DENVER — Donovan Hand has not won a game as a starter. That hasn't kept Milwaukee Brewers manager Ron Roenicke from being impressed with the 27-year-old right-hander.
"He's filling in for us after being a bullpen guy this year before coming up to the big leagues," Roenicke said. "He's throwing nice ball games for us and that has been impressive."
Hand didn't get the win, but worked six innings and left the game with the game tied at 3. Hand, who spent most of the past four seasons as a reliever, allowed eight hits and three solo home runs while making his longest outing of the season in just his fifth start.
"He keeps us in the game by mixing pitches," Roenicke said. "He might have been disappointed with a couple of pitches in the sixth inning, but he did a nice job."
Troy Tulowitzki homered early, then doubled to start a two-run rally in the eighth inning that sent the Colorado Rockies over the Milwaukee Brewers 6-5 Sunday.
Michael Cuddyer, Dexter Fowler and Corey Dickerson also homered for the Rockies, who salvaged a split of their 10-game homestand.
"I was happy with what I did today, but in the sixth I have to make better pitches," Hand said. "Cuddyer hit a good pitch out and the pitch to Dickerson was down, but I left it over the middle of the plate."
Since 2009, Hand has made just eight starts in 172 appearances in the minors before being recalled.
Yuniesky Betancourt and Norichika Aoki homered and Carlos Gomez had two hits and scored twice for the Brewers.
The Rockies had hoped to stay in the thick of the NL West race when they resumed after the All-Star break against the three worst teams in the NL. Instead, they lost three of four to Miami and were in danger of losing the series to Milwaukee before coming back against John Axford (4-4).
Trailing 5-4, Tulowitzki led off the eighth with a double down the third base line and scored on Cuddyer's double down the first base line.
"I got the pitches where I wanted," Axford said of the pitches to Tulowitzki and Cuddyer. "Those two couldn't have worked any better for them."
One out later, Nolan Arenado hit a go-ahead single and Rex Brothers got the final three outs for his seventh save.
The Brewers took the lead in the eighth when Gomez doubled and Betancourt homered off reliever Matt Belisle (5-5).
"He had thrown fastballs for strikes and I was looking breaking ball all the way," Betancourt said. "It was down, but I lifted it real good."
It was one of five home runs hit in the thin air at Coors Field.
The Rockies trailed 3-1 when Dickerson led off the sixth with his first career homer. One out later, Cuddyer hit his 17th to right to tie it.
Fowler's two-out homer off reliever Michael Gonzalez in the seventh gave Colorado a 4-3 lead. It was his 12th of the season.