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Thursday, June 04, 2009

Rockies finaly take a game away from Astros

HOUSTON (AP) — Garrett Atkins broke out of a slump with two home runs and the Colorado Rockies snapped a four-game losing skid with a 10-3 win over the Houston Astros on Thursday night.

Ryan Spilborghs and Brad Hawpe added solo homers and Jason Hammel pitched seven effective innings for the Rockies, who avoided a sweep and stopped Houston's four-game winning streak.

Hammel (2-3) allowed two runs on four hits with four strikeouts in his longest outing of the season.

The Rockies pounded Wandy Rodriguez (5-5), who lost his third straight start after winning his previous four decisions. Rodriguez came in with an 0.79 ERA at Minute Maid Park, but gave up seven runs and 10 hits in five innings.

Colorado jumped to a 2-0 lead in the third inning before the home run outburst began.

Spilborghs led off with a double and scored on Clint Barmes' triple to the right-field corner. Todd Helton drove in Barmes with an RBI single to center.

Two outs later, Atkins hammered a 1-0 pitch off the brick facade in left-center. Atkins was mired in an 11-for-86 slump and hadn't homered since April 25.

In the fourth, Spilborghs hit an opposite-field drive into the Astros' bullpen, his fifth home run of the season. Then Spilborghs made a tough over-the-shoulder catch in the bottom of the inning on Lance Berkman's deep fly to straightaway center.

Hawpe and Atkins hit back-to-back homers in the fifth to put the Rockies up 7-1. Colorado had back-to-back home runs for the fourth time this season and Atkins recorded multiple homers in a game for the sixth time in his career. Atkins hadn't even had a multihit game since April 27.

Hammel, who came in with a 1.64 ERA in five road appearances this season, retired the first seven hitters he faced and never struggled.

Houston got its first run in the third, when Edwin Maysonet singled and scored on Michael Bourn's double down the right-field line.

Hammel struck out the next three batters and didn't allow another hit until Berkman led off the seventh with a double. Berkman scored on Maysonet's two-out single to make it 7-2.

Colorado tacked on three runs in the eighth inning off Brandon Backe. The Astros added one in the bottom half off Jason Grilli.

Miguel Tejada went 0 for 5 to end his 17-game hitting streak.

Notes:@ The Rockies tied their season high for home runs in a game. Colorado also hit four home runs in a 12-1 win over the Astros on May 12 at Coors Field. ... Astros RHP Geoff Geary threw about 40 pitches in the bullpen and will start a rehab stint with Houston's Double-A affiliate this weekend. Geary has been on the disabled list since May 14 with right biceps tendinitis. ... Colorado manager Jim Tracy didn't know when C Yorvit Torrealba would rejoin the team. Torrealba flew to Venezuela on Tuesday after learning his 11-year-old son and brother-in-law had been kidnapped. The son and brother-in-law were free again on Thursday. "I can't even begin to tell you, having children of my own, how gratified you are that everything has worked out," Tracy said.

by the associated press

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