Helton, Atkins drive Rockies past Giants

DENVER (AP) -- Garrett Atkins got dirty at the hot corner, diving for one ground ball after another.

His filthy uniform was certainly appreciated by Aaron Cook.

Backed by Atkins' work in the field, Cook went seven efficient innings as the Colorado Rockies ended San Francisco's seven-game road winning streak, beating the Giants 10-5 on Tuesday night.

"Garrett diving down the line, diving in the hole, making plays," Cook said. "For me, if the defense is playing really solid behind me I have a chance to have a good night. They keep coming up huge."

Atkins also came through at the plate, hitting a two-run homer in the seventh, his ninth of the season.

Still, the banter after the game was his defensive prowess as he thwarted at least three potential hits with diving grabs, including Aaron Rowand's hot grounder down the line in the fourth.

"First time I've seen him dive -- ever," Todd Helton said.

Rockies manager Clint Hurdle couldn't believe his glove work, either, kidding with his fellow coaches in the dugout.

"It was like a kid in the sandbox," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. "Every time you turned around he was on the ground. He made some real good plays."

Cook (9-3) had his sinker working, getting nine groundball outs while scattering nine hits and giving up three earned runs. He also had three strikeouts.

The right-hander became the first Colorado pitcher to win nine games before the All-Star break since Shawn Chacon and Jason Jennings in 2003. The nine victories also matches his career high.

"When Cookie's out there, you feel pretty good," Helton said. "He was his normal self out there."

Helton hit a three-run homer to left on a changeup from reliever Vinnie Chulk, his seventh of the season.

"I'll be honest with you, it feels like it's been a few years since I drove a ball out to left," he said.

Helton finished the night with three hits, his confidence fully restored after a rocky performance Sunday when he left the bases loaded twice.

"It's good to see for him," Hurdle said. "It doesn't matter how long you've played, you get some confidence, you get rolling, you start to feel better."

Rockies All-Star Matt Holliday was activated before the game, and was greeted by a chorus of cheers his first time up. Holliday, on the disabled list since May 25 with a strained left hamstring, finished 0-for-3 and was hit by a pitch.

Omar Quintanilla tied a career high with three hits as the Rockies won for the 600th time at Coors Field. Since the park opened in 1995, Colorado has the fifth-best home winning percentage in the NL.

The weary Giants didn't arrive into the Mile High City until 3 a.m. after sweeping the Nationals in a four-game series in Washington.

When asked if fatigue played a factor, Giants manager Bruce Bochy said, "I don't think so. We faced a good pitcher."

Starter Pat Misch (0-3) struggled early, giving up four runs and seven hits in four innings. The left-hander is still searching for his first major league win, going 0-7 in 29 appearances over the last three years.

"The first couple of innings weren't good," Misch said. "My pitches were going everywhere."

Jose Castillo had three hits for the Giants and scored twice. Pinch-hitter John Bowker had an RBI triple in the eighth and Brian Horwitz added a pinch-hit homer off reliever Luis Vizcaino in the ninth.

Game notes
Bochy said RHP Kevin Correia should be available Sunday. Correia has been on the disabled list since April 27 with a left intercostal strain. ... Rockies SS Troy Tulowitzki was scheduled to leave Tuesday night for a rehab assignment at Single-A Modesto. He's been out since April 29 when he tore a muscle in his left quadriceps charging a ground ball. ... The Rockies have won five of their last six. ... Willy Taveras drove in two runs on a sacrifice fly and groundout. Taveras also stole two bases.