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Rockies Continue Winning Ways

From Associated Press

On a night of positives for the Colorado Rockies, maybe the best news was that the magic appears to be back at Coors Field.

“Definitely,” Rockies slugger Dante Bichette said after driving in three runs in a 5-3 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Sunday.

“I think we’ve turned it around, especially here.”

After losing 15 of their first 19 games at Coors Field this season, the Rockies have won nine of their last 10 here.

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Bichette is seven for 13 with nine RBIs in the last three games. His two-run double keyed a three-run third inning, and he added an RBI single in the seventh as the Rockies swept the three-game series, only their second sweep of a three-game set this season and their first since the opening series of the year in Arizona.

If Bichette’s comments last week about certain Rockies’ players not showing up to play every day created any friction, it hasn’t been apparent.

“That really hasn’t been an issue here,” Bichette said. “This team did something at the All-Star break to regroup and refocus.”

Pedro Astacio (7-9) survived a ragged first inning, allowing three runs and eight hits in 6 2/3 innings for the victory. Mike Munoz got the last out for his third save and second in as many nights.

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Kirt Manwaring had a solo homer for Colorado, and Barry Bonds hit a two-run homer for San Francisco.

The Rockies were aided by a half-dozen stellar defensive plays. Right fielder Larry Walker made a sliding catch of a liner by Bill Mueller in the fifth, made a sliding grab of a popup by Rey Sanchez in the seventh, and raced to the corner to snare Charlie Hayes’ drive in the eighth.

Shortstop Neifi Perez made a diving catch of a liner by Mueller in the seventh, Curtis Goodwin caught Brian Johnson’s drive at the center-field wall in the ninth, and Bichette ran down Stan Javier’s long ball in the left corner in the sixth.

“Defense wins you a lot of ball games,” Rockie Manager Don Baylor said. “When you start listing all the plays, it sounds like a defensive game, but we needed some offense to win the game too.”

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The Giants got to Astacio for three first-inning runs, including Bonds’ 19th homer. Mueller walked and Bonds homered to right. Hayes and Javier both singled, and Johnson followed with an RBI single but was thrown out trying to stretch it into a double.

Colorado countered with three runs in the third off Kirk Rueter (10-4), who hadn’t lost in his previous nine starts.

NEXT SERIES FOR DODGERS

WHO: San Francisco Giants

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WHERE: Dodger Stadium

WHEN: Monday, 7 p.m.; Tuesday, 7 p.m.; Wednesday, 5: p.m.


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