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ARI@COL: Johnson crushes a two-run shot off Street

DENVER -- During batting practice, Miguel Montero felt like he had figured something out at the plate, so he asked to take another round.

A few hours later, he put the extra work to good use. His three-run homer helped lead the D-backs to a 6-3 win over the Rockies in front of 30,186 at Coors Field.

The win was Arizona's ninth in its last 10 games, and the D-backs took three of four games during the series with Colorado.

Suddenly, the once-reeling D-backs find themselves in second place in the National League West, just 1 1/2 games behind the Giants.

With Giants catcher Buster Posey suffering a broken ankle and looking at a long absence, along with the Rockies losing pitcher Jorge De La Rosa for the season with a torn ligament in his elbow, the division is suddenly looking more winnable for the D-backs.

"The Rockies and Giants losing two extremely important players, one for the season and one for who knows, it's kind of a big deal," second baseman Kelly Johnson said. "Everyone's kind of playing .500, and we've been playing great. It's our turn right now and hopefully it keeps going, but absolutely wide open. And, shoot, if we just keep playing and pitching like this, it's going to be pretty fun."

Micah Owings stepped up for the D-backs on Thursday. The right-hander, who was added to the rotation last weekend when the club outrighted Armando Galarraga to Triple-A, allowed just one run on four hits over five innings.

Owings threw 80 pitches, 59 for strikes.

"He gave us everything we wanted," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "He gave us a great effort. I think he moved it around well, moved it in and out, up and down. He just absolutely pounded the zone."

It was Owings' first win since May 5, 2010, and with the Rockies struggling -- they've now dropped seven of their last nine games -- the right-hander wanted to go right after them.

"I felt good and that's kind of been my focus pounding the zone and let my defense work," Owings said. "Fastball location was key for me. And then being able to throw a couple of good sliders to get some key ground balls, and then mixed my changeup in more later in the game, and it was pretty good, too. So I had a pretty good feel for mixing when I needed to, but, primarily, it was fastball location."

The D-backs took advantage of wildness by Rockies starter Clayton Mortensen (1-2) to score three runs in the fourth and break open a scoreless game.

Mortensen walked Stephen Drew and Chris Young to start the inning before falling behind Montero 3-and-0. The right-hander battled back in the count to 3-and-2 before Montero hammered the sixth pitch of the at-bat over the right-field wall for a 3-0 Arizona lead.

"It absolutely killed me tonight," Mortensen said of his wildness. "You can't do that. You can't lead off the inning with 10 consecutive balls -- it just doesn't work. You throw 3-2, the guy knows the fastball's coming, and those guys aren't going to miss it."

Montero took a wild swing at strike two during the at-bat and stepped out to gather himself.

"I tried to shorten up a little bit, but I still wanted to hit the ball hard," Montero said. "He made a pitch down right where I wanted it down and I hit it a mile high."

The Rockies made things interesting with a pair of runs in the seventh to cut the Arizona lead to 4-3, but Johnson gave the D-backs some much-needed breathing room with a two-run homer in the ninth.

"You know this place isn't a fun place to play," Johnson said of Coors Field. "And you get late in the game and they get momentum, you heard how loud it got when they got within a run. You just knew that if they got a hit again and got something going the place was going to start bumping."

With closer J.J. Putz unavailable due to pitching the past two days, David Hernandez tossed the final 1 2/3 innings to pick up his first save. Comments