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05/13/09 8:43 PM ET

Hurdle helps Rockies handle hurdles

Struggling players happy to have manager's support

DENVER -- Heading into Spring Training, Rockies manager Clint Hurdle liked the team that was assembled. That hasn't changed, even though the Rox entered Wednesday night's game against the Astros in third place in the National League West, 7 1/2 games behind the Dodgers.

"From time to time when we meet up as a team, it's always a staple of any conversation I have," Hurdle said. "Then individually, when I get guys one-on-one, I tell them the easiest thing for me to do is to stay with you as long as you're staying with yourself. The easiest thing for anybody is to get off if you're not on it."

The support Hurdle gives his players will last as long as they believe in themselves.

"If you see a player losing confidence and the body language gets bad, how can you have faith in somebody when they are not carrying it out with them?" Hurdle said. "They got to have an air about themselves when they play and the level of confidence that's secure and consistent."

Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki received a pep talk from Hurdle when he was struggling.

"He had a meeting with me in his office and sat me down," Tulowitzki said. "He said a couple of things, words of encouragement. He told me he's going to keep throwing me out there and give me a day off here and there, but for the most part, he's stuck behind me."

Hurdle's support has helped Tulowitzki bounce back. The shortstop has at least two hits in each of the past four games, and he has raised his batting average 81 points to .248 since April 25. Tulowitzki said Hurdle's support shows the manager has his and the team's back.

"It definitely gives us a boost when we know he's behind us," Tulowitzki said.

Cheng Sio is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.