Archive for Wednesday, April 25, 2001

Walker belts two, boosts Colorado

Rockies’ slugger drives in five runs in 14-1 thrashing of Cubs

April 25, 2001


— Larry Walker is giving the Colorado Rockies more for less.

Walker, who last month agreed to defer $18 million in salary over the next three years, hit two home runs to tie for the major league lead as the Rockies beat the Chicago Cubs, 14-1, on Tuesday night.

With 11 homers, Walker has two more than all of last year and tied the NL record for April shared by five others, including Luis Gonzalez of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Walker also hit 11 in April 1997, when he was voted the league's MVP.

"Can I hit one more? If somebody hangs a curveball or throws a fastball where I'm looking, yeah, there's a chance I could," Walker said. "I'm really not concerned with it. We're tied for first, so that's more important to anybody in this clubhouse, including myself."

Ken Griffey Jr. set the major league record for April home runs with 13 in 1997.

Walker, who had five RBIs, was just one of several Rockies who overwhelmed Chicago starter Kevin Tapani (3-1).

Todd Helton had two hits, including a three-run homer, to help Colorado beat Tapani (3-1) for the first time in seven tries. The right-hander's ERA skyrocketed from 0.96 to 4.91.

"I just wasn't sharp," Tapani said. "What happened can happen here especially when they are swinging the bats well. I can't really say they hit a lot of good pitches. They hit a lot of fat ones."

Entering the night, Chicago's pitching staff led the NL with a 2.96 ERA and had not allowed more than seven runs in a game. The team ERA increased to 3.56, and the Rockies had nine runs after Helton's home run with one out in the fourth.

Tapani, who had allowed two runs in his first three starts, surrendered 10 runs and 11 hits in 31/3 innings. He also matched his season total with three walks.

Phillies 12, Padres 7

San Diego On a night when Rickey Henderson made more history, Bobby Abreu homered, drove in four runs and scored three times as Philadelphia beat San Diego. Henderson, pinch-hitting for Padres reliever David Lee, tied Babe Ruth's career record of 2,062 walks in the sixth inning. Randy Wolf (1-3) struck out a season-high nine and made it into the sixth inning for the first time in four starts, although he blew a 5-0 first-inning lead.

Astros 11, Braves 6

Houston Moises Alou homered and drove in four runs, leading Shane Reynolds and Houston over Atlanta. Chipper Jones hit two home runs for Atlanta on his 29th birthday. Alou tied his career high with four hits. He had his 17th multihomer game in the majors.

Cardinals 7, Expos 2

St. Louis Darryl Kile dominated Montreal for the third straight time and rookie Albert Pujols had two doubles and three RBIs. The Cardinals have won only four of their last 11, and the Expos are 3-10 following a 6-1 start. Kile (3-2) allowed five hits in seven scoreless innings with seven strikeouts and no walks, retiring his last eight batters. He's 3-0 against Montreal in the last two seasons, allowing one run in 23 innings with 23 strikeouts and two walks.

Brewers 6, Mets 4

Milwaukee Pinch-hitter Tyler Houston had a tiebreaking two-run homer, and Richie Sexson and Jeromy Burnitz also homered to lead Milwaukee over New York. Houston broke a 4-all tie in the sixth with his drive off Donne Wall (0-2), which followed Geoff Jenkins' walk.

Diamondbacks 9, Marlins 8

Phoenix Jay Bell hit a three-run homer, capping a five-run rally in the eighth inning that lifted Arizona over Florida. Bret Prinz (1-0), pitching for the second time in his three days in the majors, earned the victory. He gave up one hit in two innings. Arizona reliever Matt Mantei took over to start the ninth with a 9-7 lead. He yielded a solo home run to Cliff Floyd, got two outs and then appeared to injure his right elbow.

Reds 9, Giants 5

San Francisco Sean Casey drove in three runs and pitcher Jim Brower sent home the go-ahead run with his first career RBI as Cincinnati beat San Francisco. San Francisco failed to sell out Pacific Bell Park for the first time in 91 games since the stadium opened last year, drawing 40,723, 336 short of capacity.

Pirates 5, Dodgers 1

Los Angeles Omar Olivares combined with three relievers on a four-hitter, and John Vander Wal hit a three-run homer as Pittsburgh beat Los Angeles. Olivares (1-2), keeping the Dodgers off-balance by working the corners, allowed three hits in 51/3 shutout innings.

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