• Summary: Colorado continued collecting home runs, hitting three more as the Rockies buried the Devils Rays, who have been outscored 38-8 in dropping four in a row.
• Turning point: Brad Hawpe's first career grand slam got the Rockies rolling in the first inning and on their way to a fourth straight victory.
• Unsung hero: Willy Taveras, he of the five career home runs and a steady .300-plus hitter, went deep for the second time this season.
• Figure this: The Rockies have outscored their opponents 41-10 in their four-game winning streak.
• Quotable: "I'd rather take the blame when things don't go well than take credit when they go well." -- Rockies manager Clint Hurdle
Rockies 10, Devil Rays 5
DENVER (AP) -- To Willy Taveras, anything hit in the air is a mistake. If it happens to leave the park, he'll pardon himself.Taveras lined his second homer of the season, Brad Hawpe hit his first career grand slam and Garrett Atkins homered for the third straight game to help the Colorado Rockies beat the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 10-5 on Saturday night."I'm not a home run hitter," Taveras said. "I just want to make contact. I want to put the ball on the ground. I never try to show power."Taveras pointed over at Hawpe."I don't have that kind of power," he said.Hawpe has been on a power surge of late. He hit his third homer in four games. Not only that, but he's crushing the ball at Coors Field. He's hit nine of his 11 homers this season at home. Last season, Hawpe had 16 homers on the road and only six at Coors."I really don't care where he hits them," manager Clint Hurdle said. "I just like it when he hits them."Atkins has four homers in his last 12 games and has reached base with a hit or walk in 17 straight contests. And while Atkins' turnaround happened to coincide with a two-day rest Hurdle gave him to clear his head, Hurdle wouldn't take any credit."I'd rather take the blame when things don't go well than take credit when they go well," Hurdle said.The Rockies (35-33) moved two games over .500 for the first time since April 6. They have outscored their opponents 41-10 in their four-game winning streak.Hurdle is impressed with the offensive fireworks. But he knew the team had it in them."I don't expect it every night. But we're very capable of getting on an offensive roll," Hurdle said. "We're scoring runs a lot of different ways."But when Taveras goes deep, it's just an added bonus. Taveras was even surprised that his low liner -- that he reached down and golfed -- climbed over the left-field fence."I thought it was going to be foul," said Taveras, who hit a career-high three home runs his rookie season in 2005. "It actually went over the fence."By taking the first two of a three-game series with Tampa Bay, the Rockies improved to 7-0-1 in their last eight series.The Devil Rays, meanwhile, are reeling. They've been outscored 38-8 in dropping four in a row.Andy Sonnanstine (1-1) was making his third start since being called up from Triple-A Durham on June 2. He lasted five innings, allowing six hits and seven runs."I had some trouble with the grip," Sonnanstine said. "You have to deal with it. I had trouble with my location."Sonnanstine was very succinct on the mistakes he made on the homers.-On Hawpe's in the first inning: "Bad pitch. I hung a slider."-On Atkins' two-run shot in the third: "It wasn't located well."-On Taveras' solo shot in the fourth: "Fastball."The Rockies offense bailed out an ineffective Jason Hirsh, who lasted just 4 1-3 innings. He gave up six hits and five runs, before giving way to Taylor Buchholz in the fifth with two runners on. Buchholz got Delmon Young to fly out and Jonny Gomes to pop up to end the threat.Buchholz (4-3) went 1 2-3 innings and gave up one hit for the win. Buchholz, who was a starter earlier this season, is beginning to feel comfortable in the bullpen."I do like it," he said.Brendan Harris had three hits, including a solo homer to center, his seventh of the season, and an RBI double. Carlos Pena hit his 15th homer of the season as part of a three-run fourth inning.Matt Holliday finished with two singles and scored two runs. It was his fourth multihit game in a row.Taveras has an easy explanation why the Rockies have caught fire at the plate."We've got good players," he said. "Players with power."So, is he a player with power?"C'mon, man," he said. "I just want to put the ball in play."
Elijah Dukes and manager Joe Maddon had a brief closed door meeting Saturday after Dukes wasn't in the starting lineup for a fourth straight game. Dukes came on as a pinch hitter in the sixth, grounding into a 6-4-3 double play. ... Rays 2B Ty Wigginton extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a single in the fifth. ... OF Cory Sullivan, called up from Triple-A Colorado Springs on Friday, singled in his first at-bat of the season for the Rockies.