DENVER -- For seven innings the game followed a script that has become familiar for the D-backs this year.
They built a 3-1 lead behind solid pitching from their starter and turned things over to setup man David Hernandez in the eighth, with closer J.J. Putz on standby to shut things down in the ninth.
While the beginning of the game followed the usual form, the story fell apart in the eighth, as the Rockies rallied for seven runs in the eighth inning to stun the D-backs, 8-3, on a rainy Tuesday night at Coors Field.
"It was nice to get a win, especially against them," Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki said. "Obviously they're a good team. They've been playing well, and we haven't. It was nice to get a win, especially to come from behind and with some new guys on the team."
The loss snapped the D-backs' three-game winning streak, and it was just their second defeat in the last 14 games. The defeat, combined with the Giants' win over the Padres, cut Arizona's lead in the National League West to six games over the Giants with 20 games left to play.
"It was a normal game, just the ending was different," Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said. "It's disappointing that we lost the game, but we'll regroup. We'll come back tomorrow and be fine."
The D-backs seemed to be on their way to another win, building a 3-1 lead thanks to some timely hitting and another outstanding outing by Josh Collmenter.
Normally reliable setup man David Hernandez got the first two outs of the eighth, but was unable to get the third as he allowed five runs on five hits.
"I guess I missed location for the most part, threw the ball [right] over the plate," Hernandez said. "Just one of those nights."
Those kinds of performances have been few and far between for Hernandez, who has been one of the NL's best setup men this year.
"He just couldn't get the ball where he wanted it," Gibson said. "His ball was up. His breaking ball was up and his fastballs were up and over the plate. He's been great for us."
The big blow of the inning was Troy Tulowitzki's three-run homer that put the Rockies up, 5-3.
"Hung a slider to Tulo and he did what he's supposed to do with it," Hernandez said.
After he allowed a single to Ty Wigginton following the Tulowitzki homer, Hernandez was removed. He then got ejected by home plate umpire Todd Tichenor while walking back to the dugout.
In all, the Rockies sent 13 men to the plate in the inning against three Arizona relievers. The seven runs in the inning tied for the most scored by an opponent in a single inning against the D-backs this year, matching the Tigers' output in the eighth inning on June 26.
Rain fell on and off throughout the evening, but it did nothing to cool off Collmenter, who allowed one run on five hits and did not walk a batter.
"Josh was awesome," Gibson said. "He threw a great game within the elements and everything, and had them totally off guard."
The D-backs gave Collmenter a lead to work with in the first when Aaron Hill singled, went to third on Justin Upton's single and then came home on a Miguel Montero groundout.
The Rockies lone tally off Collmenter came in the fifth. Seth Smith led off the frame with a triple and scored two batters later on a groundout to third.
"I really started settling in there in the third and fourth innings, and was able to throw the fastball down in the zone and mix it up," Collmenter said. "I felt good, felt like I had good command of my pitches, and was able to go at them and get them to make some early outs."
The D-backs jumped back on top in the seventh when Gerardo Parra singled home Paul Goldschmidt, who had led off the inning with a double. The run was unearned due to a passed ball that had moved Goldschmidt to third.
In the eighth, the D-backs added a tack-on run thanks to an error by third baseman Jordan Pacheco. With Hill on second, Montero hit a tapper to third that Pacheco charged and threw wildly to first.
Montero was credited with a single, extending his hitting streak to 14 games. Hill came around to score on the throwing error as the D-backs went up, 3-1, and seemingly were on their way to a win.
"Any time you turn the ball over to our bullpen, you expect good results," Collmenter said. "I'll give it to them every time, and they're going to pick me up. You never expect that [the blown game]. Tomorrow is a new day, so I'm sure they'll do a good job of brushing that off. They will be ready to go when called upon again."