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AROUND THE CACTUS LEAGUE

Sunday, March 27, 2005; Page E13

Shawn Chacon pitched four crisp innings to solidify his spot in the rotation and Clint Barmes hit a three-run homer in Colorado's five-run fifth inning off Greg Maddux, helping the Rockies overcome a shaky outing by their bullpen to hold off the Cubs, 7-6, yesterday.

Chacon left after throwing 51 pitches and approached pitching coach Bob Apodaca about staying in, though he didn't get far.

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"That's like losing Mickey Mantle in his prime. It's like taking Michael Jordan away from the Bulls. If you take away Michael, how good is Scottie Pippen? If you have a .290 batting average with [him] in the lineup, you might be .275 without him."

-- A veteran scout, who requested anonymity, on the Giants without Barry Bonds

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"I kind of lobbied to get out there another inning, but that was all they wanted from me and I accomplished that, so leave it at that," he said.

Maddux cruised through the first four innings, but ran into trouble in the fifth. Dustan Mohr led off with a homer, Brad Hawpe followed with a run-scoring single and Barmes finished it off.

"It's tough to say you feel good after you give up six runs, but I do," Maddux said. "I felt very pleased with how I threw. I made a couple bad pitches, made a couple bad decisions with my pitch selection, but as far as throwing and everything, I feel good." . . .

Top Brewers' pitching prospects Jose Capellan and Ben Hendrickson were optioned to Class AAA Nashville along with fellow right-hander Jeff Bennett.

-- From News Services


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