Archive for Monday, June 30, 2003

Suppan’s shutout leads Pirates past Rockies

June 30, 2003

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— Jeff Suppan did something no other Pittsburgh Pirates starter has done all season, and it wasn't just throwing a shutout. He made it look easy.

Matt Stairs homered and drove in four runs, and Suppan pitched Pittsburgh's first complete game in more than a year as the Pirates beat the Colorado Rockies, 9-0, Sunday.

"That was the most effective game pitched against us all season," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. "I can't say more than that."

Kenny Lofton and Jason Kendall sparked all of Pittsburgh's scoring against Rockies starter Shawn Chacon (11-4) as each reached base three times in the first four innings. Chacon was trying to become the majors' first 12-game winner, but left trailing 6-0 after four innings.

Chacon had won seven of eight starts and was opposing a pitcher who had lost seven of eight, only to be lifted after giving up six earned runs and six hits. Kendall and Lofton combined for five of the six hits off Chacon, with Stairs' homer being the other hit.

Kendall, who might be suspended as early as Tuesday for fighting in Tampa Bay earlier this month, finished 4-for-5 with an RBI.

Suppan (6-7), who had been losing games as regularly as Chacon was winning them, made what easily was his best start since early April by pitching a four-hitter for the Pirates' first complete-game shutout of the season. They have two shutouts by multiple pitchers.

The Pirates had gone 170 games without a complete game since Jimmy Anderson, now in the Reds' organization, beat Cincinnati June 16, 2002. It also was the first shutout by a Pirates pitcher since Kip Wells beat the Cubs, 5-0, May 29, 2002.

"We scored early and kept scoring runs and our defense was outstanding," said Suppan, who hadn't thrown a shutout since April 29, 2002, with the Royals. "I took it inning by inning and was able to keep making my pitches. Everything kind of happened for us."

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