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Publish Date: 4/13/2005

Chacon’s start blown by bullpen
Fuentes, Speier lose game in eighth inning


PHOENIX — Tony Clark once had three straight 30-homer seasons. Now he has to be content with pinch-hitting, and he got plenty of satisfaction out of one at-bat Tuesday night.

Clark doubled off the center-field wall in the eighth inning and scored the go-ahead run on Royce Clayton’s single in the Arizona Diamondbacks’ 4-2 win over the Colorado Rockies.

“I was simply trying to get a ball up and put a good swing on it, and it got over (Preston Wilson’s) head out there,” Clark said. “I swallowed my pride a long time ago. If it was to bloop over the infield and fall in, that’s fine, too.”

Luis Gonzalez, the lone regular held over from last year’s 111-loss campaign, said Clark represents the 2005 team’s hidden strength — the bench.

“We didn’t have that last year,” said Gonzalez, who drove in two runs. “It’s nice when you’ve got guys who can step up and do that.”

Gonzalez, who had a sacrifice fly in the first inning, doubled to score Clayton in the eighth.

Brandon Lyon pitched a scoreless ninth for his fourth save.

The rally against Colorado relievers Brian Fuentes (0-2) and Ryan Speier ruined Shawn Chacon’s bid for a win in his first start after a year in the bullpen.

It also extended the Rockies’ losing streak to six games, including five straight on the road, their worst start ever.

Aaron Miles had an RBI single and Matt Holliday hit a sacrifice fly for Colorado.

Chacon hadn’t started since Aug. 16, 2003, and hadn’t won as a starter since June 23, 2003, at San Diego. He spent last year as the Rockies’ closer, recording 35 saves. Chacon allowed one run on six hits in six innings. He walked none and struck out four.

“He was really good to watch pitch tonight,” Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. “He look comfortable and he had command of all his pitches. He gave us six good innings.”

Brandon Webb (2-0) prevailed in the second straight pitching duel between the teams, working eight innings and allowing two runs on eight hits and two walks. Arizona’s Brad Halsey beat the Rockies 2-0 on Monday.

Fuentes pitched a scoreless inning in the seventh, but Arizona took advantage when Miles bobbled Quinton McCracken’s grounder for an error in the eighth.

McCracken scored from second on Clark’s double, tying the game and leading to Speier’s entry.

Arizona manager Bob Melvin had a feeling the switch-hitting Clark was the man for that spot.

“You can’t imagine how hard it was for me to hit for Craig Counsell,” Melvin said. “I mean, Craig finds a way to get everything done. But, you know, I’ve seen that lefty (Fuentes) on our lefties too many times.”

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