Andrus delivers in 9th for series win vs. Rox

Andrus delivers in 9th for series win vs. Rox

DENVER -- Elvis Andrus delivered a two-run single in the top of the ninth to give the Rangers a 10-8 victory vs. the Rockies in the rubber game of three at Coors Field.

John Axford (2-3) intentionally walked Prince Fielder to load the bases with one out, but Andrus made him pay by grounding past drawn-in third baseman Nolan Arenado's dive. Axford walked ninth-inning leadoff man Rougned Odor -- who homered, tripled and finished a double shy of the cycle -- and yielded two hits and three total walks before departing with two out.

The Rockies had erased a four-run deficit in the eighth with a Nick Hundley solo shot and a Carlos Gonzalez three-run homer, both off Rangers reliever Tanner Scheppers (4-1).

"Whenever that happens, you have that feeling that you deserve to win that game," Gonzalez said. "It's a tough loss."

Shawn Tolleson earned his 15th save. Rangers starter Martin Perez allowed four runs in six innings, though the blown save in the eighth kept him from getting his first win since April 23, 2014.

"I don't think about that," Perez said. "The most important thing is we won the game. It's not who won, it's winning together."

DeShields provides spark: Delino DeShields showed again why he is leading off for the Rangers. He started their four-run first inning by beating out a bunt. In the fifth, he was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and went to second as Odor grounded out. With Adrian Beltre at the plate, DeShields stole third and scored when catcher Hundley's throw went into left field. DeShields also scored in the seventh after his one-out walk.

DeShields steals, scores

Hot-bat Hundley: Hundley, carrying the Rockies' catching load alone this week because backup Michael McKenry is nursing a minor knee injury, hit his seventh homer of the season -- a solo shot with one out in the eighth off Scheppers, four batters before Gonzalez's homer -- and finished with three hits and two RBIs.

Hundley's solo homer

Scheppers struggles again: Scheppers is supposed to be the Rangers' eighth-inning setup reliever, but he allowed four runs in the eighth inning, giving up home runs to Hundley and Gonzalez. He also gave up the winning run in the ninth on Monday and has allowed nine runs in his last six outings. More >

Welcome back, CarGo: After going into the All-Star break hot, Gonzalez was 1-for-14 in the second half before coming up in the eighth against Scheppers and parking his 14th homer of the season to tie the game at 8.

"We need to be able to play defense. We need to pitch. We need to hit. We're not doing any of that very well. It could be a focus issue. Who knows? We've just got to go back and make sure everybody's prepared the right way. I don't know" -- Arenado, on the 1-4 performance out of the All-Star break

"This is a tough place to pitch. You just have to keep the ball down and get quick outs. I made good pitches. They didn't hit the ball hard … groundouts and popups" -- Perez

After giving up just one earned run his first 20 appearances this season, Axford has surrendered nine earned runs in his past 11 outings.

"He's fine physically, and he's been real good for a long time, all year," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "A couple of hiccups lately, but he's still throwing the ball well. The walks lately have come back to haunt him. Early on, he was getting into some tough counts but coming back and putting the at-bat away." More >

For the second straight start, a rough first inning hampered Rockies lefty Jorge De La Rosa, who was charged with six runs on five hits in six innings. In his last start, he gave up two first-inning homers in a loss to the Padres. This time, two bunt hits and a bad-hop, two-run single were part of a four-run first against him. Although De La Rosa gave up Odor's second-inning homer, he finished with eight strikeouts against two walks.

Rangers: Colby Lewis (9-4, 4.63 ERA) pitches for the Rangers at 9:05 p.m. CT Friday against the Angels. He is 5-1 with a 4.55 ERA in his past nine starts. His only loss was to the Halos, and he is 0-6 with an 11.35 ERA in his last six starts against them.

Rockies: Righty Eddie Butler (3-6, 4.80 ERA), who was pitching well Sunday when the game was rained out in San Diego, will face the Reds and righty Anthony DeSclafani (5-7, 3.99 ERA) on Friday at 6:40 p.m. MT.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page. T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.