After falling far behind in recent games, the Colorado Rockies reversed the trend against the Anaheim Angels.
Vinny Castilla hit a three-run double in a seven-run first inning that carried the Rockies past the Angels 8-2 Sunday, stopping a three-game losing streak.
Kurt Abbott had three hits and two RBIs for the Rockies, who ended Anaheim's four-game winning streak and beat the Angels for the first time in six games between the teams.
"Fortunately, we put that real big flurry on them early, and then the bullpen came in and did a fantastic job," said Rockies manager Jim Leyland.
Larry Walker went 2-for-4 for Colorado, raising his major league-leading average to .382 at the All-Star break.
Jerry Dipoto (3-2) went 2 2-3 innings to get the win. Relievers Dipoto, Chuck McElroy and Dave Veres combined to pitch 5 2-3 scoreless innings, allowing just two hits.
The Rockies sent 12 men to the plate in the first, tied a team record with eight hits and led 4-0 before Mike Fyhrie (0-1) got an out.
"I don't know if Coors Field got to his head," Angels manager Terry Collins said. "He left balls up. They are a high ball-hitting club, and they got him."
"I've said before that home runs don't kill you. The other hits do. That's a big ballpark out there with a lot of ground to cover."
Fhyrie said he "knew I would be giving up runs, but not like that. Everybody told me how to pitch here, but until you do it you don't really know. The outfield is so big, and they found the holes."
Neifi Perez led off the first with a single, Jeff Barry walked and Walker hit an RBI single. Dante Bichette's single loaded the bases and Castilla doubled into the gap in left-center. Abbott added an RBI single and pitcher Bobby Jones an RBI double, chasing Fyhrie.
Perez got his second single of the inning off Scott Schoeneweis and Barry followed with an RBI double.
"It's nice to take advantae early like that when you can," Castilla said. "I didn't think I hit it out. I hit the ball good, but I couldn't extend my arms."
Anaheim scratched out two runs in the third on one hit, three walks and a sacrifice fly. Reggie Williams led off with a walk, Gary DiSarcina singled and pinch-hitter Tim Unroe walked to load the bases. Darin Erstad hit a sacrifice fly, and DiSarcina scored on Randy Velarde's groundout.
The Angels threatened again in the fourth, loading the bases with one out on a walk, hit batter and DiSarcina's single, chasing Jones. But Dipoto induced pinch-hitter Andy Sheets to hit into a double play.
"Jerry made a key pitch on that double-play ball," McElroy said. "That could have been the turning point of the game. We could still be playing."
Anaheim had two runners on with two outs in the sixth, but Dipoto struck out pinch-hitter Matt Walbeck.
Colorado got its other run in the seventh on Abbott's RBI single off Shigetoshi Hasegawa.
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