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Barmes bats Rockies past D-backs

Barmes bats Rockies past D-backs

PHOENIX -- All hits are meaningful for the Rockies' Clint Barmes.

Barmes' two hits in a reserve role late in Saturday's game didn't stop the Rockies from losing. But the confidence helped him hit a two-run homer and drive in four runs as the Rockies beat the Diamondbacks, 13-5, Sunday afternoon at Chase Field in front of 31,321.

"I feel very confident coming off the bench," Barmes said. "I feel great starting and throwing good at-bats together. Everything I was hoping for to start the season has kind of happened at this point. I know it's still early, but I'm going to work to stay consistent with my approach and stay confident."

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The Rockies avoided suffering their second three-game sweep this season at the hands of their National League West rivals.

Barmes' homer off Edgar Gonzalez (0-1) put the Rockies ahead in the first inning for the first time this season, and set the tone for a rout that saw Garrett Atkins hit a two-run homer and drive in four runs and Matt Holliday hit his team-high third homer of the season, for three runs in the eighth.

The victory was the Rockies' first in six games with the Diamondbacks and moved them to 1-2 on a nine-game road trip that continues Tuesday night with the opener of a three-game series against the Padres.

It also underscored that Colorado has a weapon on the bench in Barmes, starting in place of slumping shortstop Troy Tulowitzki (.159, 0 HRs) on Sunday.

Manager Clint Hurdle came into the season confident in his bench. Games like ones from Barmes, who had a start at second base earlier this year, can only help. Barmes was the Rockies' starter at short before Tulowitzki wrested the job last spring and wound up second in NL Rookie of the Year voting.

"He's a good player to have on our club," Hurdle said. "He's had frontline experience. He's had some big swings of the bat. He's played very well defensively for us. So as with most of the other guys, we have to find ways to keep him in play, keep him as fresh as possible."

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Another possible good omen that has emerged from the team's 5-7 start is right-hander Aaron Cook (1-1) showing cool when the team needs it most. He has lifted the squad in his last two starts, with the team in five- and two-game losing streaks.

In one, he threw seven two-hit innings against the Braves and wound up with a no-decision as the Rockies won, 2-1. On Sunday, he went six innings and gave up three runs and eight hits, struck out four and walked three. It was nowhere near dominating, but good enough to leave the game with a 5-3 lead.

"It's the thought that I've talked about with Clint the last couple of years," said Cook, who gave up an RBI single in the second and a two-run triple in the sixth to former teammate Jeff Salazar. "He's like, 'Don't try to do too much. Just be yourself. Give the guys a chance to win the game.'

"That's pretty much the mind-set I went into today with, get the sinker down, use the offspeed effectively. I was able to do that."

The Rockies finished with season highs for runs and hits (15). Atkins' RBI double in the third off Gonzalez and Yorvit Torrealba's two-run double off Jailen Peguero helped the Rockies build their early lead. After Salazar's triple, Barmes added a two-run single in the seventh, Atkins homered off Doug Slaten in the eighth and Holliday went deep against Tony Pena in the ninth.

"We needed to win a ballgame," Hurdle said. "It was nice to throw some punches back offensively. They came back a couple of times and we were able to lengthen the lead out."

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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