He not only had to overcome his own mistakes, but the ones his teammates made, as well.
Pat Burrell climbed out of an 0-for-15 slide with four hits Saturday night to lead Philadelphia to an 8-7 victory over the mistake-prone Rockies, spoiling Cook’s return after nearly a year on the sideline.
“It was great to be back out there,” Cook said. “I wish I could have done better for the team, but at least we’ve got something to build on now.”
Cook (0-1) made his first appearance with the Rockies since last Aug. 7, when he became dizzy during a game and had to be taken to the hospital, where doctors discovered blood clots in his lungs.
He went through two complicated operations, including an 8-hour procedure in which a rib on his right side was removed to alleviate pressure on a vein.
After intensive rehab, the Rockies brought him back to the team Saturday, but the Phillies got seven runs and 11 hits off the 26-year-old right-hander in 4 1-3 innings.
Burrell was the leader, finishing with three singles and a double to match his career high in hits. It was his third four-hit night of the season. He also had two RBIs and was intentionally walked in the eighth.
“Pat Burrell needed some hits,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. “He needed them and came up big.”
And while Burrell and the Phillies were good, the Rockies played a part in Cook’s demise, too. That was most true in the second inning, when they misplayed a pair of flyballs—turning a potential out into a double and what should have been a simple single into an RBI double—and committed an error to help the Phillies score two runs and take a 3-0 lead.
Then, trailing 7-3 in the fourth inning, Colorado had the bases loaded and none out—a chance to get Cook off the hook despite his struggles. Danny Ardoin grounded into a double play, though, to end the threat of a big inning.
Cook was gone an inning later, albeit to a nice hand from the fans.
“It was a little awkward,” Cook said of his walk back to the dugout. “Usually, when you give up seven runs in 4 1-3 innings, you might get booed off the field. But the fans have been great. They know what I’ve been through and I appreciate that.”
Jimmy Rollins and Kenny Lofton each had three hits for the Phillies, who came to Denver on a three-game losing streak but have now won the first three of the four-game series against the worst team in the majors.
“A win is a win,” Manuel said. “That’s a team that comes back at you. They’ve done it for three days.”
Phillies starter Cory Lidle (9-9) was not impressive, but staked to a 7-1 lead in the third, he didn’t have to be. He allowed five runs and 10 hits in five innings, including two home runs to Matt Holliday.
Holliday had his second multihomer game of the season, the second making it 7-5 in the fifth. After the Phillies scored on Burrell’s RBI single in the sixth, Colorado pulled within 8-7 in the bottom of the inning on an RBI groundout by Aaron Miles and a sacrifice fly by Ardoin.
But the Rockies didn’t score again. Billy Wagner pitched the ninth for his 24th save in 26 attempts and is now 3-for-3 in this series.
“Pitching in every game here is not what you look for,” Wagner said, “but that is my job, and I will go out there and do it when I’m called on.”
The Rockies played without Todd Helton, who was put on the disabled list for the first time in his career Saturday with a strained left calf. Playing in his place, rookie Ryan Shealy had a career-high three hits.
The Rockies designated SS Desi Relaford for assignment after the game. Relaford is batting .057 in July. They’ll bring up IF Omar Quintanilla, a player they acquired from Oakland in the trade for Joe Kennedy. … Saturday was Rockies manager Clint Hurdle’s 48th birthday. … Colorado pitcher Zach Day had been scheduled to throw 40 to 50 pitches at a rehab assignment with Colorado Springs on Saturday. … The Phillies improved to 14-4 against the NL West this season and 13-14 in one-run games.