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D'Backs Rally Past Rockies

Something always seems to happen to Andy Benes in Denver, and it's usually bad. But in his first game at Coors Field since breaking a finger, Benes enjoyed a reversal of fortune.

Benes took a three-hitter into the ninth before getting chased by Vinny Castilla's three-run homer as the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Colorado Rockies 6-4 Monday night.

"I haven't had much luck here," Benes said. "I think I was 0-3, but you have to put the past behind you. I went out thinking I was going to finish the night 1-3.

"It doesn't matter if you are pitching in Phoenix, Denver or the Himalayas, you have to pitch the same. You have to keep the ball down."

Benes also survived being hit by a pitch, a fastball from Darryl Kile that caught him in the back in the eighth inning. That came one batter after Kelly Stinnett hit a solo homer.

"The umpire said Kile wasn't trying to hit me," he said. "I said he was. They hit me before in this ballpark."

Benes' 1997 season came to an abrupt end here last Sept. 7 when, while batting for St. Louis, he was hit by a pitch from Pedro Astacio and broke a finger on his throwing hand.

This time, there was no damage, although Benes reacted angrily, flipping the ball toward the Colorado dugout and exchanging words with Kile.

"That's OK," he said. "This didn't hurt as badly as them taking the loss."

Devon White drove in two runs to help Arizona snap a three-game losing streak and gain some revenge for being swept by Colorado in their season-opening, three-game series in Phoenix.

Benes (4-5), outpitched by Kile in the Diamondbacks' historic opener, prevailed over Kile in the rematch. After giving up a homer to Dante Bichette in the first, Benes settled down and at one point retired 13 straight batters.

Leading 6-1 in the ninth, Benes gave up three hits, including Castilla's 20th homer. Gregg Olson got the last two outs for his seventh save.

"Andy spotted his fastball real well and broke a couple of bats," Stinnett said. "That kept them off his slider and changeup when he had to throw them. It's the best I've seen him spot the ball since I've been catching him."

Kile (5-7) walked seven batters in losing his fourth straight decision. The Rockies committed two errors behind him.

"It's hard to overcome the walks and the errors," Rockies manager Don Baylor said. "It's frustrating, I would imagine, for Darryl. He has pressed here, trying to get a win. His control has been erratic."

Kile remained winless in five starts at Coors Field.

"I don't think I've been pressing," Kile said. "Tonight, I just fell behind in the count, and when I did they did a good job of laying off pitches and capitalizing on my mstakes."

Bichette put the Rockies ahead 1-0 in the first with a 431-foot solo homer, his sixth. It was Bichette's second homer in as many at-bats; he hit a two-run homer in the ninth to beat Houston 7-5 Sunday.

The Diamondbacks capitalized on Kile's wildness, sending nine batters to the plate in the third and taking a 3-1 lead. Kile walked four batters in the inning.

With one out, Benes drew the first walk, went to third on Andy Fox's double and scored on White's sacrifice fly. Travis Lee walked and Matt Williams hit an RBI single to left which was misplayed by Bichette, the error allowing Lee to score and Williams to reach third. Two more walks loaded the bases, but Kile retired Karim Garcia on a groundout.

Arizona made it 4-1 in the fourth when, with two outs, Fox singled and White doubled off the diving Bichette's glove.

Stinnett launched a 448-foot homer off Kile in the eighth. Garcia added a sacrifice fly in the ninth.

Notes: Colorado's Mike Lansing, in a 12-for-83 slump (.145), was benched. ... Arizona left fielder David Dellucci made a diving catch on the line to rob Jason Bates in the second inning. ... After the game, the Diamondbacks optioned right-hander Jeff Suppan to Triple-A Tucson and recalled right-hander Bob Wolcott. ... Kile's seven walks were one shy of the club record and one shy of his career high.

©1998 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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