DENVER -- The scuffling Colorado Rockies gathered before beginning a 10-game homestand and reminisced about all that late-inning magic from the last couple of years, that Coors Field mojo that was missing.
Then, they went out and rediscovered it in a big way.
Troy Tulowitzki drove in four runs, including a tying two-run single in Colorado's five-run seventh inning, Carlos Gonzalez had three hits, Todd Helton reached base four times and the Rockies rallied to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 9-7 on Thursday night.
"We believe that we can do a lot of special things at Coors Field in front of our fans," Gonzalez said before the game. "It doesn't necessarily have to be walk-offs, but just do crazy things, the kind of crazy things that we've done before.
"We haven't gotten any walk-off games or comebacks, but it's about to happen."
After it did happen like he had predicted, Gonzalez said he kept reminding himself when the Rockies fell behind twice by four runs that this was exactly the situation he'd envisioned and the Rockies were just setting themselves up for a dramatic comeback that could turn into a season-changing catalyst.
"We've been looking for this the whole year," Gonzalez said.
For once, the Rockies' offense picked up its pitching instead of the other way around. After scoring just 13 runs over an eight-game stretch, the worst in franchise history, the Rockies have 14 runs in their last two games.
Tulowitzki, who has driven in seven runs in the last two games, delivered against Mike MacDougal and pinch-hitter Jason Giambi drew a bases-loaded walk to break the 7-7 tie as the Rockies sent 11 batters to the plate in the seventh.
"That's the guy that we've been looking for," Gonzalez said about Tulowitzki. "About me, same thing. I just need to get on base, find myself and when we both are going good, we have a lot of chances to win the game."
"This game is what we did fairly often last year," Tulowitzki said. "We hadn't had a game like this the whole year, a come-from-behind win where we felt some energy and felt we were going to come back.
With the rally, Matt Reynolds stood to get the win, but because he was ineffective -- three runs and four hits in one inning -- the official scorer gave the victory to Rafael Betancourt (2-0), who pitched a perfect eighth.
Scott Elbert (0-1) recorded just one out while picking up the loss, yielding two runs and a hit.
Behind Kemp's continued power surge -- he hit his NL-leading 18th homer, drove in three runs and came a single shy of his first career cycle -- the Dodgers built leads of 4-0 and 7-3 that left-hander Clayton Kershaw couldn't hold.
Kershaw, who has a 5.76 ERA in nine career starts at Coors Field, cruised through five scoreless innings and even keyed two three-run innings with singles before allowing three runs in the sixth and three more in the seventh.
"It's not fun to lose, it's not fun to lose when you have the lead, it's not fun to lose when you pitch well through five innings," Kershaw said. "I never think I'm tired, I never feel tired. It's just one of those things, you have to figure out a way to finish off these games. It's definitely frustrating, especially when we got guys swinging the bats well and scoring some runs."
Kershaw, who gave up six runs and seven hits, left after Colorado loaded the bases with nobody out in the seventh. Elbert, a hard-throwing lefty who hadn't allowed a run in 7 2/3 innings since being recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque on May 11, gave up an RBI single to Carlos Gonzalez.
After Nelson struck out, Helton drew a walk and Tulowitzki's bloop hit to right off MacDougal tied it at 7. Ty Wigginton was hit by a 3-2 fastball to load the bases for Giambi, who drew a walk to give the Rockies their first lead of the night.
Kemp continued his torrid road trip with a 3-for-5 night. Through the first seven games of the Dodgers' 10-game swing, he's 14 for 28 with five homers and 13 RBIs.
Kemp put the Dodgers ahead 1-0 when he started the fourth with a drive to center on an 80-mph slider from rookie right-hander Juan Nicasio.
Kershaw led off the fifth with a comebacker that was barely out of Nicasio's reach. He came around to score on Ethier's two-out single. Nicasio was one strike away from escaping further trouble when he served up a two-run triple to Kemp that made it 4-0.
Kershaw ran into trouble in the sixth when the Rockies loaded the bases with one out and Tulowitzki sent Kershaw's first pitch down the left-field line for a two-run double that cut the Dodgers' lead in half.
"It's nice to come up with the bases loaded as opposed to leading off an inning," Tulowitzki said.
Even when your playoff odds drop to absolute zero, there's still a chance to do something absolutely special on the diamond.
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