Rockies Win 4th Straight

By: AP/11 Sports
By: AP/11 Sports

Aaron Cook hardly looked like an All-Star in the first inning Sunday. He did in his final six innings.

Cook, who impressed with three scoreless innings in his first All-Star appearance this year, was roughed up for three runs in the first. He recorvered and gave up just one hit over his final six innings to help the Colorado Rockies complete a four-game sweep of the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday, 11-3. Matt Holliday and Jeff Baker homered and had three hits each, Clint Barmes had three hits and Ian Stewart was 2-for-4 with two runs and three RBIs for the Rockies, who swept a four-game series for the first time this season.

Cook (12-6) said he had a little too much adrenaline after Tuesday's All-Star Game, where he pitched three scoreless innings for the National League.

"That first inning, I was a little geeked up trying to throw the ball a little too hard coming off the All-Star break. I was out of rhythm," Cook said. "I was rushing, getting the ball up in the zone. I was trying to do too much, throw too hard."

The Pirates made the Colorado ace pay. Luis Rivas led off with a single, Doug Mientkiewicz walked and Nate McLouth singled to make it 1-0. After a double play scored Mientkiewicz, Xavier Nady doubled and came home on Adam LaRoche's single to make it 3-0.

Cook settled down and mowed through the Pittsburgh lineup after that. He faced the minimum over his last six innings, allowing just Zach Duke's fifth-inning single, which was wiped out on a double play.

"I think at times we made him look better," LaRoche said. "We missed a lot of good pitches to hit, we hit some balls hard right at people and we swung at good pitches in hitters counts."

The Pirates had one hit after the first inning until Mientkiewicz led off the ninth with a double.

While Cook took control, the Rockies offense heated up against Duke (4-7), who went five-plus innings, striking out five. He retired the first 10 batters of the game before giving up nine runs to his final 16 batters. He left after Brad Hawpe doubled, Barmes singled and Stewart doubled home both runners to make it 8-3 to start the sixth.

Denny Bautista relieved Duke and gave up a sacrifice fly to Will Taveras to make it 9-3.

"Offensively, we kept finding a way to do the right things," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. "When you have eight extra-base hits, two home runs, you should win the game."

The Rockies took the lead for good in the fifth. Barmes led off with a triple, Stewart doubled and two outs later, Baker and Holliday hit home runs on consecutive pitches to make it 6-3. It was Baker's seventh of the season and 16th for Holliday.

It was the third time this season Colorado has hit back-to-back home runs.

Duke was cruising before Baker reached on an infield single in the third. Holliday doubled to score Baker, and after Garrett Atkins popped out Chris Iannetta doubled to left-center to cut Pittsburgh's lead to 3-2.

The Pirates have lost five straight and six of their last seven. "It's unfortunate we aren't scoring or hitting," Pittsburgh manager John Russell said. "We'll come out of it."

Notes:@ Rockies SS Troy Tulowitzki (lacerated right hand) is scheduled to be activated from the 15-day disabled list Monday. ... Rockies LHP Jeff Francis (shoulder inflammation) is scheduled for two rehab assignments and will be evaluated after those are completed. ... The Pirates announced they will call up John Van Benschoten to pitch the opening game of their three-game series at Houston on Monday.


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