DENVER (AP) - The Houston Astros hitters have found their groove at Coors Field. It hasn't translated into victories.
Carlos Lee and Jimmy Paredes each homered as part of a 10-hit outburst, but the Colorado Rockies pulled out an 8-6 win Tuesday night.
The Astros have 25 hits in the first two games of this three-game series but haven't won either night.
``We've had times where we struggled to win these games,' Houston manager Brad Mills said. ``We have to be able to make pitches, get that hit or make that play and win the games.'
Jordan Schafer had two hits for Houston, which has dropped three straight.
Colorado took control of a back-and-forth game in the seventh. Seth Smith led off with a walk and, one out later, light-hitting Jonathan Herrera hit a line drive into the right-field seats off reliever Fernando Rodriguez (2-2) to give the Rockies an 8-6 lead.
It was Herrera's third homer and first since May 12.
``As soon as I hit the ball I knew it was over the fence,' Herrera said. ``Everybody knows the type of player I am. I'm not supposed to hit homers. I was looking for a good pitch, trying to put a ball in the hole and put pressure on the defense.'
The Astros had tied it at 6 against reliever Matt Belisle (8-4) on Schafer's RBI single in the seventh. Colorado took a 6-5 lead in the sixth on Carlos Gonzalez's RBI single.
``You get tired of watching teams come back and score runs to beat us,' Lee said. ``Watching teams get some big hits and having us come back and then not get the big hit at the end of games ...
``It's never easy to have these games.'
Smith made it 5-3 when he hit a two-run homer off the facing of the upper deck in right-center that traveled an estimated 478 feet. It was his 15th of the year.
``I don't know numbers but I've never hit a ball that's hit there before,' Smith said.
Paredes answered with a two-run homer, his second, off starter Alex White in the sixth to tie it.
``We had guys come through with big hits and got us the lead in the sixth inning,' Mills said. ``It was tough to hold onto.'
The Astros took a 3-2 lead in the third on RBI singles by Jose Altuve and J.D. Martinez.
Colorado tied it in the bottom half when Gonzalez scored on pitcher Bud Norris' fielding error at first base.
Norris gave up five runs, four earned, on six hits in five innings. He struck out six and walked four.
``I had as much to do with this loss as anybody,' Norris said. ``My pitch count got high and it hurt myself and the team. I hurt the team.'
The Rockies took a 2-0 lead in the first on Troy Tulowitzki's RBI single and Todd Helton's sacrifice fly.
Lee cut the deficit in half with a leadoff homer in the second. It was his 12th of the year.
NOTES: Astros reliever Wesley Wright played right field for one batter in the eighth inning between facing the first and third hitters. It was the first time in his career he has played a position other than pitcher. ... The Rockies will go for a sweep Wednesday with Aaron Cook on the mound. Cook earned his first win at Coors Field this season in his last outing. The Astros will counter with lefty Wandy Rodriguez, who will be making his 200th career appearance.
The Associated Press News Service
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