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Upton's homer lifts Diamondbacks over Rockies

May 4, 2011 - 5:54 AM Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) - Justin Upton had a green light on a 3-0 pitch in the eighth inning and made it count, sending Felipe Paulino's outside pitch into the right-field seats to lift the Arizona Diamondbacks over the Colorado Rockies, 4-3, in the opener of a three-game NL West series.

Upton's sixth home run of the season made a winner out of David Hernandez (1-0), who worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the away eighth.

"I was just making sure it was a strike," Upton said of his home run. "I was able to get a good piece of it."

Henry Blanco added a solo homer as the Diamondbacks improved to 5-3 on a 10- game homestand.

Carlos Gonzalez went 2-for-2 with two walks and a solo home run for Colorado, which has dropped three of four overall.

After Paulino (0-1) served up Upton's round-tripper, J.J. Putz entered in the ninth and worked around a one-out single to notch his seventh save.

Both starters had similar lines, with each lasting six innings and allowing three runs. Arizona's Joe Saunders gave up six hits and struck out two, while Jorge De La Rosa surrendered seven hits and fanned six.

Blanco, who was spelling Miguel Montero behind the plate, smacked a leadoff homer in the third inning to tie the game, and Xavier Nady brought home two more later in the inning on a bases-loaded single up the middle.

Gonzalez, who scored in the second inning on Ryan Spilborghs' sacrifice fly, crushed a ball to deep right-center leading off the fourth to cut the deficit to 3-2. Jonathan Herrera's triple into the right-field corner plated Dexter Fowler with the tying run in the fifth.

Herrera, though, was thrown out at home on Todd Helton's grounder to third, and Helton had a similar base running error in the eighth, as he was caught between third and home on a soft roller to first base.

The Rockies still had a chance to score with the bases loaded, but Hernandez got Chris Iannetta to pop out to second.

"We just couldn't get a big hit," Colorado manager Jim Tracy said.

Game Notes

Blanco was 0-for-10 at the plate entering the game...The Rockies had one hit in every inning...Upton had three hits.