|Colorado (87-72) «||0||0||0||3||0||1||2||4||0||10||15||0|
|L.A. Dodgers (80-79)||0||0||0||2||0||1||0||1||0||4||7||0|
LOS ANGELES -- Most of the Colorado Rockies are involved in a pennant race for the first time. It seems to be bringing out their best.
Garrett Atkins had four hits, including a home run, and Brad Hawpe and Todd Helton homered as the Rockies beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 10-4 on Thursday night to sweep the three-game series and extend their franchise-record winning streak to 11 games.
The Rockies have given themselves a shot at the second playoff berth in the 15-year history of the franchise with the longest winning streak in the majors this season.
"We didn't set out to win 11 in a row," Atkins said. "We've just taken it game by game. It's most of our first time, but we're not thinking of it like that. We've had good pitching, good hitting, good defense and good luck."
Formed as an expansion team in 1993, the Rockies made the playoffs two years later. They haven't had a winning record since 2000.
Hawpe had three hits and four RBI for the Rockies, who trail first-place Arizona in the NL West by two games and are one game behind San Diego in the wild-card race along with Philadelphia and the New York Mets.
"I don't think anyone thought we had to win 11 straight just to stay in this thing," Hawpe said. "We've been excited about what we've done, where we're at. We're looking toward what we're doing in the next game and not worrying about the big picture."
The Rockies and Diamondbacks open a season-ending three-game series in Colorado on Friday. Should the Rockies sweep, they will either clinch a postseason berth or qualify for a tiebreaking game to determine the division winner or wild-card team.
"We're looking forward to it," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. "It's going to be pretty special. We've gotten ourselves in a very good position that's surprised a lot of people. It hasn't surprised one person in that clubhouse."
Seven of Colorado's wins in the streak have come over the Dodgers, who have lost 10 of 11 to fall out of contention. The Rockies (87-72), a franchise-record 15 games over .500, won as many as nine straight once before -- from Aug. 26 to Sept. 5, 1997.
"We're right where we want to be," Helton said. "It will be a fun weekend. This is what it's all about. I'm sure it will be a playoff atmosphere.
"We're looking to make the playoffs. Anything can happen in the playoffs."
Helton, who joined the Rockies in 1997, has never played in a postseason game.
"They're playing well right now," said Dodgers outfielder Juan Pierre, who played for the Rockies from 2000-02. "Anytime you win 11 games in a row, a lot of things are going right for them. It's a good makeup over there. They've had a lot of young guys they stood by and they let them grow. And now they're reaping the benefits."
Rookie Franklin Morales (3-2), a 21-year-old left-hander making his eighth big-league start, allowed four hits and three runs in five-plus innings to earn the victory.
James Loney drove in three runs for the Dodgers to give him 31 RBI this month, most in the majors.
The Rockies took a 3-0 lead and chased Esteban Loaiza (1-4) in the fourth. Matt Holliday singled for the first Colorado hit and one out later, Atkins hit his 25th homer. Hawpe followed with his 29th, the third time this season the Rockies have hit back-to-back homers.
The Dodgers scored twice in the bottom half to snap Morales' streak of 20 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings on an RBI triple by Loney and Russell Martin's run-scoring groundout.
The Rockies got a run in the sixth off Rudy Seanez on a sacrifice fly by Torrealba. It appeared they scored a second run when Matsui's grounder glanced off second base umpire Jerry Layne and into center field. By rule, Matsui was given a single, but the ball was ruled dead, leaving the bases loaded. Scott Proctor relieved and retired Troy Tulowitzki on a grounder to second.
The Dodgers drew within one run and chased Morales in the bottom of the inning, scoring on Loney's infield out before Jorge Julio retired Martin on a grounder to short with the tying run at third.
Helton hit a two-run homer off Proctor in the seventh to make it 6-3, and the Rockies scored four runs off rookie Jonathan Meloan in the eighth on an RBI double by Tulowitzki and a three-run double by Hawpe.
