Rockies break out to drub Brewers
Late surge secures ninth straight home series victory
DENVER -- The circus was sure to be in San Francisco on Tuesday night, when Barry Bonds hit home run No. 756 to become the all-time leader.But it was sure a wild and wacky night in front of 30,280 in Denver, where the Rockies won yet another home game, 11-4, and moved to a tie for third in the National League West with the Dodgers. Colorado is four games above .500 (58-54) for the third time this season and three back of the Padres in the Wild Card race. The victim for the second straight night was the Brewers, and the victory gave the Rockies their ninth straight series win at home. The last team to accomplish that feat was the world champion St. Louis Cardinals last season. Don't start distributing the rings yet, but the Rockies have looked like championship -- or at least -- playoff contenders at home, where they are 20-5 since June 2. Tuesday's win hardly resembled the previous 19. The Rockies trailed, 3-0, and Brewers lefty Chris Capuano (5-9) had Colorado hitters flummoxed through the first five innings, but it was Capuano who looked flummoxed on how to get the Rockies out in the sixth. The Rockies scored five runs and batted around in the game-changing frame. Troy Tulowitzki started things off with a leadoff homer -- his 13th. After four straight hits, including an RBI single by Garrett Atkins, Carlos Villanueva relieved Capuano, but the hitting continued. Ryan Spilborghs hit an RBI double, Brad Hawpe walked and after Yorvit Torrealba popped out, Cory Sullivan drove in another run on an infield single. Jamey Carroll drove in the last run on a fielder's choice. "It was five good innings, and then I let them up for air in that sixth inning," Capuano said. "I'm not going to sit here and say I threw the ball well or anything. It's kind of pathetic. Myself and everyone on the team needs to pick it up a little bit." One guy Rockies nation has been hoping would pick it up is Todd Helton, who entered the game with two homers since June 30. Helton added two to his total when he homered in back-to-back innings in the seventh and eighth, giving him 11 for the season. Helton finished 3-for-5. It was his first multihomer game this season, but the 26th of his career and first since Sept. 2, 2005, against the Dodgers. "There's going to be some ups and downs," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. "They're not robots; they're not machines. They're going to get hot; they're going to back off. Pitchers are going to adjust." Rockies starting pitcher Jason Hirsh had to overcome a line drive to his right calf from the second batter of the game, another baserunning faux pas and continued ragging from his teammates to put the Rockies in a position to win. Hirsh (5-7) held the Brewers to three hits and three runs -- two earned -- in six innings. All three of the Brewers runs came on sacrifice flies. Capuano walked Hirsh in the third, and Hirsh limped down the line because of his bruised right calf. The last time Hirsh got on base was July 2 against the Mets, when he sprained his right ankle at third base when Mets catcher Paul Lo Duca tried to pick him off. Hirsh had joked that the next time he got on third, he was going to sit on the bag. But at first base on Tuesday night, he took about a two-foot lead. He was immediately picked off by Capuano. "When it comes to baserunning, he's a real good pitcher," Hurdle said. When asked about it after the game, Hirsh said, "I stink at baserunning anyway." And then promptly asked for the next question and smiled. If the Rockies keep winning at home, they'll all keep smiling and who knows what might happen in the wild NL West.
C.J. Moore is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.