Rockies 7, Astros 6(10)

The Colorado Rockies know the odds are against them making

another run at the playoffs. History and a strong homestand have

them believing they can win the NL West.

Troy Tulowitzki scored from third on a wild pitch in the bottom

of the 10th inning and the Rockies beat the Houston Astros 7-6 on

Wednesday to complete a three-game sweep.

Mark Ellis had four hits, and Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez

each homered for the Rockies, who have won five straight for the

first time since April 15.

The streak moved the Rockies eight games behind first-place

Arizona. After making late-season runs in 2007 and ’09 to reach the

postseason, they feel they can overcome the deficit.

”We’ve done it before. If one thing’s in our favor, of all the

teams, we’ve been here before,” Tulowitzki said. ”We have to use

that to our advantage. It’s still a longshot, but if anybody can do

it, it’ll be us.”

After taking four of six games against Florida and Los Angeles,

the Rockies earned a hard-fought sweep of the Astros on a wild

finish.

Tulowitzki reached on a one-out walk and went to third on

Jonathan Herrera’s single to center. After an intentional walk to

Kevin Kouzmanoff, reliever Aneury Rodriguez (1-5) uncorked a wild

pitch to Eliezer Alfonzo and Tulowitzki trotted home with the

winning run.

”It’s kind of a weird way to win a game but we’ll take it,”

Tulowitzki said. ”Any win we can get we’ll take it.”

The win overshadowed Colorado facing Houston starter Wandy

Rodriguez. Multiple media outlets reported Tuesday that Rodriguez

was claimed off waivers by Colorado.

The Houston Chronicle reported that after Wednesday’s game the

Astros pulled Rodriguez off waivers when they couldn’t work out a

trade with the Rockies.

Rodriguez said the uncertainty didn’t bother him Wednesday.

”I thought about it a lot (Tuesday) night,” he said. ”I

didn’t know if I would be pitching here or over there.”

The Rockies said it wasn’t odd facing a possible teammate.

”Not at all,” Tulowitzki said. ”It’s part of the business and

we know what’s going on.”

The Astros gave Rodriguez some early support against Rockies

starter Aaron Cook, scoring twice in the first on an RBI double by

Carlos Lee and a single by Brian Bogusevic.

Colorado responded with four in the bottom of the inning, capped

by Tulowitzki’s two-run homer, his 26th of the year.

Houston tied it in the second. Clint Barmes led off with his

ninth homer, Carlos Corporan tripled and Rodriquez singled to

right. The Astros took a 5-4 lead on Jimmy Paredes’ RBI groundout

in the fourth.

Gonzalez gave the Rockies a 6-5 lead with a two-run homer in the

fourth, his 23rd. Houston tied it on Paredes’ RBI single in the

fifth.

Rodriguez allowed six runs, four earned, on 10 hits, struck out

two and walked four in six innings.

Cook was going for his second straight win at Coors Field this

season. He lasted just five innings, allowing six runs, five

earned, on 11 hits.

Matt Belisle (9-4), the Rockies’ fifth pitcher, got the win to

send them west with something to play for.

”Now because of some of the things that are taking place this

becomes a very interesting nine-game road trip,” manager Jim Tracy

said.

NOTES: Gonzalez extended his hit streak to 12 games. He has an

RBI in nine straight games. … Before the game, the Rockies called

up Kouzmanoff and started him at third base. Colorado optioned INF

Chris Nelson to make room for Kouzmanoff. … Following the game

the Astros recalled RHP J.A. Happ from Triple A and optioned

outfielder J.B. Shuck. Happ will start Friday against the Giants.

.. The Rockies will open a nine-game road trip Friday in Los

Angeles. RHP Esmil Rogers will face the Dodgers for the second time

in six days. The Astros head to San Francisco to start a four-game

weekend series against the Giants. RHP Henry Sosa will start the

opener.