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ARI@COL: D-backs fall on Helton's walk-off homer

DENVER -- On Saturday night, under cold, wet conditions the D-backs showed quite a bit of heart and determination.

However, when all was said and done, they didn't have a win to show for it.

Todd Helton's two-out, two-run walk-off homer in the ninth led the Rockies past the D-backs, 8-7, at Coors Field.

"This is just one terrific at-bat in some really, really tough conditions," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. "That's a great win. I've seen some signs of that from this club. They have a moxie about them."

The homer culminated a back-and-forth night that saw a pair of rain delays, and conditions that would have been more fitting for a Broncos game at nearby Sports Authority Field at Mile High.

The start of the game was delayed by 16 minutes due to rain, and when it began the Rockies beat up Arizona starter Josh Collmenter for three runs in the second, and single runs in the third and fourth innings to build a 5-1 lead.

It was the second straight poor start for Collmenter this year, and it comes on the heels of a Spring Training during which he was uneven at best.

The game time temperature was 46 degrees, and it got colder as the evening wore on.

The rain began to fall harder in the fourth inning, and the umpires ordered the tarp on the field after Dexter Fowler grounded out to end the inning.

That spelled the end of the evening for Rockies starter Jhoulys Chacin, and when the game resumed, the D-backs jumped all over reliever Josh Roenicke.

"Maybe it gave us a chance to kind of regroup and kind of settle down," closer J.J. Putz said of the 1-hour 11-minute delay. "The character of this team is like that, they fight and fight and play until the last out, and we just came up short today."

Miguel Montero delivered the big blow in the fifth, when he hit a two-out, three-run homer to pull the D-backs to within 5-4.

One inning later, the D-backs took advantage of a pair of throwing errors by shortstop Troy Tulowitzki to score an unearned run and tie the game at 5.

"I was proud of the guys," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "They were scrappy, gritty, they kept busting it even though it was less than ideal conditions."

In the seventh, pinch-hitter Paul Goldschmidt delivered a sacrifice fly to score Justin Upton and give Arizona a 6-5 lead.

"It's one of those things where you have to play," D-backs second baseman Aaron Hill said. "Both teams are playing in it. I think we did a great job, the way we came back tonight."

Wade Miley, who came on in relief of Collmenter, tossed three scoreless innings. It was the second time this year that Miley has pitched well in relief of Collmenter. Last Sunday, Miley tossed four scoreless innings as the D-backs also rallied to win that game.

"He was perfect," Hill said of Miley. "He just comes in, grabs the ball and loves to pitch. He pounds the zone. When he's been called upon, he's done the job."

The D-backs added a run in the eighth, and it seemed like the night would have a happy ending for them as they led 7-5.

Setup man David Hernandez, though, allowed a run in the eighth on a two-out, RBI double by Eric Young Jr., to pull the Rockies to within 7-6.

Then in the ninth, as the rain began to fall harder, Putz came on to try and add to his team-record 28 consecutive save mark.

Instead he hit Marco Scutaro with a pitch in the left shoulder to start the frame.

"I did [have concerns]," Gibson said when asked about the conditions in the ninth. "But it was in the umpire's hands. J.J. hit Scutaro -- the ball slipped out of his hand, there was no question that was weather related. I kind of looked at the home plate umpire, and he just put his mask on. They're in control of the game. You have to play under the conditions."

Putz bounced back to retire pinch-hitter Jason Giambi, and then he struck out Tulowitzki for the second out.

While that was going on, Helton decided to take a few tune-up swings.

"I just went to the cage and took a few swings, and felt like I loosened up a little bit," he said. "Got in there and got a good pitch. I didn't think I hit it out. I thought I hit it too high, but I'll take it."

The 0-1 fastball just stayed fair, and landed in the first few rows of seats to give the Rockies the win.

"I'm not going to make an excuse for anything that happen today," Putz said when asked about the conditions. "Both teams had to play nine innings through that stuff. It's part of the game. I'll just have to deal with it and move on. We got ahead of [Helton] and we just tried to sneak one in, and I got it in, but it was up. He's been doing that for a long time, and he put a good swing on it, and it got out."

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