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Diamondbacks Blast Rockies And Jimenez, 8-4

Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) - Stephen Drew and Adam LaRoche homered off Ubaldo Jimenez and Kelly Johnson added a two-run blast in the eighth inning as Arizona beat Colorado, 8-4, sending the playoff-hopeful Rockies to their third straight defeat.

The Diamondbacks won on the same day they agreed to terms with Kevin Towers on a two-year contract to become the club's executive vice president and general manager.

Melvin Mora and Todd Helton hit consecutive homers in the opening inning for the Rockies, who grabbed a 4-0 lead, but they faltered and remained three games behind NL West-leading San Diego and three back of Atlanta, the wild card leader. Colorado concludes the three-game set Thursday night before heading home for a weekend series against the Giants.

"We need to take a major step forward and do something tomorrow night," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. "You certainly wouldn't feel too good about yourselves from a momentum standpoint going home after being swept here. Tomorrow is a very big game for us."

Rodrigo Lopez (7-14) allowed five hits and four runs over five innings to win his second straight start after losing seven consecutive decisions.

Jimenez (19-7) was charged with five hits and five runs over four frames and lost for the first time in his last four appearances.

Mora's three-run blast to left-center and Helton's follow shot to right-center provided Colorado with a nice cushion after half an inning, but Drew homered leading off the bottom half of the frame.

Chris Young walked to start the Arizona third, and one out later LaRoche drove his 24th homer of the year to right field for a 4-3 margin.

Jimenez continued to struggle in the fourth, walking two batters, including Drew, who stole second to put two runners in scoring position. Young then came through with the go-ahead single to center field.

"He didn't really seem to get his secondary stuff over as he normally did," Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said of Jimenez. "You get behind in counts, it's tough for any major league pitcher."

Colorado wasted a chance with two runners on base in the sixth and put a man in scoring position in the eighth when Carlos Gonzalez stole second on a close play. Mora lined out to a diving Drew at shortstop to end the frame.

In the bottom portion, Gerardo Parra doubled leading off and scored on Ryan Church's base hit to center. Two outs later Johnson drilled a pitch from Matt Belisle over the wall in right field.

Sam Demel worked the final 1 2/3 innings to get his second save.

Game Notes

Arizona, which set a new major league single-season record for strikeouts in Tuesday night's 3-1 win, had 14 more batters go down on strikes Wednesday, bringing the yearly total to 1,417...Lopez moved to 1-3 lifetime against the Rockies...The Diamondbacks can earn a season series split (9-9) with the Rockies if they win Thursday's game.