DENVER (AP) — The Colorado Rockies are winning games by playing solid defense and getting strong pitching.
Jhoulys Chacin threw six solid innings, Brad Hawpe and Troy Tulowitzki homered and the Colorado Rockies beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 3-2 on Tuesday night.
Todd Helton had three hits for the Rockies, who have won three straight.
Conor Jackson doubled in a run and scored another for the Diamondbacks.
Rockies manager Jim Tracy praised his pitching staff and team defense as Colorado won its first of 12 straight games against NL West opponents.
“If that’s what you’re going to get then you’re going to have to pitch it really well and catch it really well and that’s what he did,” he said.
The Rockies defense, which turned five double plays against Kansas City on Sunday, was strong again behind Chacin. Ian Stewart made two good grabs and Clint Barmes made a diving stop of Adam LaRoche’s grounder in the ninth to help preserve the win.
Stewart said the pitchers working quickly and efficiently help.
“The guys put the ball in play, that keeps the defense on their toes instead of throwing balls and walking guys,” he said. “You end up being on your heels a little bit.”
The Rockies put Arizona on its heels when it broke through in the second and never trailed. Hawpe led off with his fourth home run of the season, Miguel Olivo followed with a walk and Ian Stewart singled to left. After a one-out sacrifice by Chacin (3-2) moved the runners up, Olivo scored on a wild pitch to make it 2-0.
Ian Kennedy (3-3) escaped further trouble when he struck out Dexter Fowler with runners on the corners to end the inning.
Tulowitzki made it 3-0 with a one-out homer to left in the third inning, his fifth of the season.
“I threw a changeup to Hawpe and didn’t get it far enough in,” Kennedy said. “I threw fastball to Tulowitzki and it crossed the plate up in the zone.”
Staked to a lead, Chacin settled down and took control. He needed 39 pitches to get through the first two innings but needed just 40 more to get through five. Starting with an inning-ending double play in the second, Chacin retired 11 of 12.
“I started throwing my first pitch for strikes,” Chacin said. “The first two innings I was getting behind in the count, but when I got ahead they had to swing.”
Kennedy settled down, too, facing the minimum in the fourth and fifth to keep the game close, and the Diamondbacks finally struck in the sixth.
“I thought he was competitive,” Diamondbacks manager A.J. Hinch said. “He still got outs. Our problem was we didn’t piece together too many innings.”
Arizona did put one together in the sixth. Kelly Johnson led off with a single and came home on a double by Jackson. Two straight ground outs scored Jackson to make it 3-2.
Chacin allowed two runs on four hits, struck out five and walked two and picked up his first home win of his career.
Manuel Corpas struck out Mark Reynolds with a four-seam fastball with Stephen Drew on second to end the game and pick up his fourth save in five chances.
“That last fastball he threw, that was the best fastball I’ve seen him throw all year,” Tracy said.
Kennedy gave up three runs on five hits, struck out two and walked four in five innings.
NOTES: Colorado signed INF Kazuo Matsui to a minor league deal on Tuesday. … Rockies OF Carlos Gonzalez had an MRI done on his injured right wrist but the results were negative. He was out of the lineup Tuesday but was a defensive replacement in the ninth. … Arizona RHP Kris Benson (strained right shoulder) threw 56 pitches in a rehab assignment and Hinch said Benson was rusty. He will pitch again Sunday in Reno. … Rockies closer Huston Street (inflamed right shoulder) threw 20 pitches in a bullpen session Tuesday.