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Helton, Rockies pound Giants

Helton, Rockies pound Giants
DENVER (AP) - Todd Helton season was cut short last year by a bad back.

Now that he's healthy, the Rockies slugger is returning to his All-Star form.


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Helton homered and had three hits, Matt Murton hit his first home run of the year and Yorvit Torrealba homered and drove in two runs and the Colorado Rockies beat the San Francisco Giants 11-1 on Wednesday night.

Helton is hitting .529 over his last nine games and is now 11 hits shy of the mark.

"It sure is good to see," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said.

Helton's back, which required offseason surgery, limited him to a career-low 83 games. He's feeling healthy now and since going hitless against the Dodgers on April 25 he is 18-for-34 with two home runs.

"It's still a battle," he said. "It's still going up there and trying to find it every day and making adjustments. It's not easy. I haven't driven the ball like I like but I've been able to get the bat on the ball and find some holes."

In the seventh inning Helton battled reliever Osiris Matos in a 14-pitch at-bat before hitting his third home run of the season into the right-field bleachers to give Colorado an 8-0 lead.

"When he came back after that at-bat, I got little goose bumps," Hurdle said. "That's one to put in the vault right there. He's shown that ability to grind."

Helton's three-hit effort backed a strong outing from starter Ubaldo Jimenez, who went seven innings to get his first win in a month

Jimenez (2-4), who also had two hits, had not won since beating Arizona on April 7. He allowed five hits while striking out six.

"I feel really confident in what I can do out there," Jimenez said.

Randy Johnson (2-3), in search of his 298th career win, was roughed up for seven runs and eight hits in 5 2-3 innings. He didn't strike out a batter in the game for the first time since Aug. 4, 2006, when he was pitching with the Yankees. It's only the fifth time that the left-hander hasn't gotten a K in a start since 1999.

"I'm not too worried about strikeouts," he said. "It is a sign something is wrong? No. By no means."

Johnson didn't allow a hit in the first three innings before the Rockies got to him. He retired the first six batters before Torrealba and Clint Barmes led off the bottom of the third with a pair of walks. Jimenez sacrificed the runners ahead and Dexter Fowler drove in Torrealba with a sacrifice fly to center to make it 1-0.

After that, Colorado knocked around the five-time Cy Young Award winner. Murton and Torrealba led off the fifth inning with back-to-back home runs to make it 3-0 and the Rockies blew it open in the sixth.

With two outs, Torrealba singled home Helton and Barmes doubled in Murton and Torrealba to chase Johnson.

"He got the ball up there," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "He wasn't hitting his spots quite as well."

Matos came on in relief and Jimenez hit the first pitch into right field to drive in Barmes and make it 7-0. Meanwhile, Jimenez handcuffed the Giants. He gave up two hits through the first six innings and didn't walk a batter until the seventh. He faltered in the eighth, giving up a leadoff single to Emmanuel Burriss and a double to Eugenio Velez before giving way to Jason Grilli. Burriss scored on Juan Uribe's groundout to short.

Colorado scored three times off of Brandon Medders in the eighth.


Johnson is 19-8 in 29 career starts against the Rockies. ... The Rockies have hit back-to-back home runs three times this season. ... Colorado has scored nine or more runs in seven of its 11 wins this season.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: May 7, 2009

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