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Updated: Friday, July 4, 2003 11:05 PM EDT
MLB RECAP
Colorado Rockies
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Stats: Batting | Pitching
R H E
8 12 1
Milwaukee Brewers
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Stats: Batting | Pitching
R H E
6 13 1
W Reed (5-1)
L Estrella (2-1)
S Speier (3)
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COLORADO 8, MILWAUKEE 6
 

MILWAUKEE (Ticker) -- Pinch hitter Greg Norton 's leadoff homer ignited a three-run uprising in the top of the eighth inning as the Colorado Rockies rallied for an 8-6 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers .

Norton tied a Rockies' record with his fifth straight pinch hit and came through with his second homer of the season off the bench.

"Norton is hot," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. "He is just flat-out hot."

"If I got the record for pinch hits and I helped the team win, that's great," Norton added. "As far as me going home and calling my wife and saying, 'Honey, I got the pinch-hit record for the Rockies', that's not something I'm going to do. That's my role and I'm just trying to come through when I can."

After Norton hit a 2-2 pitch from Leo Estrella (2-1) over the right field fence to tie the game, 6-6, the Rockies took advantage of the reliever's wildness as he walked in two runs.

"This guy (Estrella) has been lights out from our understanding but when Norton hit that ball, it seemed like it rattled the furniture on him a little bit," Hurdle said. "I don't know if it did or not."

Following a one-out double by Todd Helton , the Rockies elected to walk Todd Helton . The move backfired as Preston Wilson walked to load the bases.

Estrella got Larry Walker to fly out to shallow left field, but he issued consecutive free passes to Jay Payton and Juan Uribe to give Colorado an 8-6 lead.

"I think our batters had some good eyes, took some close pitches and we got the calls," Norton said.

But both Estrella and manager Ned Yost felt that plate umpire Mark Carlson was squeezing the strike zone and were ejected following the walk to Uribe.

"At least give me one pitch," Estrella said. "It seemed like the whole game they didn't give the pitch to anybody."

There were a combined 409 pitches thrown in the nearly four-hour game, the longest of the season for both teams.

"Anytime you throw 400-some pitches, something's not right," Yost said.

Brewers catcher Eddie Perez did not fault Carlson, instead blaming the QuestTec system, which Major League Baseball uses to monitor umpires.

"It's not his fault," Perez said. "It's the freaking computer. It's somebody else's fault."

The Brewers grabbed a 6-5 advantage on Royce Clayton 's solo homer in the fifth, but Javier Lopez , Steve Reed (5-1), Brian Fuentes and Justin Speier combined for four scoreless innings in relief.

Speier got the final three outs for his third save as the Rockies improved to just 14-28 on the road.

Milwaukee's Dave Burba , making his second start of the season, gave up three runs in the top of the first.

John Vander Wal got Burba off the hook by reaching Colorado starter Aaron Cook for a grand slam in the bottom of the first inning.

The Brewers tacked on an unearned run in the fourth to take a 5-3 lead before the Rockies tied it in the fifth.

Shane Nance took over for Burba in the fifth, but gave up a leadoff homer to Wilson and left one out later after allowing singles to Payton and Uribe that put runners on the corners.

Brooks Kieschnick struck out Bobby Estalella , but Uribe stole second on the play and Payton came home from third when Perez's throw sailed into center field.

Colorado third baseman Chris Stynes left in the top of the second with a contusion of his left tricep.

Milwaukee's Eric Young extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a single in the second.


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