Todd Helton's second homer of the game capped a three-run ninth inning last night that lifted the host Colorado Rockies to an 11-10 victory over the Florida Marlins.
The dramatic ending made a winner of Colorado Manager Jim Leyland in his first meeting with his former team.
Larry Walker led off the ninth with his 15th home run, a blast off Matt Mantei (1-2). Dante Bichette then singled and took second on a groundout before Helton hit Mantei's first pitch high into the right field seats. The Rockies celebrated like Little Leaguers as Helton crossed home plate.
"When you're in a situation like that and a moment like that, it doesn't happen too many times in your life. You've got to be able to enjoy it," Helton said. "If you could wrap that feeling up, you'd be a millionaire. It's amazing."
Helton, who also homered in the third, matched his career high with five RBI. He has driven in 12 runs in his last five games.
BRAVES 6, DIAMONDBACKS 0: In Phoenix, John Smoltz pitched six strong innings and Chipper Jones and Ryan Klesko drove in two runs apiece to lead Atlanta. Smoltz (8-2) allowed four hits, walked two and struck out four in his second six-inning shutout stint since coming off the disabled list after recovering from inflammation in his pitching elbow.
METS 6, CARDINALS 2: Mike Piazza homered in the ninth inning to extend his career-best hitting streak to 21 games to help spark visiting New York to its fourth straight victory and 10th in 12 games. Orel Hershiser (7-5) allowed one hit in five scoreless innings for his 197th career win.
REDS 7, BREWERS 1: Steve Avery held (4-6) yielded three hits in seven innings and Greg Vaughn hit an upper-deck homer for host Cincinnati. Vaughn became the second player to reach the upper deck at Cinergy Field three times. George Foster did it six times.
ASTROS 5, EXPOS 0: Shane Reynolds (8-6) pitched a six-hitter and had an RBI double as host Houston snapped a three-game losing streak. Richard Hidalgo and Tim Bogar contributed home runs.
PADRES 4, PIRATES 2: Tony Gwynn singled to move within 19 hits of 3,000 and Ruben Rivera homered twice, sparking San Diego before a crowd of 60,799, the fifth-largest in Padres regular season history. Brian Boehringer (3-1) went five innings for his first victory in nine career starts.
GIANTS 8, CUBS 5: Barry Bonds homered for the first time since returning from elbow surgery and Armando Rios hit his first career grand slam to power host San Francisco. Winner Russ Ortiz (8-4) carried a shutout into the eighth before Sammy Sosa hit his league-leading 23rd homer, a three-run shot. Rich Rodriguez relieved, but Mark Grace and Henry Rodriguez homered in succession. Last Aug. 10, the same trio hit three straight homers off Ortiz.
PHILLIES 2, DODGERS 1: Curt Schilling (9-4) pitched three-hit ball for seven innings and Mike Lieberthal and Rico Brogna homered to lift Philadelphia to a road win.