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Atkins hits 2 homers in Rockies' win

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Associated Press
July 9, 2008
— Garrett Atkins hit a pair of home runs and Glendon Rusch won as a starter for the first time in exactly two years, leading the Colorado Rockies to an 8-3 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday night.

Rusch (2-3) had not won as a starter since beating the Brewers on July 9, 2006, in his last start for the Chicago Cubs. He missed all of last season while recovering from a blood clot in his lung, and took a loss in his only other start for Colorado this year.


The left-hander pitched 12 games in relief for San Diego early in the season before being released. He was signed by the Rockies and recalled from Triple-A Colorado Springs on Saturday, just in time to dazzle the Brewers.


Rusch went six innings, giving up one run on five hits with four strikeouts and no walks.


The Brewers wasted an effective performance by Ben Sheets, who struck out 11 over six innings. The right-hander (10-3) gave up three runs on five hits and two walks while setting a season-high in strikeouts.


The Rockies led 4-3 going into the eighth, when they took control with four more runs off struggling reliever Guillermo Mota.


Atkins hit his second homer of the game, and 14th this season, with one out to make it 5-3. Brad Hawpe followed with a single, and Chris Iannetta was credited with a triple when his line drive bounced past center fielder Mike Cameron and rolled to the wall, giving the Rockies a 6-3 lead. Joe Koshansky followed with a two-run homer.


In his last 12 appearances dating to June 6, Mota is 0-3 and has given up 14 earned runs in 10 1-3 innings.


Bill Hall hit a solo home run in the second to give Milwaukee the early lead, but the Rockies came back with a run in the fifth and Atkins' two-run shot off Sheets in the sixth.


Sheets recorded his first seven outs by swinging strikeout, giving up only a single to Matt Holliday and a walk to Iannetta the first time through the Rockies' batting order.


Copyright 2008 The Associated Press.



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