Tulowitzki’s 3-Run HR Helps Rockies Beat Miami 8-4
MIAMI (AP) – The Colorado Rockies began the night 14½ games out of first place in the NL West, the biggest deficit in the majors.
Even so, Troy Tulowitzki rated their 8-4 victory Wednesday over the Miami Marlins as significant.
“It’s just a big win for us,” he said. “It might sound stupid, but it was real big.”
Tulowitzki homered and drove in four runs to help Alex White earn his first victory this year, and the Rockies snapped a six-game losing streak.
White (1-3) had lost six consecutive starts since September. He gave up four runs in six innings.
The Rockies had lost 16 of 20 games in May. When they fell behind 3-0 in the second inning against Carlos Zambrano, they were on the verge of being swept for the second series in a row.
“If we go into an off day with two sweeps in a row, it’s tough to take,” Tulowitzki said. “Heads start to spin a little bit – ‘Jeez, this is going real bad.’ At least we look at our last game as a win. Is it where we want to be? No, but at least it’s a step in the right direction.”
The Rockies’ comeback came after they blew early leads of 4-0 and 3-0 in the first two games of the series.
“This game is crazy,” Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said. “I love baseball. Pretty nice, huh? We’re up by three with Carlos on the mound, I’ve got a smile on my face.”
The Rockies’ 3-4 hitters led the rally. Carlos Gonzalez had two hits and two RBIs. Tulowitzki doubled home a run in the fourth and hit a tiebreaking three-run homer in the fifth off Zambrano (2-3).
Tulowitzki hiked his average to a still-modest .268.
“I told him the stranger that’s hitting behind me is starting to look like Troy Tulowitzki,” Gonzalez said. “That’s what everybody’s been waiting for. I’m not even worried about him because I know he’s going to get hot and going to take care of us.”
Jose Reyes had two RBI singles for the Marlins. They managed only one baserunner in the final 5 1-3 innings, and Rafael Betancourt pitched a perfect ninth.
“This is the first time in several days when I had the chance to use the bullpen the way I wanted to,” Rockies manager Jim Tracy said.
Zambrano allowed just five hits but seven runs in five innings. He walked three, and each led to a run.
“I didn’t have my best stuff,” he said. “The Rockies came in with a six-game losing streak. They were hungry today, and I was the bite.”
The result snapped a three-game winning streak for the Marlins, who began the night with the best record in the majors since May 1.
Tulowitzki followed with his sixth homer for a 7-4 lead. With that one pitch, Zambrano gave up as many runs as he had allowed in his previous four starts combined.
Gonzalez hit a two-out RBI triple in the seventh.
“We’re going to score runs when those two guys in the middle of the order start putting things together,” Tracy said. “Then we have the opportunity of putting points on the board – some serious points on the board.”
Miami’s Giancarlo Stanton began the night with a career average of .349 against Colorado, but he went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts. Hanley Ramirez went 0 for 2 with runners in scoring position and is batting .208 in those situations this year.
White gave up eight hits but only one walk. He improved his career road ERA to 6.80 in eight starts.
“I can’t beat myself,” he said. “I can’t put guys on base. That’s how I get in trouble. I had to trust my stuff and get it in the strike zone.”
Notes: Rockies CF Eric Young made his fourth start of the year, replacing Dexter Fowler, who was nursing a sore ankle. Fowler is expected to return for the Rockies’ next game Friday at Cincinnati. … The Marlins are averaging only 1.8 runs per game when RHP Anibal Sanchez is on the mound. He’s scheduled to start Thursday against San Francisco. … Marlins 2B Omar Infante was back in the lineup after missing three games because of a family funeral.
By STEVEN WINE, AP Sports Writer
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