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Rockies Take 1st Of Two


Neifi Perez and Todd Helton will figure prominently in the rebuilding of the Colorado Rockies.

Perez and Helton, tabbed the cornerstone players of the club's future had three hits and two RBIs each to go along with several sparkling defensive plays as the Rockies beat the Philadelphia Phillies 11-6 Saturday in the first game of a day-night doubleheader.

"Those two were involved in three key double plays and had some big hits for us," Colorado manager Jim Leyland said of Perez and Helton, who replaced veterans Walt Weiss and Andres Galarraga at the start of last season. "Neifi continues to make plays and improve as a hitter. I can't imagine anyone playing a better shortstop in the National League."

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Game Summary

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  • Helton, who was 3-for-4, hit one of Colorado's four doubles in a four-run first inning. Perez added three hits including a double for the Rockies who had six doubles overall.

    "My biggest adjustment as a hitter has been to be more selective and to lay off the first pitch," Perez said. "Defensively, I've had to play with as many as five different second basemen in a week since Mike Lansing got hurt which created some problems for me. But lately I have made all the plays I've had to make."

    Kevin Jordan drove in four runs, and Bobby Abreu homered for the Phillies, who lost for the 12th time in 18 games.

    David Lee (3-1) pitched a scoreless seventh for the win.

    Rockies starter Jamey Wright pitched six innings and gave up six runs, but got his third no decision in six starts since coming back from Triple A Colorado Springs.

    Trailing 6-5, the Rockies scored twice in the seventh off Scott Aldred. Helton tied the game with a sacrifice fly and took the lead when shortstop Domingo Cedeno threw wildly past first base on an apparent double-play grounder allowing the go-ahead run to score.

    "We did things that you can't do in a ballpark like this," Philadelphia manager Terry Francona said. "We walked the leadoff batter and we didn't turn the double play because our guy didn't go to first for the sure out."

    Aldred (1-1) gave up five runs four earned on seven hits in two innings.

    Jordan went 2-for-4, including a three-run homer. Abreu, who added a solo shot, went 1-for-2 and is hitting .350. NL leader Larry Walker, who is batting .357, was out of the Colorado lineup in the first game with a sore left knee.

    Chad Ogea, who last won July 29, allowed six runs and eight hits over six innings for Philadelphia and failed to win for the first time in six starts.

    "I would have loved to have stayed in the game, but I couldn't because of the guys coming up," Ogea said. "After having a lousy start, I was completely different from the second inning on."

    RBI singles by Jordan and Rico Brogna put Philadelphia ahead 2-0 in the first, but Colorado scored four in the bottom half on RBI doubles by Jeff Barry, Helton, Dante Bichette and Lenny Harris.

    Abreu homered off the foul pole in right in the third to get the Phillies within one, but the Rockies came right back to take a 5-3 lead when Helton scored on a passed ball after hitting a leadoff triple.

    Jordan's three-run homer in the fifth gave Philadelphia a 6-5 lead.

    The Rockies extended the lead with four runs in the eighth on a sacrifice fly by Kurt Manwaring, a two run single by Perez, and Barry's RBI double.

    Notes

  • No pitcher has thrown a complete game against Philadelphia since Carlos Perez did it on Sept. 2, 1998.
  • Abreu hit his career-high 18th home run.
  • The four doubles in Colorado's first inning matched a franchise best.
  • The doubleheader was caused by a rainout Friday.

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