|Todd Helton's two-run homer in the seventh inning breaks the game open. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Kaz Matsui, 2B||4||0||1||0||0||0||3||.288|
|a- Omar Quintanilla, PH-2B||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.232|
|Troy Tulowitzki, SS||5||1||1||1||0||1||4||.292|
|Matt Holliday, LF||3||3||1||0||2||0||0||.338|
|Taylor Buchholz, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.130|
|Todd Helton, 1B||5||1||1||2||0||3||3||.318|
|Garrett Atkins, 3B||4||3||4||2||1||0||0||.294|
|Brad Hawpe, RF||5||1||3||4||0||0||2||.289|
|Ryan Spilborghs, CF||4||0||1||0||0||1||2||.300|
|Cory Sullivan, CF||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.303|
|Yorvit Torrealba, C||3||0||1||1||1||0||1||.260|
|Franklin Morales, P||2||0||1||0||0||1||2||.308|
|Ryan Speier, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Jeremy Affeldt, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Jorge Julio, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Seth Smith, PH||1||1||1||0||0||0||0||.500|
|LaTroy Hawkins, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|c- Jeff Baker, PH-LF||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.225|
|a-struck out for Matsui in the 9th|
|b-singled for Julio in the 8th|
|c-popped out for Hawkins in the 9th|
|2B - Troy Tulowitzki (31, Meloan), Garrett Atkins (34, Proctor), Brad Hawpe (30, Meloan)|
|HR - Todd Helton (16, Proctor), Garrett Atkins (25, Loaiza), Brad Hawpe (29, Loaiza)|
|SF - Yorvit Torrealba (1)|
|SH - Kaz Matsui (8), Franklin Morales (1)|
|RBI - Troy Tulowitzki (94), Todd Helton 2 (89), Garrett Atkins 2 (107), Brad Hawpe 4 (111), Yorvit Torrealba (46)|
|2-OUT RBI - Brad Hawpe 3 (65)|
|Team LOB - 9|
|Franklin Morales (W,3-2)||5||4||3||3||1||4||0||3.43|
|Ryan Speier (H,3)||0.1||0||0||0||0||1||0||4.32|
|Jeremy Affeldt (H,9)||0.1||0||0||0||0||0||0||3.59|
|Jorge Julio (H,17)||1.1||0||0||0||0||2||0||4.94|
|Pitches-Strikes - Franklin Morales 64-44, Ryan Speier 4-3, Jeremy Affeldt 3-2, Jorge Julio 16-10, LaTroy Hawkins 20-12, Taylor Buchholz 9-7|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Franklin Morales 10-1, Jeremy Affeldt 1-0, Jorge Julio 2-0, LaTroy Hawkins 2-0, Taylor Buchholz 2-0|
|Batters Faced - Franklin Morales 20, Ryan Speier 1, Jeremy Affeldt 1, Jorge Julio 4, LaTroy Hawkins 6, Taylor Buchholz 3|
|Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Juan Pierre, CF||4||1||1||0||0||1||1||.292|
|Delwyn Young, LF||3||1||0||0||1||1||1||.423|
|Matt Kemp, RF||4||1||2||0||0||2||2||.333|
|James Loney, 1B||4||1||2||3||0||0||0||.337|
|Russell Martin, C||4||0||0||1||0||0||3||.295|
|Chad Moeller, C||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.157|
|Andy LaRoche, 3B||4||0||1||0||0||2||0||.222|
|Wilson Valdez, 2B||4||0||0||0||0||2||1||.200|
|Chin-lung Hu, SS||4||0||0||0||0||1||0||.211|
|Esteban Loaiza, P||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.143|
|Eric Stults, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.364|
|a- Olmedo Saenz, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.191|
|Rudy Seanez, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Scott Proctor, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Joe Beimel, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Jonathan Meloan, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Mark Sweeney, PH||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||.256|
|D.J. Houlton, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-grounded out for Stults in the 5th|
|b-singled for Meloan in the 8th|
|3B - James Loney (4, Morales)|
|RBI - James Loney 3 (66), Russell Martin (86)|
|2-OUT RBI - James Loney (15)|
|SB - Juan Pierre 2 (63, 2nd base off Morales/Torrealba, 3rd base off Affeldt/Torrealba), Delwyn Young (1, 2nd base off Affeldt/Torrealba)|
|Team LOB - 4|
|Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Esteban Loaiza (L,2-4)||3.2||5||3||3||2||4||2||5.79|
|Pitches-Strikes - Esteban Loaiza 85-52, Eric Stults 17-10, Rudy Seanez 20-14, Scott Proctor 18-12, Joe Beimel 8-6, Jonathan Meloan 30-19, D.J. Houlton 11-7|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Esteban Loaiza 4-3, Eric Stults 1-3, Scott Proctor 1-0, Joe Beimel 3-0, Jonathan Meloan 1-1, D.J. Houlton 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Esteban Loaiza 18, Eric Stults 4, Rudy Seanez 6, Scott Proctor 4, Joe Beimel 3, Jonathan Meloan 8, D.J. Houlton 3|
|Attendance - 51999|
|Game Time - 3:18|
|Temperature - 67|
|Umpires - Home - Marvin Hudson, First Base - Ed Montague, Second Base - Jerry Layne, Third Base - Bill Miller|