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News » Helton breaks slump; Rockies rally past 'Zona

Helton breaks slump; Rockies rally past 'Zona

Helton breaks slump; Rockies rally past 'Zona
PHOENIX (AP) - Colorado manager Clint Hurdle said Todd Helton "was born to hit."

The Arizona Diamondbacks can attest to that.

Helton broke out of an early slump with three hits, including his first homer, and drove in three runs as the Colorado Rockies rallied for a 9-6 victory over the Diamondbacks on Tuesday night.

Helton entered the night hitting .231, 97 points below his career average. He singled twice and added a two-run shot off Jon Rauch in the eighth.

"To me, he's not in a slump," Hurdle said. "He just needs at-bats. He puts a lot of responsibility on himself and a lot of pressure on himself. I've always believed he was going to hit. He's just one of those guys, he was born to hit.

"This is the kind of game you're looking for to get him off and running, though," Hurdle said.

Garrett Atkins also had three hits for the Rockies, who overcame a 6-3 deficit in the sixth inning and snapped a four-game losing streak.

"We showed some grit tonight, some resolve," Hurdle said.

Matt Belisle (1-0) retired all five batters he faced, and Manny Corpas pitched the ninth for his first save in two chances.

This is Colorado's second trip to the desert this season. By the time they leave Wednesday, the Rockies will have played twice as many games at Chase Field (six) as they have in Coors Field.

Eleven of Colorado's first 14 games are on the road. But the Rockies aren't using the schedule as an alibi for their slow start.

"I think the biggest thing is to keep grinding," Belisle said.

The Diamondbacks, meanwhile, are grinding their teeth after falling into last place in the NL West. Arizona is 5-9, and only the hapless Washington Nationals have more losses, with 10.

"It gets a little frustrating for all the guys, but we've got to keep battling," Arizona catcher Miguel Montero said.

Chris Young, Eric Byrnes and Mark Reynolds each homered for the Diamondbacks, who have followed all five of their victories with a loss.

Down 6-3 in the sixth, the Rockies rallied against the Arizona bullpen. The first run scored on a double-play groundout by Ryan Spilborghs and another came in on an RBI single by Helton before Brad Hawpe lined a two-run, two-out single to center off Juan Gutierrez (0-1).

"We've struggled all year with guys in scoring position," Helton said. "You don't want to make too big an issue out of that, then guys start thinking about it when they're up there hitting. To battle back and get some key hits like that, after we'd struggled a couple times earlier, hopefully it'll be a big lift for us."

Arizona starter Yusmeiro Petit, filling in for injured ace Brandon Webb, spotted the Rockies a 2-0 lead in the second on singles by Yorvit Torrealba and starting pitcher Franklin Morales.

After Morales gave up solo homers to Young and Byrnes on consecutive pitches in the second, Colorado took a 3-2 lead on Ian Stewart's RBI single in the third.

Morales left after straining his shoulder as he warmed up in the bottom of the third inning.

Morales allowed two runs on three hits in two innings, striking out three. He was recalled from Triple-A Colorado Springs earlier in the day.

Glendon Rusch relieved Morales and allowed consecutive hits to Felipe Lopez, Augie Ojeda and Conor Jackson to open the third as the Diamondbacks took a 4-3 lead.

After Jackson led off the fifth with a single, Reynolds hit a two-run shot off Rusch, his fourth, to put the Diamondbacks up 6-3.

Petit left after five innings. He gave up two earned runs, walked one and struck out four.

But the Diamondbacks' bullpen couldn't make his lead stand up.

"We had a little hiccup in the middle there, giving up runs," Arizona manager Bob Melvin said.


Arizona RHP Webb, on the 15-day DL with a tight pitching shoulder, reported no pain in a 33-pitch bullpen session on Tuesday. Webb will throw again in the bullpen on Friday, and then the club will decide if he needs a rehab start before returning to the rotation. ... Arizona SS Stephen Drew missed his fourth straight start with a tight left hamstring, but he drew a walk as a pinch-hitter in the eighth and stayed in the game..

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: April 22, 2009

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