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Published: Tuesday, 6/21/2011

Homers lift Rockies over Indians 4-3

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Colorado Rockies third baseman Ty Wigginton, left, tags out Cleveland Indians' Travis Hafner (48) trying to go first to third on an RBI-single by Shin-Soo Choo in the sixth inning. Colorado Rockies third baseman Ty Wigginton, left, tags out Cleveland Indians' Travis Hafner (48) trying to go first to third on an RBI-single by Shin-Soo Choo in the sixth inning.
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CLEVELAND — Seth Smith’s second homer of the game snapped a ninth-inning tie as the Colorado Rockies held Cleveland hitless into the sixth, blew a lead, then beat the Indians 4-3 Tuesday night.

Smith connected off Cleveland closer Chris Perez (2-3), hitting a 2-2 pitch into the right-field seats for his eighth homer of the season and fourth career multihomer game.

Matt Belisle (5-2) worked one inning for the win. Huston Street pitched the ninth for his major league-leading 22nd save in 24 chances. With lightning flashing, thunder rattling and rain falling, the right-hander walked Asdrubal Cabrera before striking out pinch-hitter Austin Kearns to end it.

Jason Giambi had three hits for Colorado, which has won six of seven and moved over .500 for the first time since the Rockies were 24-23 on May 24.

Cleveland’s offensive woes continued. Since leading the AL Central by seven games on May 23, the Indians are 9-18 and have scored two or fewer runs 14 times.

Jhoulys Chacin held the Indians hitless into the sixth. Cleveland’s bats came alive against Colorado’s bullpen in the eighth.

Trailing 3-1, Travis Hafner lined an RBI single off former teammate Rafael Betancourt. With runners on first and second, Belisle got two outs before Travis Buck snapped an 0-for-24 streak with an RBI single to right for a 3-all tie.

In 6 2-3 innings, Chacin walked six, including two with one out in the sixth before Shin-Soo Choo grounded an RBI single up the middle on a 1-1 pitch for Cleveland’s first hit to pull the Indians to 3-1.

Smith connected for a two-run shot off Mitch Talbot with two outs in the top of the sixth. Jonathan Herrera’s two-out RBI single put Colorado ahead 1-0 in the fifth.

Chacin was lifted after giving up a two-out triple to Lou Marson in the seventh.

The Indians had a chance early against the right-hander, loading the bases with two outs in the third on three consecutive walks. Chacin came back to strike out Hafner on a 3-2 sinker. He got 10 outs on grounders and struck out seven.

Before the game, Rockies manager Jim Tracy talked about Chacin emerging as a consistent winner. The 23-year-old came in 3-0 in June, allowing only two runs and 10 hits over 20 innings.

“He’s grabbed the ball and ran with it,” Tracy said. “He’s seized an opportunity to step his game up a little bit further than we thought maybe he was capable of being at this point.”

Talbot worked out of a second-inning jam by getting the Rockies to pound the ball into the ground. Giambi doubled and went to third on a single by Smith. The crafty right-hander then got Ty Wigginton to hit a one-hopper back to him. The pitcher checked Giambi at third and threw to second for the out, then got Charlie Blackmon to ground into an inning-ending double play.

Talbot allowed three runs and eight hits over 6 1-3 innings to drop to 0-4 in four June starts. He is 1-5 in six starts since being activated from the disabled list May 25. He had been sidelined with a strained right elbow.

Notes: There has never been a no-hitter at Progressive Field, which opened in 1994. ... Hafner has 24 RBIs and is 17 for 33 (.515) with runners in scoring position. ... Indians manager Manny Acta reiterated his support of RHP Fausto Carmona and OF Grady Sizemore, but admitted the Indians must start getting better production from both former All-Stars. Sizemore grounded out as a pinch-hitter in the ninth. Since May 27, he has hit only .188 (16 for 85). Carmona is 1-5 with a 9.73 ERA since May 19. ... Tracy plans to rest 1B Todd Helton on Wednesday to give the 37-year-old an extra break with Colorado off Thursday. ... Rockies LHP Rex Brothers, who pitched Sunday and Monday, was unavailable. ... Rockies RHP Esmil Rogers (strained muscle in back) played catch in Denver. He’s been on the DL since May 2.



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