Rockies Defeat Giants 4-1
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Greg Norton might call his agent just to brag.
Norton hit his first home run of the season off San Francisco’s Jason Schmidt and also singled and scored twice, leading the Colorado Rockies to a 4-1 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Monday night.
``We have the same agent,″ said Norton, who’s from nearby San Leandro. ``I like to be able to talk trash to my agent about one of his pitchers.″
Shawn Chacon became the first eight-game winner in the National League and also had two hits as the Rockies snapped a seven-game road losing streak and avoided being swept by San Francisco for the fourth time in franchise history.
Chacon already has three more wins than last season, when he went 5-11 before being optioned to Triple-A Colorado Springs.
``There were a lot of little things,″ he said of what he’s changed. ``I started to focus better, my preparation between starts, watching video, becoming a student of the game. What it comes down to is growing up and maturing.″
The Giants saw their five-game winning streak end, losing for the first time on their 12-game homestand.
Both teams begin interleague play Tuesday _ the Giants at home against Minnesota and the Rockies at home against Cleveland. Colorado desperately needs to get back to Coors Field; the Rockies are 7-22 on the road this year.
``It’s just important to get a road victory,″ manager Clint Hurdle said. ``It was important for us to finish on a good note.″
In the only other National League game Monday San Diego beat Arizona, 4-1.
Schmidt (4-2) struck out four of his first eight batters but was outpitched by Chacon (8-2), who won his career-best fourth straight start.
Schmidt is 1-2 in his last six starts, with his only win since April 30 coming in a 6-0 shutout at Arizona on May 21.
The right-hander struck out nine and walked only one, allowing seven hits in seven innings.
Chacon gave up one run and six hits in seven innings, striking out five and walking four. Jose Jimenez pitched the ninth for his 12th save in 13 chances.
After Norton’s homer, Barry Bonds tied it in the bottom half with an RBI single.
Jose Hernandez hit his second double in the fourth to drive in a run for Colorado, Norton scored on Preston Wilson’s sacrifice fly in the eighth and pinch-hitter Jay Payton added a two-out RBI double in the ninth.
In the third, an odd passed ball allowed two runners to advance. Chacon’s pitch was never touched by catcher Bobby Estalella, but the ball bounced hard off plate umpire Ed Rapuano’s mask.
Rapuano fell to his knees, and Giants trainer Stan Conte rushed out to check on him. Rapuano remained in the game for two more innings.
Mark Carlson moved behind the plate from first base in the middle of the fifth and Rapuano headed into the umpire’s room. Conte said after the game Rapuano was not seriously hurt.
Chacon intentionally walked Bonds to load the bases, but Benito Santiago lined out to end the third.
J.T. Snow got a lucky infield single in the fourth when a high popup landed between four Colorado players behind the mound.
Pacific Bell Park has been the place for crazy plays this season. Monday marked the third game in three weeks featuring something kooky.
Last week, Giants pinch-runner Ruben Rivera was thrown out at the plate on a ridiculous baserunning blunder in the ninth inning of a 13-inning win. He ran back and forth along the bases, backtracking when he missed second, cutting across the infield grass, then heading for home when he shouldn’t have on a misplay at third.
Two weeks ago, Montreal messed up on a run-scoring infield fly. Catcher Michael Barrett and third baseman Fernando Tatis were chatting with their backs to the plate as Neifi Perez came across with the tying run. The play was ruled a fielder’s choice.
Padres 4, Diamondbacks 1
At San Diego, Carlton Loewer won for the first time since being hurt in a hunting accident in January 2000, pitching five solid innings in San Diego’s victory over Arizona.
Making his fourth start of the season, Loewer (1-1) allowed one run and five hits. It was his first win since May 4, 1999, with Philadelphia. Loewer fell out of a deer blind in Louisiana on Jan. 2, 2000, breaking his lower left leg and dislocating his ankle.
Matt Herges pitched the ninth for his third save.
John Patterson (0-3) allowed four runs and eight hits in five innings.