Rox end slide against Padres
Nothing helps to end a losing streak than facing one of the only teams in the league worse than you. The Rockies ended their 9-game losing streak and took two of three in the process against San Diego at home.
Before they could win this series, the Rockies dropped the opening game of the series 15-8. Colorado knocked around starter Greg Maddux. Maddux only lasted 4 2/3 innings and gave up 8 runs, all earned. Three of them came on one swing of the bat of Brad Hawpe for his 11th home run of the year.
The Rockies carried an 8-3 lead into the 6th. Then things got dicey. Starter Jorge de la Rosa gave up three runs in the inning without retiring a single hitter. Ryan Speier was brought in and did not retire a batter either. Manny Corpas was brought in with runners on and just a one-run lead. He gave up a run that was charged to Speier and in the process suffered his 6th blown save of the year.
In the 9 th, Luis Vizcaino was brought in to keep the score tied at 8. Long story short, he did not. He gave up two runs, but did get two outs before being pulled for Brian Fuentes. Fuentes proceeded to give up five runs in just a third of an inning, all of them earned. The Padres would retire the Rockies in the bottom of the inning to come away with the victory. The loss was the Rockies’ 9th in-a-row.
All year long, Aaron Cook has been the remedy for a losing streak. He did just that on Tuesday in a big way. He went the distance without giving up a run for his first complete game shutout of his career and the first for Colorado since Jeff Francis did it in 2006. The 4-0 victory lasted just one hour and 58 minutes, the shortest in Coors Field history. His 11th victory of the season ties him for the league-lead with Brandon Webb.
Before the series finale on Wednesday, Manager Clint Hurdle said that he does not normally lobby for players making the All-Star Game, but he will have to talk to the manager about Aaron Cook. He won’t have to look very far, Hurdle will be managing the NL All-Stars in New York. In fact, Cook might even start the game because he will have three days rest before July 15th.
As for the game on Wednesday, it was another Rockies showcase. Colorado got to Padres starter Randy Wolf early and often. In the 2 nd inning with his team already up 1-0, Garrett Atkins hit his 11th round-tripper of the season. The 3-run shot was part of a four run inning for the home team.
Troy Tulowitzki provided the offense in the 3rd inning with a two-run shot. The home run was Tulo’s 2nd since coming off the DL last month. The Rockies got another bomb in the 8th off the bat of Yorvit Torrealba to end the scoring for the night.
Lost in the fireworks was the effort by Ubaldo Jimenez. Jimenez put together his 2 nd strong start in as many games at Coors Field. He gave up just one run in 6 1/3 innings while striking out four. Each of his three wins this year has come at home.
Another nice pitching story out of this game was the major-league debut of Cedrick Bowers. Bowers in not a top-prospect by any means, but his story is remarkable. The 30-year old lefthander has spent nine years in the minor leagues and two years in Asia. He worked a scoreless 8th, giving up just one hit.
A series win is nice; it was their first since sweeping the Indians at Coors Field a couple of weeks ago. However, the Rockies are still 17 games under .500 and are 8 games out in the NL West.
Colorado will play their last home series before the All-Star Break starting on Thursday. They will welcome in the surprising Florida Marlins for a 4-game series over the holiday weekend. These two teams have split their all-time series at 65 wins apiece since the two teams came into the league in 1993.
The opening game of the series will pit Mark Redman (2-3, 7.84 ERA) against Andrew Miller (5-7, 5.05 ERA). Redman is back in the Rockies rotation after Jeff Francis was put on the 15-day DL with inflammation in his throwing shoulder. He struggle mightily in his first stint with the Rockies this year, but had some success at Triple-A (5-2, 4.64 ERA in nine starts).
On the 4th of July, Greg Reynolds (2-6, 5.75 ERA) will take the hill for the Rockies. Even though Reynolds has lost his last two starts, he pitched well. He only gave up five runs while in the game against the Mets and Tigers.
Saturday, Jorge de la Rosa (2-4, 6.70 ERA) will get the start. If it weren’t for the injuries to the likes of Jason Hirsch and Kip Wells and the struggles of Mark Redman, de la Rosa would probably not even be with the Rockies. Even though he has a 6.70 ERA, he has lowered it in all but two of his starts this year.
Aaron Cook will be back on the hill for the series finale. As previously mentioned, Cook is on the short list to start the All-Star game for the National League. If Clint Hurdle wants to justify starting his own pitcher on July 15th, the man with the ginger goatee must have a good start in order to pass Brandon Webb as the league leader in wins. Cook has only made four career starts against the Marlins, going 1-1 with a 4.73 ERA.
On the other side, Mark Hendrickson will take the ball for Florida. This could not be a worse time for Hendrickson to step foot in hitter-friendly Coors Field. He has dropped five straight decisions and has given up nine home runs in his last five starts.
Fireworks are sure to fly at Coors Field. The question is, will it be the bright colored ones or the ones provided by the two teams. The series starts on Thursday at 6:05pm Mountain Time.
By Ryan Kaufman
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