Series: Game 1 of 3

Tampa Bay leads 1-0 (as of 6/16)

Game 1: Tuesday, June 16
Tampa Bay12Final
Game 2: Wednesday, June 17
Tampa Bay3Final
Game 3: Thursday, June 18
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Rays 12

(35-31, 14-19 away)

Rockies 4

(31-33, 12-15 home)

    8:40 PM ET, June 16, 2009

    Coors Field, Denver, Colorado 

    123456789 R H E
    TB 142010220 12 17 0
    COL 010020001 4 8 0

    W: J. Niemann (6-4)

    L: J. De La Rosa (2-7)

    Streaking Rays solve red-hot Rockies, run away with 6th straight win

    Associated Press

    DENVER -- Troy Tulowitzki figured if he and the Colorado Rockies were going to lose for the first time in two weeks, they might as well lose big.

    The Tampa Rays hit five homers among their franchise-record 11 extra-base hits and smashed Colorado's 11-game winning streak 12-4 on Tuesday night.

    "It's not like we can say, 'Oh, it was a close game. If we'd have gotten that clutch hit in the end,'" Tulowitzki reasoned. "They beat us up pretty good. Now, we just start over tomorrow."

    Fast Facts

    • The Rays have won their last two games in Colorado and have hit eight total homers in those two wins.

    • B.J. Upton, Ben Zobrist and Gabe Kapler each had three hits and a home run for the Rays. That's the second time in team history they've done that. The other was June 11, 2006 at K.C. (Carl Crawford, Jonny Gomes, Aubrey Huff).

    • The Rays have won six straight games.

    • The Rays have two games this year with at least five homers. They hit five Tuesday night at Coors Field and six on May 7 at Yankee Stadium.

    -- ESPN Stats & Information

    Colorado's winning streak was tied with Boston for the longest in the majors this season and also tied for the longest in Rockies' history, matching the mark set during their 21-1 run to the 2007 World Series.

    Although they failed to make it an even dozen straight victories and climb back to .500, the Rockies have turned what was looking like a lost season into one in which they believe they'll contend deep into the summer, at least for the wild card.

    "I think we've grown more confidence to know we can compete," Tulowitzki said. "But now the bar is set higher."

    The longest winning streak in the majors now belongs to the Rays at six games. They got home runs from Evan Longoria, Carlos Pena, Gabe Kapler, Ben Zobrist and B.J. Upton.

    Kapler, who tied his career high by driving in four runs, and Zobrist both finished a double shy of the cycle and Upton was a triple short.

    Right-hander Jeff Niemann (6-4) benefited from the offensive outburst. Niemann (6-4) allowed three runs, all earned, on five hits and two walks in five innings in his first career start against the Rockies, who lost for the first time since June 3 at Houston.

    "Boy, that was a fun win right there," Zobrist said. "Our pitching pitched well and kept the distance there once we got ahead early and the bats just kept pouring on."

    Colorado is now 13-5 under manager Jim Tracy, who replaced Clint Hurdle after an 18-28 start.

    Rays manager Joe Maddon said stemming Colorado's winning ways had as much to do with the law of averages as it did with his long ball-laden lineup.

    "I know they had been playing at a very high level. It's hard to sustain that for a real long period of time," Maddon said. "... They are very good. The way they were pitching is hard to sustain all of that forever."

    Aside from Jason Hammel's start on Sunday being stunted to 5 1/3 innings by a tornado warning and a long rain delay, all of the Rockies' starters had pitched into the seventh inning in June.

    Not so Tuesday night. Jorge De La Rosa (2-7) was tagged for seven earned runs on eight hits in just 2 1/3 innings.

    After giving up Longoria's 15th home run in the first, De La Rosa allowed a two-run triple to Kapler after third baseman Ian Stewart let his foul ball drop to the grass. Kapler scored on Dioner Navarro's single and Upton added a run-scoring double for 5-0 lead.

    "We gave a hitter another pitch and we paid for it," Tracy said. "He hit the double in the gap, and things started to flow their way big-time. It's one extra pitch, and he blistered the ball in the gap."

    Kapler sent De La Rosa to the showers with his fourth homer, a shot to left field that made it 7-1 in the third.

    Pena hit his 21st homer in the fifth off reliever Josh Fogg and Zobrist connected for his 14th home run two innings later off Randy Flores. Upton made it five long balls with a two-run shot, his fourth, off Matt Daley in the eighth.

    Upton said the last thing the Rays expected coming to Coors Field was a blowout like this one.

    "We came in here ready to play a tight ball game and scored a lot of runs early," Upton said.

    As for three players coming close to the cycle, Upton simply shrugged it off.

    "There's wasn't anything unusual about it," he said. "We got some good pitches to hit and didn't miss many of them."

    Game notes

    This was the first game since a loss at Houston on June 1 that the Rockies never led. ... Hammel received his AL championship ring from the Rays on Tuesday, which he proudly showed off to teammates. "First of many, right?" he said. ... Rockies catcher Yorvit Torrealba brought his 11-year-old son to the ballpark Tuesday night, nearly two weeks after the boy was kidnapped in Venezuela while on his way to school.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Game Information

    StadiumCoors Field, Denver, CO
    Attendance28,582 (56.7% full) - % is based on regular season capacity
    Game Time3:08
    Weather71 degrees, overcast
    Wind10 mph
    UmpiresHome Plate - John Hirschbeck, First Base - Wally Bell, Second Base - Marty Foster, Third Base - Chad Fairchild