Backups keeping banged-up Rockies above ground as Colorado wins 5th in row

DENVER (AP) -- The Colorado Rockies keep losing players and winning games.

Matt Holliday homered and drove in four runs and Joe Koshansky hit his first major league homer as the injury-riddled Rockies won their season-best fifth straight, 12-6 over the Florida Marlins on Saturday night.

Chris Iannetta and Brad Hawpe also connected for Colorado one night after the Rockies went deep six times.

Since Wednesday, the Rockies have lost ace Jeff Francis, captain Todd Helton and clubhouse leader Troy Tulowitzki to the 15-day DL, and yet this spate of bad news has coincided with their best stretch since last fall's unfathomable 21-1 run-up to the World Series.

Go figure.

"Our team has never felt sorry for itself and it's never wondered what could have been," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. "It hasn't been a characteristic of our club. We focus, again, on what we do have."

And lately that's been a hodgepodge of career backups and minor league callups.

"Well, we're not going to give up," Holliday said. "Joe comes up with a big homer. Iannetta's swinging the bat. We've got enough to survive."

Jorge De La Rosa (3-4) scattered six hits and allowed three earned runs over five-plus innings. He also got his first major league hit, a single, in his 31st career at-bat.

Florida right-hander Ryan Tucker (2-3) allowed eight runs, all earned, on seven hits in four innings.

"They hit some bad pitches at bad times and hit them hard," Tucker said.

Before the game, the Rockies placed Tulowitzki on the 15-day DL with a deep cut in his right palm, the result of a freak accident Friday night in which the slumping shortstop pounded his maple bat into the ground in frustration and it shattered. Tulowitzki needed 16 stitches and expects to miss about two weeks.

Just as they did when they lost Francis (shoulder) on Wednesday and Helton (back) on Friday, the Rockies (37-51) won with a mesh of backups and reinforcements from the minor leagues playing integral roles, helping them remain in contention in the mediocre NL West.

"I'm glad we're not in the Central or the East," Hurdle said.

Koshansky, the power prospect brought up from Triple-A Colorado Springs to replace Helton, sent Tucker's 2-2 fastball deep into the center-field rock pile to make it 2-0 in the second.

Koshansky hit 120 home runs in 4½ seasons in the minors, including 18 this year.

"This is definitely an exciting feeling rounding the bases," Koshansky said. "The big leagues are a big step from anything in minor league baseball."

The Marlins loaded the bases with two outs in the fourth, but De La Rosa got Robert Andino to ground out to third and the Rockies put the game away with a six-run outburst in their half.

Iannetta's two-run homer made it 4-0, and Holliday, who hit a grand slam Friday night, came up with the bases loaded and a chance to do it again. Matt Treanor's passed ball, however, scored De La Rosa from third before Holliday hit his 13th homer to make it 8-0.

"It's the best my swing's felt all year," said Holliday, who has nine RBIs in the last two games.

After Hawpe broke out of an 0-for-15 skid with a three-run shot off Joe Nelson in the sixth, Cody Ross, who drove in five runs Friday night, replied with a three-run homer off Glendon Rusch in the seventh to make it 11-6.

The teams have combined for 64 runs in the first three games of their four-game series, including Friday night's 18-17 slugfest won by the Rockies, who overcame a nine-run deficit.

"I don't know what kind of balls they are using," Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "All I know is the ball is flying out of here."

"It isn't the ball," Ross said. "Both our teams can hit."

Game notes
After the game, the Marlins optioned LHP Taylor Tankersley to Triple-A Albuquerque. They also placed RHP Justin Miller (elbow) on the 15-day DL and recalled righty Matt Lindstrom from the Isotopes. ... Florida 3B Jorge Cantu was a late scratch with a sore left triceps. He was replaced by Wes Helms.