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Rockies use the long ball to beat Kris Johnson and the Twins

by The Associated Press, 1500ESPN.com Updated 4 months ago | 1048 reads

DENVER -- Jorge De La Rosa pitched six strong innings, Troy Tulowitzki and Drew Stubbs each hit two-run homers, and the Colorado Rockies beat the Minnesota Twins 6-2 on Friday night in the teams' first interleague meeting at Coors Field in six years.

De La Rosa (10-6) allowed one run and six hits in winning his fourth straight and reaching double-digit wins in a season for the fourth time in his career. He benefited from a power surge that has seen Tulowitzki hit three homers and Stubbs two in their last two games.

The Rockies also benefited from the return of star outfielder Carlos Gonzalez, who missed the previous 35 games because of a benign tumor on his left index finger that had to be excised surgically.

He singled ahead of Tulowitzki's third-inning home run and made two sparkling defensive plays in right field: a sliding catch in foul territory on a popup by Eduardo Nunez and whipping a throw to third base on the fly to nail Brian Dozier. He was trying to advance from first base on Kendrys Morales' single.

Brandon Barnes added a pinch-hit home run off reliever Matt Guerrier in the seventh inning.

Rockies first baseman Justin Morneau, who played in Minnesota for 11 years and ranks third in team history with 221 homers, went hitless in four at-bats in his first game against his former team. He'll return to Minnesota next week for All-Star game festivities as a member of the NL home run derby team.

Kris Johnson (0-1), recalled from Triple-A Rochester on Thursday to start in place of injured Ricky Nolasco (right elbow soreness), gave up five runs on eight hits in four innings.

He trailed 2-0 before recording an out. Charlie Blackmon led off the bottom of the first with a single and Stubbs followed by driving a 1-1 pitch into the center-field bleachers for his 10th homer of the season.

Nolan Arenado tripled to start the second and scored when Wilin Rosario followed with a single.

Gonzalez singled to start the fourth before Tulowitzki connected for his 21st homer of the season, tying Miami's Giancarlo Stanton for the NL lead. It's also the most home runs Tulowitzki has had in his career before the All-Star break.

The Twins got a run in the second on Eduardo Nunez's run-scoring groundout and a second on his eighth-inning fielder's choice grounder.

Game notes

--Stubbs reached double digits in home runs for the third straight year and fifth time in his career. He has hit six of his homers in his last 10 games.

--The Twins traveled to Coors Field for the second time in team history and the first since May 2008, when the team went 1-2 on its inaugural trip to Colorado.

--Johnson was making his second start of the season for the Twins and the sixth of his major league career.

--Barnes has two of the Rockies' four pinch home runs this season.

The Associated Press
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