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Rockies Roll Over Diamondbacks


John Thomson knew he wasn't supposed to, but he couldn't resist.

As he mowed down the first 14 batters he faced, Thomson began fantasizing about a no-hitter. "A couple of times, yeah," he admitted.

After Jay Bell brought him back to reality with a solo homer with two outs in the fifth, Thomson gathered himself and finished with a four-hitter as the Colorado Rockies beat Arizona 5-2 Thursday night.

Thomson (5-5) struck out six of the first 14 batters he faced and had a perfect game until Bell's homer. Karim Garcia followed with a single but was caught stealing.

Thomson, 24, struck out a career-high 11 in his first complete game of the season and third of his career.

His four-hitter was the second-lowest hit total ever allowed by the Rockies in Coors Field. Bill Swift and Darren Holmes combined on a three-hitter against Cincinnati in a 13-2 win in last year's home opener.

"John Thomson was in command tonight," Rockies manager Don Baylor said. "He went right after hitters and pretty much had his way."

"He had a couple of left-handed hitters, (David) Dellucci and (Travis) Lee, completely fooled. He overpowered Matt Williams, who fouled back a couple of fastballs, but then he threw him a couple of nasty sliders, which was not fair."

Thomson, throwing fastballs clocked as high as 97 mph and late-breaking sliders, said he "worked in the bullpen on getting right behind my fastball so it stayed straight instead of running over the plate. My ball had been running, and I was giving up a lot of hits that way."

Thomson said Bell's homer came off a hanging slider "that I tried to throw too hard. I was kind of frustrated about that, and then the next guy gets a hit. That's when Funky (pitching coach Frank Funk) came out and said, `Settle down, you're winning."

Dante Bichette had three RBIs, including a two-run homer, and Mike Lansing broke out of a 12-for-88 slump (.136) with three hits for Colorado.

Until Bell's homer, the Diamondbacks had hit only one ball out of the infield, a pop fly to short left field by Travis Lee in the fourth.

"Thomson had electric stuff," Arizona manager Buck Showalter said. "He threw a great fastball and slider. His slider was tough because it looked like a fastball with a delayed break."

Colorado went ahead 1-0 in the first when Lansing singled, went to second on a groundout and scored on Larry Walker's double off Omar Daal (1-4).

In the third, Bichette and Vinny Castilla singled, and Ellis Burks hit an RBI single to center.

Colorado made it 3-0 in the fourth on two singles and Bichette's sacrifice fly.

The Diamondbacks cut the deficit to 3-2 in the sixth when Stinnett led off with a walk and scored on ndy Fox's one-out triple into the right-field corner. Fox was stranded when Devon White flied out and Lee struck out.

Bichette's two-run homer in the sixth restored the Rockies' three-run cushion. Lansing doubled with two outs and Bichette hit his seventh homer.

Diamondbacks hitting coach Jim Presley was ejected by home plate umpire Jim Quick in the seventh inning for arguing balls and strikes.

Notes:

  • Arizona acquired right-handed pitcher Willie Banks from the New York Yankees in exchange for right-handers Scott Brow and Joe Lisio. Brow had been designated for assignment and Lisio is a minor-leaguer. To make room for Banks, the Diamondbacks optioned left-hander Efrain Valdez to Triple-A Tucson.
  • Daal set an Arizona record with five straight strikeouts. His total of seven strikeouts also set a club mark.
  • Thomson's complete game was the second by the Rockies this year. Darryl Kile had the other on April 30.
  • Colorado's 43rd-round selection in the amateur draft, center fielder Douglas Baylor of Reagan High School in Austin, Texas, is the nephew of Rockies' manager Don Baylor.

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

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