Stephen Drew powers Diamondbacks past fading Rockies

PHOENIX -- Sitting in front of his locker, Carlos Gonzalez grabbed his pants off the floor and heaved them into the bin of dirty clothes. He hesitated for a second, reached down and picked up a sock, flipping it on top of the pants, a disgusted look on his face.

The improbable comeback, the one Colorado has made a habit of the past few seasons, went about 10 inches wide Thursday night, leaving the Rockies on the edge of desperation.

Trying to salvage a victory in Arizona, the Rockies failed to come back all the way from a six-run deficit and were swept out of the desert with a 10-9 loss to the last-place Diamondbacks.

"If we're going to be a playoff team, we have to play better than this," Gonzalez said after driving in a career-high six runs.

Colorado had won 13 of 15 in another late-season run to get close in the NL West and was hoping to gain momentum in Arizona heading into a crucial series against San Francisco this weekend at Coors Field.

Instead, the Rockies lost the first two games of the series and were in a dire situation in the finale, trailing 8-2 after a shaky start by Jeff Francis (4-6).

But, as it has all season, Colorado made things interesting.

Gonzalez hit his first slam off Blaine Boyer to cut the lead to 8-6 in the seventh inning, before Stephen Drew hit a solo homer in the bottom half and Chris Young added another to put Arizona back up by four.

Diamondbacks reliever Aaron Heilman opened the door in the ninth by walking the first two batters, and Gonzalez followed with a two-run single off Juan Gutierrez. Troy Tulowitzki, who was 2-for-12 in the series after a huge start to September, curled a potential homer just foul before knocking in a run with a groundout that made it 10-9.

Gutierrez followed by walking pinch-hitter Jason Giambi, giving Colorado runners on first and second with two outs for another hot hitter, Melvin Mora.

The stage set for another comeback, the Rockies missed taking the lead by about 10 inches -- the distance Mora's liner went foul just before Gutierrez struck him out.

So instead of a potential momentum-building win, the Rockies head home on a debilitating four-game losing streak, 3 1/2 games back of San Francisco in the NL West and Atlanta in the wild-card race.

"We obviously have our work completely cut out for us going forward, but there is not quit in this team," manager Jim Tracy said. "It was evidenced by the way we continued to try to come back tonight."

The Diamondbacks just had too much offense.

Drew hit a two-run triple off Emil Rogers in Arizona's four-run fifth and a solo homer against Joe Beimel in the seventh to finish with four RBIs. Kelly Johnson hit his second two-run homer in as many games off Francis in the third. Young hit his 26th homer off Octavio Dotel in the eighth, while Cole Gillespie drove in a run and had three of the Diamondbacks' 14 hits.

The pitching wasn't exactly sharp. D.J. Carrasco (3-2) got the win after an early exit by starter Ian Kennedy, and Gutierrez escaped a rough ninth inning for his 12th save.

Still, to hit like that and sweep a team fighting for the playoffs sure felt good.

"Sometimes you are going to have two or three guys that are really hot, and right now it is fun to watch when everyone is hitting on all cylinders," Drew said. "Right now it is a fun time."

Not for Colorado.

The Rockies lost the series opener 3-1 after a decent start by Jorge De La Rosa, but ace Ubaldo Jimenez couldn't come through in Wednesday's 8-4 loss.

Neither could Francis.

The left-hander threw plenty of pitches in the first two innings and one bad one in the third to Johnson, who hit it off the wall behind the concourse in center field for a two-run shot that put the Diamondbacks up 2-1.

Drew added a run-scoring single in the fourth and Francis was done a batter later after allowing three runs on six hits in 3 2/3 innings.

Kennedy wasn't exactly efficient.

The right-hander struggled with control -- 63 pitches through the first three innings -- and repeatedly stepped off the mound, unable to agree with catcher John Hester on what to throw. Kennedy lasted just four innings, giving up a run on Ryan Spilborghs' RBI single in the third and three hits.

The Rockies had their chances after that, but the Diamondbacks played just well enough to hold them off.

"They [the Rockies] have handled pressure well over the last years," Diamondbacks interim manager Kirk Gibson said. "I give the guys credit for putting themselves into a position and grinding through it to win that game. Would we have liked it to be easier? Of course we would."

Game notes
Rockies 2B Eric Young Jr. walked as a pinch hitter in the ninth after missing two games with a sore right shin, the same one he broke earlier in the season. ... Arizona went 7-2 against Colorado at Chase Field this season. The teams split the season series 9-all.