NATIONAL LEAGUE : All’s Well That Ends Well for Colorado’s Castilla

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From Associated Press

Vinny Castilla closed a Monday night of famine with a feast at Denver.

Castilla misplayed a grounder to set up two Philadelphia runs, was thrown out at the plate trying to score on a wild pitch, then singled in a run that sent the Colorado Rockies to an 8-5 victory.

He went three for three and drove in three runs on a night that could have given fans whiplash.

“Vinny made a baserunning mistake by trying to come home in the seventh,” Colorado Manager Don Baylor said. “He atoned for that by getting the big base hit in the eighth and actually made up for a couple of things tonight.”


Castilla made an error on Kevin Elster’s two-out grounder in the second inning, helping the Phillies score twice.

Castilla, who ended his 0-for-12 slump with a two-run double in the third inning, broke a 5-5 tie with an RBI single.

“You can’t let those things carry over into the field or into your next at-bat,” he said. “You have to put things behind you.”

Rockies’ relievers Lance Painter, Curtis Leskanic, Mike Munoz (2-2) and Darren Holmes gave up only one hit in the final four innings. Holmes pitched a perfect ninth for his eighth save.

After Castilla’s go-ahead hit, Colorado got two more runs on a grounder by Walt Weiss and a pinch-hit RBI single by Jason Bates off Ricky Bottalico (3-2).

Dante Bichette hit his 14th home run--all of them at Coors Field--for Colorado in the first inning.


San Diego 8, Cincinnati 6--Ray Holbert hit his first homer of the season, a grand slam in the fifth inning, and the Padres held on to win at home.

Barry Larkin’s two-run homer helped the Reds build a 5-0 lead in the second inning. Holbert hit his first grand slam during a five-run fifth inning that made it 8-6.

Tony Gwynn went two for four and extended his hitting streak to 15 games, tying his longest streak since 1991. His longest string was 25 games in 1983.

The Reds turned a triple play, their first in six seasons, on a line drive by Gwynn with Steve Finley at second base and Jody Reed at first in the sixth inning.

Gwynn hit a soft liner that shortstop Larkin caught diving to his left. Larkin flipped the ball to second baseman Bret Boone, whose throw to first baseman Hal Morris easily caught Reed off the bag.

New York 7, Chicago 2--Jason Isringhausen held the Cubs to a pair of runs and two hits in seven innings in his major league debut, striking out six batters in a victory at Chicago.


Isringhausen left after the seventh. Jerry DiPoto (2-3) wound up with the victory.

The score was tied, 2-2, when Edgardo Alfonzo opened the ninth inning with a walk from Mike Walker (1-3). Bryan Hickerson relieved and Alfonzo stole second.

After an out, Bobby Bonilla was intentionally walked. Mike Perez relieved and pinch-hitter Bill Spiers hit an RBI single. A wild pitch and an intentional walk loaded the bases, and Chris Jones hit a two-run single.

Jose Vizcaino added an RBI single, and another run scored on the play on center fielder Brian McRae’s error.

St. Louis 8, Montreal 5--Ray Lankford’s three-run homer capped a five-run comeback in the eighth inning and the Cardinals held on to win in Montreal.

Moises Alou flied out to right fielder Brian Jordan on the warning track with the bases loaded to end the game and give Tom Henke his 20th save in as many chances.

The Cardinals trailed, 5-3, when Danny Sheaffer opened the eighth inning with a walk from Jeff Shaw (1-5) and Tripp Cromer doubled. With one out, Geronimo Pena atoned for an early error with a two-run double that tied it.


Luis Aquino relieved, and John Mabry reached on a throwing error by shortstop Wil Cordero. After Pena was thrown out at the plate trying to score on a grounder by Jordan, Lankford hit his 12th home run.

Rich DeLucia (4-3) pitched two innings for the victory.