DENVER (AP) – Todd Helton broke the franchise home-run record with a shot to the upper deck, then broke a tie game with a three-run homer an inning later, leading the Colorado Rockies to a come-from-behind 8-5 victory Thursday over the hard-luck Los Angeles Dodgers.

Helton’s 259th homer was a solo shot, the 26th to reach the upper deck at Coors Field. It broke Larry Walker’s record and cut what had been a 5-0 deficit to 5-3 in the sixth inning.

In the seventh, with the score tied at 5, Helton went deep off Franquelis Osoria to make it 8-5.

Osoria entered the game on short notice after left-hander Kelly Wunsch, who was warming up to face the left-handed Helton, got hurt as he was preparing to come in from the bullpen – yet another piece of bad injury news for a team that can’t afford much more.

Giovanni Carrara (6-3) took the loss for the Dodgers, and Los Angeles starter Derek Lowe failed to get his first road win of the season, allowing five runs in six-plus innings.

It was Colorado’s biggest come-from-behind victory this season and made a winner out of Mike DeJean (4-1), who pitched a scoreless inning after being signed earlier in the day. DeJean, released last month by the Mets, is in his second stint with the Rockies, having played in Colorado from 1997-2000.

Colorado’s only All-Star, Brian Fuentes, pitched the ninth to earn his 11th save in 13 chances.

Helton is pulling out of arguably the biggest slump of his career in a big way. He finished with two hits and is now 24-for-59 over the last 16 games. He is batting .281, still 58 points below his career average, but much better than a month ago.

His homer was part of a wild sequence that included the freak injury to Wunsch, a warning to both benches after Osoria nearly hit Garrett Atkins after Helton’s homer and, in the next inning, the near injury to Rockies owner Dick Monfort, who almost got hit by a bat that went flying into the stands when Dodgers pinch hitter Hee-Seop Choi lost control.

The Colorado comeback got Rockies starter Joe Kennedy off the hook. Still, Kennedy allowed five runs in the first two innings and saw his ERA balloon above 7 – not a good sign for the opening-day starter whose days in the rotation, or maybe on the roster, could be numbered.

The Dodgers again played without Jeff Kent, who went out of the lineup Tuesday with a sore hamstring and stayed stuck on 1,998 career hits.

Jason Repko had a career-high four hits, all singles, for Los Angeles.

Notes: Dodgers manager Jim Tracy went to lunch with Colorado Gov. Bill Owens on Wednesday. He said he didn’t talk politics with the governor, who is a big baseball fan. … To make room for DeJean, the Rockies sent reliever David Cortes to Triple-A Colorado Springs.

AP-ES-07-07-05 1753EDT


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