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Hawpe homers in fourth straight as Rockies win

PHOENIX (AP) -- After homering for the fourth straight game, Brad
Hawpe had a simple explanation for his power surge.

"If I get a good pitch, I put a good swing on it," the left
fielder said after helping the Colorado Rockies beat the Arizona
Diamondbacks 5-3 Thursday night.

Hawpe's streak matches the third-longest in club history, one
shy of the record shared by Larry Walker and Dante Bichette. And
none of Hawpe's homers have come in hitter-friendly Coors Field.

With Hawpe hammering away, the once-lowly Rockies finished a 5-1
road trip against NL West rivals San Diego and Arizona. The season
is only in its second week, but Colorado will be in first place as
it opens a nine-game series at Coors Field against Philadelphia on
Friday.

The increasingly confident Rockies don't look like the team that
opened last season 1-15 on the road and finished last in baseball's
weakest division.

"We've got a long way to go," manager Clint Hurdle said. "We
had a great trip. Now we'll go and get ready for the Phillies. We
expect to win, and when we don't we're disappointed."

The Rockies pounded out 10 hits, nine for extra bases. Their
eight doubles were one short of a club record.

No one has been hotter than Hawpe, who went 6-for-11 against
Arizona with three homers, a double and seven runs batted in.

"He's exhibited major-league power in the minor leagues and
we've seen some flashes of it at this level," said Hurdle, who
tutored Hawpe in the batting cage last weekend in San Diego. "He's
working hard in (batting practice) and he's working hard in the
cage and hitting the ball hard where it's pitched."

Josh Fogg (2-0) gave up three runs and five hits in 5 1-3
innings.

Hawpe, who fell a single shy of hitting for the cycle in Tuesday
night's series opener, was halfway to a cycle by the fourth inning,
when he doubled off Arizona starter Russ Ortiz (0-2).

Already leading 1-0 on Hawpe's homer, the Rockies made it 3-0 in
the fourth on doubles by Garrett Atkins, Hawpe and Choo Freeman.

The three-run lead appeared to be enough for Fogg. After giving
up a single leadoff hitter Craig Counsell in the first, Fogg
retired the next 10 batters before Chad Tracy hit a 441-foot homer
into the center-field pavilion to cut Arizona's deficit to 3-1 in
the fourth.

The Rockies answered in the fifth with one-out doubles by Clint
Barmes and Todd Helton.

Ortiz gave up four runs on eight hits -- seven for extra bases --
in 4 1-3 innings. The right-hander, 103-60 in seven seasons with
San Francisco and Atlanta before signing a four-year, $33 million
contract with Arizona in December 2004, is 5-13 since joining the
Diamondbacks.

"I made seven mistakes today," Ortiz said. "I got hit hard.
What are you going to do? I wasn't very happy, obviously, to put us
in that situation, but at the same time I guess it could have been
a lot worse."

Arizona pulled to 4-3 in the sixth. With one out, Counsell
doubled and scored on Jeff DaVanon's double. DaVanon came around on
Tracy's single, which chased Fogg from the game.

Left-hander Tom Martin came on and retired Luis Gonzalez and
Tony Clark to end the threat. Martin also pitched a scoreless
seventh inning, and Jose Mesa worked the eighth.

"We just lacked one more big hit," Arizona manager Bob Melvin
said.

Colorado made it 5-3 in the ninth on doubles by Matt Holliday
and Barmes. Brian Fuentes pitched a scoreless ninth for his second
save, sending the Rockies home atop the division.

"I think it's special," Hawpe said. "Our lineup's getting on
the board early. Things are going good right now. We've just got to
keep our head down and keep pedaling."

Game notes
Craig Counsell, who led off the game with a single, has a
hit in six of seven games he's started. ... DaVanon, a former Angel
who signed with Arizona a week before spring training, has a hit in
each of his five starts. ... The game drew 18,745. That was 101
more than Wednesday's crowd of 18,644, the smallest in the
franchise's nine years. ... Hawpe also came close to a cycle on
Sunday, falling a double short while going 3-for-5 with three RBI
in the Rockies' 10-4 win at San Diego.