The air was thin, and Mark Thompson's pitches were fat. Those conditions spawned a home-run barrage by the Atlanta Braves at Coors Field.
Chipper Jones hit his major league-leading ninth homer - one of five by Atlanta in a three-inning span - as the Braves defeated the Colorado Rockies 5-3 in the opener of a day-night doubleheader in Denver on Sunday.In the second game, Larry Walker hit his first homer of the season and the Rockies used a six-run third inning to get a split with a 10-7 win.
Andres Galarraga, who spent the past five seasons in Colorado, homered for Atlanta in both games.
The Braves' power display in the afternoon game tied an NL record by having their five home runs account for all their runs.
Thompson gave up all the homers and seemed a little shell-shocked afterward.
"That's unbelievable! I've never seen anything like that in my life," he said. "Every pitch I threw they hit for a home run. They ought to call United and ask for frequent-flyer miles."
With five homers in his last seven games, Jones has one more homer than Mark McGwire. Jones, though, knows the home run race is one he can't win.
"I'm trying to ride the streak as long as I can," Jones said. "I want to hang around him as long as I can until he gets hot."
Javy Lopez, Michael Tucker and Keith Lockhart also homered for the Braves to support starter Kevin Millwood (3-0).
Jones admitted that some of the homers would have been outs if not for Denver's mile-high altitude.
Millwood, coming off a one-hitter Tuesday, struck out nine in six innings. Mark Wohlers pitched the ninth for his fifth save.
Walker, who led the NL with 49 homers last season, was 6-for-7 with three stolen bases and four runs in the two games. He homered in the first inning of the night game off Dennis Martinez (1-2).
Rockies starter Jamey Wright (1-2) battled control problems and left after being hit by a line drive with two outs in the sixth. Jerry Dipoto pitched the ninth for his fourth save.
METS 14, REDS 0: At Cincinnati, John Olerud and Bernard Gilkey each had three RBIs and Al Leiter (3-1) allowed four hits over seven innings.
The Mets tied a team record for victory margin in a shutout, set against the Cubs on July 29, 1965. Gilkey became the fourth Met to score five runs in a game.
BREWERS 3, GIANTS 2: At Milwaukee, Marquis Gris-som singled home Bobby Hughes with the bases loaded off John Johnstone (1-1) in the 12th as the Brewers won their fourth straight.
Bob Wickman (1-3) allowed three hits in three shutout innings.
CARDINALS 3, PHILLIES 2: At St. Louis, Kent Mercker (2-0) pitched seven shutout innings, and Juan Acevedo struck out Rico Brogna to end the game with the bases loaded as St. Louis finished a three-game sweep.
The Phillies have lost five straight.
Matt Beech (0-1) gave up three runs and seven hits in six innings.
CUBS 2, DODGERS 1: At Chicago, Jeremi Gonzalez (1-2) allowed four hits in eight innings, and Henry Rodriguez homered as Chicago improved to 7-2 at Wrig-ley Field.
Mark Grace had an RBI single for the Cubs (11-7), who didn't win their 11th game last season until May 13.
The Dodgers had two on with one out in the ninth before Rod Beck struck out Matt Luke and Jose Vizcaino for his sixth save.
EXPOS 5, ASTROS 4: At Houston, Rondell White hit a go-ahead sacrifice fly in the eighth inning as Montreal stopped a nine-game losing streak against the Astros with its first win against Houston since last May 1.
Anthony Telford (2-0) pitched 1-2/3 scoreless innings, and Ugueth Urbina struck out six in two shutout innings for his fourth save.
Mike Magnante (0-1) took the loss.
MARLINS 4, DIAMONDBACKS 3: At Phoenix, Cliff Floyd hit a leadoff homer and Gregg Zaun had a two-run shot as Florida snapped Arizona's three-game winning streak.
RED SOX 3, INDIANS 0: Bret Saberhagen is starting to look like the pitcher who won AL Cy Young Awards in 1985 and 1989.
After missing all of 1996 and most of 1997 following shoulder surgery, Saberhagen is 3-0. He threw six shutout innings Sunday to lead Boston over the Cleveland 2-0.
"I haven't surprised myself, but I think I've surprised a lot of other people," Saberhagen said.
Saberhagen, who pitched in just six games last season, struck out four and walked one. He has won three straight decisions for the first time since June 18-28, 1995.
Jim Corsi followed Saberhagen and Tom Gordon pitched the ninth for his fourth save in five chances, completing a seven-hitter. Boston improved to 8-1 in Fenway Park this season.
Boston got its runs on sacrifice flies by Jim Leyritz in the fifth and Mark Lemke in the sixth.
DEVIL RAYS 6, ANGELS 0: Tampa Bay (10-6) became the first expansion team to move four games above .500 and have a winning record after 16 games and are just a half-game out of first place in the AL East.
Rolando Arrojo (2-1) allowed six hits in seven innings at Anaheim, and Dan Carlson and Roberto Hernandez completed the six-hitter.
TIGERS 2, YANKEES 1: Damion Easley's sacrifice fly scored the go-ahead run in the eighth, and Brian Moehler (1-2) allowed three hits in eight innings with seven strikeouts as Detroit stopped a seven-game losing streak.
MARINERS 7, TWINS 4: Russ Davis' second homer of the game, a three-run shot in the seventh, sent Seattle to its fifth straight win following a 3-10 start. The Mariners finished their road trip 5-5.
Mike Timlin pitched three perfect innings for his first save, the Mariners' fourth in five games after not getting one over the first 13.
BLUE JAYS 5, WHITE SOX 4: Alex Gonzalez hit a two-out RBI single off Carlos Castillo (0-1) in the 12th, and Mike Stanley and Ed Sprague hit consecutive homers in the fourth as Toronto completed a three-game sweep at SkyDome.
Chris Carpenter (1-0) allowed one hit in two shutout innings. Albert Belle hit his second homer run of the season for the White Sox, who have lost six of eight.
RANGERS 11, ORIOLES 7: Ivan Rodriguez capped a five-run fourth with a three-run homer and went 4-for-5, and Juan Gonzalez had four RBIs to take over the AL lead with 22.
Texas built an 11-1 lead and won for the sixth time in seven games. The Rangers took two of three in the series after going 1-10 against Baltimore last season.
ROYALS 7, ATHLETICS 3: Rookie Larry Sutton had four hits and Dean Palmer went 3-for-4 with two RBIs. At 4-12, the A's are off to their worst start after 16 games since moving to Oakland in 1968.