DENVER (AP) — Todd Helton insisted the credit for Colorado's comeback should go to the Rockies' brilliant bullpen and not his big bat.
Helton drove in three runs, including a two-run single to erase the last remnants of an early four-run deficit and a tiebreaking double in the eighth inning, to rally the Rockies past the Arizona Diamondbacks 7-6 Friday night.
He credited the relievers — Esmil Rogers, Matt Belisle, Rex Brothers and Rafael Betancourt — who allowed no runs on four harmless hits over the final 6 1-3 innings after Juan Nicasio struggled in his first start at Coors Field since Aug. 5, when he was hit in the head by a line drive and suffered a fractured skull and a broken neck.
"The bullpen was unbelievable. The bullpen won us the game," Helton said. "Rogers, Belisle, Brothers, Betancourt. They were fabulous, especially when they had runners at second and third with nobody out. To get out of that, that's what won us the game."
Rogers worked his way out of that particular jam in the fourth, getting Miguel Montero on a comebacker and striking out Chris Young with a nasty curve and Paul Goldschmidt with a wicked fastball.
"Todd just told me I'm the reason we won," Rogers said. "After I got the groundout, I said I'm going to strike out the next two guys. That's the first time I ever said that in my life."
"That was a character-building win," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said after watching his disciplined offense and shutdown relief corps engineer the comeback following Nicasio's poor start — he allowed six earned runs on five hits and five walks in 2 2-3 innings and left trailing 6-2.
"I think he's right," Helton said. "I think in the past, that game would have been over, falling behind that quick. ... Now we know we can do it, so, no excuses."
Carlos Gonzalez singled with one out in the eighth off Bryan Shaw, whose pickoff attempt scooted past Goldschmidt for a two-base error on the young first baseman who hadn't made an error in his first 425 attempts going back to his rookie season in 2011.
The throw "kind of took me up the line," Goldschmidt said. "I tried to snag it and it hit off my glove. I wasn't able to knock it down."
Shaw (0-1) struck out Troy Tulowitzki, who had three hits, but Helton stroked a cutter into the left-field corner.
That made a winner of Brothers (1-1), who pitched a scoreless eighth. Betancourt got three outs for his second save. He allowed only Montero's one-out single.
Helton finished with three hits, including a two-run single that tied it at 6 in the fourth inning and chased Diamondbacks starter Daniel Hudson, who failed to hold a 6-2 lead.