Livan Hernandez was perfect for five innings and lost. The Colorado Rockies recognized his effort.
''The guy is unbelievably crafty,'' pinch-hitter Ryan Spilborghs said. ''He threw me nothing but fastballs and then he came at me with a changeup. And I was lucky to get it.''
Spilborghs hit a tiebreaking single in the eighth inning and the Rockies overcame Hernandez's strong outing to end a six-game losing streak with a 3-2 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Saturday night.
''It was a good game, a really good game,'' Hernandez said. ''I know I lose, but I gave the team a chance to win.''
Hernandez (6-2) retired the first 15 batters he faced before Jeff Baker hit a double to left leading off the sixth inning. Hernandez allowed eight hits and three runs in 7 1-3 innings, and drove in a run with a bunt.
''Livan threw the ball fantastic,'' Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said. ''We needed someone to go deep into the game and help our bullpen.''
With the game tied 2-all, Baker started the eighth with his second double of the game and moved to third on a bunt by Yorvit Torrealba. Spilborghs slapped a single to center on a full count through a drawn-in infield, scoring Baker.
''He throws so many pitches and for strikes that you can't look for one pitch,'' Spilborghs said. ''You can only react to what you see in the strike zone and hope you can get something you can handle.''
Brendan Harris had an RBI single for the Twins, losers of four of five.
Greg Reynolds, Colorado's first-round draft choice and the second selection overall in the 2006 draft, worked six scoreless innings, allowing three hits. He walked two and struck out two.
''I had to watch Livan from the dugout,'' Reynolds said. ''The way he does things. He's calm, cool and collective and he fills up the strike zone.''
Matt Herges (2-0) pitched scoreless seventh and eighth innings to earn the win.
Brian Fuentes worked the ninth for his fifth save in seven chances. He gave up a leadoff single to Delmon Young and a two-out walk to Harris before fanning Mike Lamb to end the game.
Baker's double in the sixth went off the glove of a diving Young. Torrealba bunted Baker to third and after an out, Willy Taveras lined a single to right to score Baker to make it 1-0.
''He hadn't given us anything up until the sixth,'' Baker said. ''So I ran to first with my head down and didn't look up. I made the turn at the bag and saw the ball on the ground.''
The Twins mounted minor threats in the fifth and sixth innings against Reynolds. Hernandez singled off Reynolds' left ankle with two outs and Harris followed with a walk, but Lamb grounded out to end the inning.
In the sixth inning, Michael Cuddyer reached on a two-out fielders choice and stole second. Craig Monroe grounded to shortstop.
Young singled and Adam Everett doubled leading off the seventh inning against Herges. Young scored on Hernandez's sacrifice, and Harris drove in Everett with a single past third to make it 2-1.
The Rockies tied it at 2 in their half of the seventh when Matt Holliday led off with a double and moved to third on Todd Helton's single off the wall in right field. Atkins drove in Holliday with a deep fly to right.
''Their guy pitched well, but our guys wasn't bad in his second major league start,'' Colorado manager Clint Hurdle said. ''I pinch hit for him in the sixth inning when I figured we needed to score a run against a guy who had thrown a no-hitter for the first five innings.'' ^Notes@: OF Carlos Gomez was out of the lineup with a sore right wrist, injured while making a catch against the wall in center field in the ninth inning of Friday's game. ... The Twins want INF Matt Tolbert to see a hand specialist before any procedure is done on his left thumb. Tolbert was hurt diving into first base on the last play of Minnesota's loss to Toronto on Thursday. ... The game drew a walkup crowd of 8,456 fans, the largest walkup crowd in 14-year history of Coors Field. ... The Twins are 8-2 in games started by Hernandez. ... Holliday was back in the lineup after sitting out a game with back spasms
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