after going 0-8 in his first nine starts against them. Eric Gagne struck out the side in the ninth for his 15th save.

Diamondbacks 8, Pirates 6

At Phoenix, rookie Brandon Webb shut down Pittsburgh for 7 2-3 innings and Arizona salvaged the final game of the three-game series.

Webb (2-1) allowed eight hits and three runs. Two of them came on pinch-hitter Reggie Sanders' three-run homer off the first pitch from Eddie Oropesa, who relieved Webb with two outs in the eighth and Arizona leading 7-1.

Phillies 3, Astros 1

At Houston, Kevin Millwood threw a six-hitter for his second complete game of the season as Philadelphia beat Houston.

Millwood (6-1) struck out four and walked one. He's 4-0 in his last six starts, including his first career no-hitter on April 27 against San Francisco.