DETROIT -- Throughout his winless stretch, Jason Hammel never questioned his performance.
His first victory still felt pretty good.
"I've been pitching pretty well, so I just knew I needed to keep plugging away," he said. "Today, I had my sinker working well, so I just had to throw strikes and let the defense make plays behind me."
Hammel moved into the rotation in late April, and Colorado manager Clint Hurdle was happy to see him help the Rockies beat the Tigers for the second time in two days.
"We were very pleased with his effort," Hurdle said. "I thought there was more of an edge to his pitching today, and the one time he did get into trouble, he was able to minimize the damage."
Three relievers finished the Rockies' interleague series win, with Huston Street pitching the ninth for his seventh save in as many tries. Todd Helton had a tying RBI double in the fifth and a go-ahead RBI single in the seventh.
"We're looking for traction right now, and this is the type of win that can help," Hurdle said. "We've had some tough sledding lately, but we've got an alpha dog doing the pulling in Todd Helton."
After winning the first seven games of the homestand, Detroit only scored four runs while losing the final pair.
"This was a very good homestand, but it could have been a great one," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "Hidden in that streak is that we haven't done much offensively. We've pitched well, we've run well and we've caught the ball well, but offense hasn't been there."
Dontrelle Willis (1-1) allowed three runs and seven hits in 6 2/3 innings. Willis has a 3.57 ERA in three starts after missing the first six weeks of the season with an anxiety disorder.
"When I'm getting guys out, it looks like I know what I'm doing, and when I don't, it doesn't," Willis said. "It has never stopped being fun, though. It was fun when I was pitching in the minors. I love playing baseball."
Willis had a streak of 11 scoreless innings ended by Helton's first RBI hit -- in the fifth.
"That's a guy that is going to the Hall of Fame," Willis said. "There's going to be days where he gets you."
The Tigers took a 1-0 lead on Dane Sardinha's bases-loaded single, but Josh Anderson grounded into an inning-ending double play.
"He hit a sinker -- that was the plan all day," Hammel said. "That team has a lot of big boppers, and you've got to keep the ball on the ground."
Colorado put runners on second and third in the third, pulling off a double steal, but Willis caught Helton looking for his third strikeout of the inning and fourth of the game.
The Tigers had two runners on in the sixth, but Ryan Spilborghs ended the threat by reaching into the stands to snare Brandon Inge's foul pop.
Helton gave the Rockies a 2-1 lead with a run-scoring single with two out in the seventh -- his fourth RBI in two days -- and Matt Murton followed with an RBI double to chase Willis.
The Rockies had an opportunity to add a fourth run in the eighth, putting a runner on third with one out, but Clint Barmes popped out and Ian Stewart struck out.
"We had a lot of chances, and I'm just glad we got enough of them home to win the game," Hurdle said. "Dontrelle made it tough -- he keeps you off balance. When he struck out Todd in the third -- that was three fastballs into a tea cup."
Magglio Ordonez extended his hitting streak to 10 games with his fourth-inning double. ... Helton was 1-for-11 against Willis before the run-scoring double and single. ... Willis came into the game with a 3-0 record in four career starts against Colorado, all with Florida. ... The Rockies placed C Chris Iannetta (hamstring) on the disabled list before the game and purchased the contract of C Paul Phillips from Triple-A Colorado Springs.