Rockies 7, Dodgers 2
DENVER (AP)—Aaron Cook wore out the infield grass at Coors Field.
Overwhelmed when he first started pitching at Coors Field, Cook has finally started getting the hang of keeping the ball down in his second season at the hitter-friendly park.
“Being a sinkerball pitcher in Coors Field, you have to really attack guys and they are going to be aggressive because of this park,” Cook said. “You have to be able to make good pitches and keep the ball down to keep your team in the game and give us a chance to win.”
He did just that.
The right-hander got 10 groundball outs and held the Dodgers hitless until Cesar Izturis’ two-out single in the third inning.
Los Angeles had at least one runner on against Cook in each of the next four innings, but didn’t get anything off him until Paul Lo Duca hit a two-run homer in the eighth to cut Colorado’s lead to 7-2.
Cook (5-4) was lifted after giving up consecutive singles to Adrian Beltre and Milton Bradley with one out in the eighth, walking off to a standing ovation after giving up two runs on eight hits in his first win at Coors since July 26, 2003 against Milwaukee as a reliever.
“He is keeping things basic and fairly simple,” Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. “He was sinking the ball really well tonight. He looked sharp. He was getting in a lot of people deep.”
Lo Duca hit his 10th homer, but that was about if for Los Angeles. the Dodgers had eight hits and stranded 10 runners to end a nine-game road winning streak—their longest away from Chavez Ravine in 34 years.
“I don’t think it’s so much Aaron Cook vs. the Dodgers,” Los Angeles manager Jim Tracy said. “When you look at what he’s done over the last three or four starts, not all involving the Dodgers, the kid has pitched pretty well.”
He got plenty of help from Colorado’s offense, too.
Most of it was against Dodgers starter Odalis Perez (4-4).
Helton hit his 21st homer off Perez in the first inning, fouling off three straight two-strike pitches before hitting a 442-foot solo shot off the base of the second deck in right-center.
Burnitz made it 3-0 in the second inning with his seventh homer in eight starts, a two-run shot to left. It was his sixth in five home games and 25th overall.
Greene added to it in the fourth inning, hitting Perez’s first pitch out 444 feet in center for his eighth of the season. Bradley barely moved in center when the ball came off the bat and Perez responded by dropping his head.
But the Rockies weren’t finished with him yet.
Larry Walker led off the fifth with a single, then Perez walked Matt Holliday. Burnitz followed with a two-run triple that nearly cleared the wall in left center to put Colorado up 6-0, giving him 18 RBIs in 10 games.
“I told you when we got Burnitz that he would do a lot for us and he hasn’t disappointed,” Hurdle said. “He has been known for going on some tears throughout his career, and he is on one now.”
Burnitz’s triple was enough to finish off Perez, who left after allowing six runs on 10 hits in 4 1-3 innings. He has yet to win a game in three starts since coming off the disabled list on July 17.
“This park is unforgiving,” Tracy said. “When pitches hang and sit up in the strike zone and are thrown to the wrong people that have that type of power they are going to hit the ball out of the park.”
The Rockies added a run in the sixth on Vinny Castilla’s RBI double off the wall in left-center.
Greene had to leave the game in the fifth inning after straining his right hamstring while avoiding a pitch by Giovanni Carrara. … A woman sitting about 25 rows behind the Dodgers dugout was injured in the fourth inning when a foul by Alex Cora sailed into the stands. She walked away with medical personnel, holding her right wrist. … Colorado has 26 homers in 13 games since the All-Star break.