Originally created 04/01/04

Angels defeat Rockies



TUCSON, Ariz. -- Denny Stark was awarded the No. 5 spot in the Colorado Rockies rotation Wednesday despite struggling for five innings in a 9-5 loss to the Anaheim Angels.

Stark, 0-2 this spring, allowed six hits and six runs - five earned - with three walks and no strikeouts. He was competing with Chin-hui Tsao, who pitched in a minor-league game Wednesday and had statistics similar to Stark's.

Despite his poor line, Stark said he made good pitches and had good command.

"The last couple of outings I think I've been able to locate pretty well," he said. "I've definitely seen some improvement, and that's all I'm worried about."

John Lackey, named the fifth starter in Anaheim's rotation earlier Wednesday, also had a rough outing. Lackey (1-2) got the win despite allowing eight hits and five runs in six innings.

"My fastball felt a lot better today," Lackey said. "I was locating better and was down in the zone a lot more. I'm confident with where I'm at to start the season."

Colorado's Preston Wilson, who didn't play in an exhibition game until Sunday because of a sore left knee, homered in his third straight game. He hit a three-run homer off Lackey in the third.

David Eckstein and Jeff DaVanon each had two RBIs for the Angels. DaVanon and Robb Quinlan both homered.

Luis Gonzalez went 3-for-5 for the Rockies.

Angels catcher Bengie Molina left the game in the third inning with a slightly strained left hamstring.

Notes: The Angels announced their full rotation: Bartolo Colon, Jarrod Washburn, Kelvim Escobar, Ramon Ortiz and Lackey. Aaron Sele will open the season in the bullpen. ... Former boxing champion Sugar Ray Leonard threw out the first pitch. Leonard was in Tucson to promote his "Friday Night Fights" at a local casino. ... The Rockies gave INF-OF Benji Gil his unconditional release. ... Gonzalez was named the first recipient of the Abby Greer Award, which goes to the club's spring MVP. The award is named after a 6-year-old Rockies fan who died in a traffic accident near Coors Field in 2002.