Tulowitzki homers twice as Rockies beat Padres
DENVER (AP) Troy Tulowitzki showed why he is an All-Star and the NL captain for the Home Run Derby next week.
More importantly, he is trying to show his young teammates the Colorado are still postseason contenders.
He hopes winning a series at home was a fresh start.
Tulowitzki hit two of Colorado's five home runs, and the Rockies beat the San Diego Padres 6-3 on Wednesday.
Drew Stubbs, Charlie Blackmon and Wilin Rosario also went deep for the Rockies, who won a home series for the first time in nearly two months.
''I'm careful about saying when wins are must-wins or what games are must-wins, but all things considered we needed to win that series,'' manager Walt Weiss said.
Colorado last won a home series taking two of three from San Diego in May. The Rockies managed to split a four-game set with Atlanta in June but lost five other series at Coors Field. They were swept twice and in the process went from second in the NL West to last before taking two straight from the Padres.
''A series win is important, especially against a division opponent,'' Tulowitzki said.
Tulowitzki has expressed frustration with Colorado's extended slump but hasn't given up on the season. He pointed out the Rockies used big turnarounds after the All-Star break to reach the World Series in 2007 and the playoffs again two years later.
''That's something I'm trying to preach to these guys. Anything can happen,'' Tulowitzki said. ''Even though it doesn't look like we're in it keep coming to work every single day and hopefully it transfers over. It's been a rough first half but second halves here, those playoff-run years have been pretty good.''
They took a step with back-to-back homers off reliever Joaquin Benoit (3-1) in the eighth. Blackmon started the rally with a single and Stubbs followed with his ninth homer of the season and fifth in his last five games.
Tulowitzki then hit an 0-1 fastball into the left field seats for his 20th home run of the year. It was Tulowitzki's second multihomer game this season and 10th of his career.
Benoit had not allowed a run in 19 1-3 innings before Stubbs' homer.
''Benoit has been outstanding,'' Padres manager Bud Black said. ''He got two strikeouts and a popout to center and they hit a couple of high flies that went out. One by an All-Star.''
Boone Logan (2-1) pitched the eighth for the win and LaTroy Hawkins worked the ninth for his 17th save in 18 chances.
Jake Goebbert and Seth Smith homered for San Diego. The Padres have not won a series in Denver in two years.
Rockies starter Jair Jurrjens didn't experience any of the breathing trouble he suffered from during his Rockies debut last Friday but he was only able to last 4 2-3 innings. He left after the Padres tied the game 3-3 on Smith's solo home run and a wild pitch that scored Chris Denorfia.
It was the only run in the game not scored on a homer.
''We outhit them but they outhomered us and that was the difference,'' Black said.
Jurrjens gave up eight hits and struck out six before leaving, but it could have been worse. With two runners on in the fifth Yasmani Grandal hit a foul home run down the right-field line, a call that was held up under review. It was the second time in the game Grandal was on the losing end of a review.
''I thought it was fair. From my point of view it left the ballpark fair but it was so high that by the time it came down it just went straight out,'' Grandal said. ''It got into the wind stream and blew the other way.''
Colorado's All-Stars got things started in the first off starter Eric Stults. Blackmon hit his fourth leadoff home run of the game and second homer in as many days into the Rockies' bullpen. One out later Tulowitzki hit a line drive into the bleachers in left to give Colorado a 2-0 lead.
''You can only keep a talent like Tulo down for so long,'' Weiss said.
NOTES: Colorado has hit five homers in a game three times this season. The last time was May 10 at Cincinnati. ... Rockies OF Carlos Gonzalez (left index finger tumor) is set to rejoin the team for this weekend's series against Minnesota. ... Padres INF Everth Cabrera (left hamstring strain) will meet the team in L.A. on Friday for a series against the Dodgers. ... Rockies 1B Kyle Parker singled in the second for his first major league hit. ... Both teams have Thursday off.