Stewart’s 6 RBIs, 2 homers lifts Rockies

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DENVER (AP)—This time, the Colorado Rockies didn’t wait until their final at-bat to generate game-turning offensive heroics.

Ian Stewart(notes) hit two home runs, including a two-out, go-ahead grand slam in the seventh inning, and the Colorado Rockies rallied past the San Diego Padres 10-8 on Friday night for their fifth straight win.

Three of those victories came in their last at-bat, including a 12-9 win last Tuesday in which the Rockies overtook the St. Louis Cardinals with a nine-run ninth inning. On Friday, the second-place Rockies twice overcame three-run deficits to pull within two games of the NL West-leading Padres.

“Ever since the game on Tuesday, when were down by a bunch of runs and won, it gave us confidence, that we feel we’re never out of a game,” Stewart said. “No matter what inning it is, or how many runs we’re down.”

Stewart’s third career slam and fourth multihomer game gave him a career-best six RBIs and was the latest highlight in an offensive roll that has seen Colorado generate at least 11 hits in eight consecutive games, including a two-run homer from Carlos Gonzalez(notes).

“These are the games you can only dream to have,” said Jason Giambi(notes), who went 2 for 3 with two runs scored and an RBI for his third multihit game in the past four. “To come back and win games like this, and the two against the Cardinals. It happened like this last year down the stretch. We’re starting to get some momentum.”

Down 8-5 heading into the bottom of the seventh, the Rockies’ Jonathan Herrera(notes), Gonzalez and Giambi singled in succession to pull within three runs. Luke Gregerson(notes) (2-5) relieved Ryan Webb(notes) and walked the first batter he faced, Miguel Olivo(notes), to load the bases.

After Brad Hawpe(notes) struck out for the fourth time, Stewart connected for his 11th homer of the season, driving it the opposite way over the left field fence to put the Rockies back on top.

“When I hit the ball the other way, I’m not always sure if I hit one out,” Stewart said. “I was just hoping it was going to get down, maybe hit the warning track or hit off the wall. But it got out before I got to first. I watched it the whole way.”

It was a rare breakdown by a San Diego bullpen that entered with a collective ERA of 2.73, best in the majors.

“We wouldn’t be where we are if it wasn’t for the collection of our guys in the bullpen,” San Diego manager Bud Black said. “Pitchers aren’t invincible. Tonight, (Gregerson) left a pitch out over the plate and a guy with power put the good part of the bat on it.”

Matt Belisle(notes) (4-3) allowed one run and one hit in the seventh for the victory. Huston Street(notes) pitched the ninth for his fourth save in as many chances.

Colorado’s Jorge De La Rosa(notes) allowed seven runs—five earned—and six hits in 4 1-3 innings in his first start since tearing tendon in the middle finger of his pitching hand on April 25.

Kevin Correia(notes), who matched a season high with eight strikeouts in a five-inning stint, was staked to a 3-0 lead before the Rockies broke through in the for a five-run third against the Padres starter.

After Herrera’s one-out single, Gonzalez drove Correia’s first offering over the right-center field fence into the Rockies’ bullpen for his 16th home run of the season. Giambi and Olivo hit successive doubles to even the score and Stewart followed with his 10th homer.

The Padres regained the lead in the fifth, when they added three runs, including Adrian Gonzalez’s(notes) 18th homer, a two-run shot.

Manuel Corpas(notes) relieved De La Rosa, and Aaron Cunningham(notes) singled deep to the hole, scoring Gonzalez. Shortstop Clint Barmes(notes) fielded the ball but bounced his throw past first base for his second error of the night, both of which led to unearned runs.

San Diego scored its first run on Chris Denorfia’s(notes) second-inning sacrifice fly.

NOTES: RHP Esmil Rogers(notes) was optioned to Triple-A Colorado Springs to make roster room for De La Rosa following his activation from the DL by the Rockies before the game. … Eleven of Carlos Gonzalez’s 16 home runs have come against NL West teams. … SS Cabrera dropped a foul pop by De La Rosa in the second inning, ending a string of nine consecutive errorless games by the Padres, whose infield entered with .990 fielding percentage, tops in the majors.

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