The staff ace looks to keep that run going while trying to become the majors’ third 12-game winner as the surging Rockies go for a four-game sweep of the Florida Marlins on Sunday afternoon.
In what’s already been a wild series, Colorado (37-51) won 12-6 over Florida on Saturday for its fifth straight victory after losing eight in a row. The Rockies stayed hot after rallying from a club-record nine runs down to win 18-17 on Friday.
Colorado has managed to play well in this series despite placing starters Todd Helton (back) and Troy Tulowitzki (hand) on the disabled list this weekend. The Rockies now look to score 10 or more runs in three straight games for the first time since sweeping San Diego from April 7-9, 2006.
“Well, we’re not going to give up,” said left fielder Matt Holliday of the Rockies, who are within six games of first place in the weak NL West. “We’ve got enough to survive.”
With their offense in gear and their ace on the mound, the Rockies appear to be in good shape to record their first four-game sweep of Florida since Sept. 7-10, 1998.
Cook (11-5, 3.38 ERA) continued his All-Star caliber season and helped Colorado end its eight-game skid on Tuesday, tossing a five-hitter in a 4-0 win over San Diego for his first career shutout.
“It was an unbelievable performance,” Tulowitzki said. “Cookie’s been our best pitcher all year.”
The right-hander, 1-1 with a 3.55 ERA against Florida during his career, is 5-2 with a 2.77 ERA in eight starts at Coors Field this season. Cook is one win shy of Arizona’s Brandon Webb and the Los Angeles Angels’ Joe Saunders for the major league lead.
“I would think he’s got the attention of the league,” Colorado manager Clint Hurdle said. “There’s been some hiccup games, but overall if you look at the volume of work he’s put out in the first half, that’s very impressive.”
Holliday had a three-run homer and four RBIs on Saturday, a day after he hit two home runs - including a grand slam. He is hitting .342 on the season and .383 with five homers and 23 RBIs in 25 games since coming off the DL from a hamstring injury June 10.
The Marlins (44-43), meanwhile, have lost three in a row and are in danger of slipping to .500 for the first time since they were 3-3 on April 6.
Center fielder Cody Ross went 3-for-5 with a three-run homer and four RBIs on Saturday for Florida, which has lost nine of 13 overall and four straight on the road. Ross is batting .447 (17-for-38) with 13 RBIs in his last nine contests.
After Marlins’ starters Scott Olsen and Ryan Tucker allowed 16 earned runs over nine innings in the last two contests, Florida hopes Mark Hendrickson (7-7, 6.12) can shake off his recent struggles Sunday.
Hendrickson tries to avoid a sixth straight loss after giving up six runs and 10 hits in six innings of a 9-6 defeat to Washington on Tuesday.
In his first season with Florida, Hendrickson is 0-5 with a 9.79 ERA in seven starts since beating San Francisco on May 25.
“Right now I’m getting hurt by mistakes and they’re making us pay,” Hendrickson said.
The left-hander allowed a run in 5 2-3 innings of an 8-1 victory at Colorado on April 19, 2007 while with the Los Angeles Dodgers to win his only previous start against the Rockies. He’s 2-1 with a 3.00 ERA in eight games against them.