Rockies hit back-to-back-to-back home runs, complete sweep

DENVER -- The Colorado Rockies found their power stroke, and it gave them a sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Seth Smith, Carlos Gonzalez and Ryan Spilborghs hit consecutive home runs in the seventh inning, Troy Tulowitzki also homered and Colorado beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 8-2 on Thursday for the Rockies' first sweep of the season.

"We're definitely playing better," Tulowitzki said. "We're playing defense, pitching a little better and getting some timely hitting, mixed in with some power, which we didn't have early on."

The Rockies seemed to solve that against the Diamondbacks, clubbing nine in the three-game set. Smith had three and Gonzalez and Tulowitzki had two each in the series.

So have they solved their power outage?

"I'd like to think so," manager Jim Tracy said.

Gonzalez and Spilborghs finished with three hits each for the Rockies, who have won a season-high five straight. Stephen Drew had two hits and scored a run for Arizona, which has dropped four in a row.

"It is a roller coaster that we need to get off of," Diamondbacks manager A.J. Hinch said.

The game was close until the Rockies' bats exploded off Dan Haren (5-4) in the seventh. Ahead 4-2, Clint Barmes singled with one out and Smith, battling flu symptoms, hit the fifth pinch-hit homer of his career and his eighth of the season.

Gonzalez followed with his sixth and Spilborghs hit his third on the next pitch to make it 8-2 and chase Haren.

"I caught too much plate in the seventh and good hitters are going to make you pay," Haren said. "I had trouble keeping the ball in the yard."

It was the first time the Rockies hit three consecutive homers since April 27, 2004, when Jeromy Burnitz, Charles Johnson and Matt Holliday did it. It was also the second straight game Smith and Gonzalez have hit back-to-back homers and the third time this year.

Haren, who gave up all eight runs and struck out six in 6 1/3 innings, has allowed a major league-high 16 home runs this year.

"I'm frustrated," he said. "I've never had to deal with anything like this in my career."

Like they did in the first two games of the series, the Rockies took an early lead. Gonzalez led off with a single and advanced to second when centerfielder Chris Young misplayed the ball. Spilborghs followed with a double off the right-field wall to score Gonzalez, and after Jason Giambi struck out, Tulowitzki homered to left to make it 3-0.

It was his sixth home run of the year and fourth in five games. The homer also extended his hitting streak to 11 games.

"For myself, it was a matter of time," Tulowitzki said. "Lately, I've had my good swing, and when I have my good swing going I can hit for some power."

Jason Hammel (2-3) was cruising until the sixth. He walked Drew and Adam LaRoche, and with one out Mark Reynolds' flare to left loaded the bases. Chris Young's pop single to right scored Drew and then Hammel hit Chris Snyder to bring in another run and make it 3-2.

Matt Daley relieved Hammel and struck out Haren for the second out, and lefty Randy Flores came in and retired Kelly Johnson on a liner to right.

Aside from the sixth, the Diamondbacks' bats were silent, striking out 14 times.

Hammel allowed two runs on seven hits, walked two and tied a career high with eight strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings.

"The win goes to the bullpen," Hammel said. "They came up big for us to pick up the back end of the game. Five zeros but it's been that annoying little one inning where things seem to blow up."

The Rockies got one back in their half of the inning. Haren, who retired 13 straight after Tulowitzki's homer, gave up a leadoff double to Gonzalez, Spilborghs singled and Giambi hit a sacrifice fly to make it 4-2.

Game notes
The Rockies recalled Daley from Triple-A before the game and optioned LHP Greg Smith. ... Tulowitzki has three home runs in 32 at-bats against Haren. ... Colorado RHP Huston Street (right shoulder inflammation) threw a bullpen session before Thursday's game.