DENVER -- Colorado Rockies outfielder Jeromy Burnitz was smiling at the end of a Tuesday night to remember. A few feet from Burnitz, pitcher Shawn Estes was smiling after a night to forget.
By game's end, Burnitz's feats and Estes' pratfalls were less important than their smiles, which were brought on by Vinny Castilla's three-run double in the eighth inning, which gave the Rockies a 13-10 victory over the Florida Marlins in front of 20,615 on a Coors Field kind of night.
Burnitz knocked two home runs and set a Rockies record by throwing out two runners, both at home plate, in the fifth inning. Estes, mostly outstanding through the early portion of the season, was rocked for eight runs in four innings.
It wasn't until the eighth, when Royce Clayton knocked a bases-loaded, two run single to tie the game and Castilla -- batting because the Marlins walked Todd Helton to re-load the bases -- knocked his second double of the game.
"I've certainly participated in games just like that in this ballpark," said Burnitz, who has hit three home runs in this series and has 19 against Florida -- his most against any team save for the Chicago Cubs (23). "We all know those kind of things happen here.
"We've been scuffling a little bit. Pitchers have been having a hard time of it. The point is if a team can do that and overcome that, it can take it off those guys' shoulders. Maybe they don't have to think about that at all."
Vinny Castilla / 3B
Weight: 205 lbs
Bats: R / Throws: R
Castilla had hit .172 in 17 games against the Marlins last season while with Atlanta and went 0-for-3 in Monday night's 6-3 loss. But on Tuesday he lifted the Rockies to .500 through eight games of a 12-game homestand going into Wednesday afternoon's rubber game of the three with the defending World Champion Marlins.
Colorado couldn't grab control despite hitting five home runs - Burnitz's leadoff shot in the second, Todd Helton's two-run shot in the third, and three straight by Burnitz, Charles Johnson and Matt Holliday for a 7-4 lead in the fourth -- off Florida starter and their former teammate Darren Oliver, who also gave up eight runs to cancel out any benefit from Estes' rough night.
Florida seemed in good standing with 10-8 lead, courtesy of a two-run homer by Miguel Cabrera in the top of the eighth off eventual winning pitcher Vladimir Nunez (2-0). But that went out the window because of an eighth-inning relief pitching meltdown by Chad Fox (0-1) and Nate Bump (blown save after giving up hits to Clayton and Castilla), as Colorado scored five runs on three hits, two walks and a hit batsman.
It was a night that could leave even the winning manager reaching for the pain reliever.
"All I know is I went to the dentist today and I had more fun there," Colorado's Clint Hurdle said. "I was going to tell you that whether we won or lost."
Colorado made enough stellar defensive plays.
In the fourth, with the score tied, 4-4, and Estes teetering, Clayton made a diving play at short to rob Pierre of a hit and save a run that could have helped Florida break the game open. In the fifth, Burnitz threw to catcher Charles Johnson to stop Jeff Conine (4-for-5) for the second out and Oliver to end Florida's inning at four runs.
Holliday dropped a pop foul in the eighth to make Cabrera's homer possible, but a play by second baseman Luis Gonzalez on a Luis Castillo grounder limited the damage to two runs instead of three.
Clayton robbed Wil Cordero for the first out of the ninth, and second baseman Aaron Miles made a tough fielding play on a Mike Redmond grounder to start the game-ending double play that gave Shawn Chacon his fifth save in six tries.
"Whatever we could do to win ... it was one of those nights," Estes said, smiling.
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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