DENVER (AP)—Aaron Cook doesn’t consider himself a stopper, but he’s certainly pitching like one.
It was the fifth time Cook (5-1) stopped a Rockies’ losing streak, and for the third straight start he ended a four-game losing streak. The Rockies are 6-1 when Cook starts and 6-18 in other games.
“That’s a title you guys gave me and I’ll never put it on myself,” Cook said of the stopper label. “I’m just trying to be consistent.”
Since giving up four earned runs in losing his first start of the season, Cook has been stingy. He’s given up 13 earned runs and averaged seven innings in his last six starts—all of them Colorado victories. He hasn’t walked a batter in his last two starts.
“He has a real good balance on the mound right now,” Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. “He has good command of his pitches and he’s attacking the strike zone.”
Taylor Buchholz pitched a perfect final 1 2-3 innings to pick up his first save of the season.
Cook mixed his sinker and fastball to record 17 groundouts, and at one point he recorded five straight. He scattered nine hits and struck out two. He left after giving up Juan Pierre’s RBI single that made it 6-2.
“He kept us on our heels by staying aggressive,” Dodgers manager Joe Torre said. “We couldn’t mount anything. When we did get baserunners, he always made the pitch and got outs.”
Cook retired the first 10 batters and 13 of the first 14. He gave up a one-out solo homer to Ethier and a single to Blake DeWitt in the fifth, but he got Chin-lung Hu to hit into an inning-ending double play.
“Cookie has been our best pitcher so far, and anytime your best pitcher is on the mound you feel pretty good about it,” Holliday said.
“He had it going today,” first baseman Todd Helton said.
The Rockies jumped on Lowe early. Omar Quintanilla doubled home Scott Podsednik, Holliday singled home Quintanilla, and then Lowe walked two to load the bases with no outs. He had already thrown more than 40 pitches by the time he got his first out, but he minimized the damage by allowing only one more run in the first. It took him 51 pitches to get out of the first inning.
“I’ve never thrown 41 pitches before the first out of the game,” Lowe said. “That was a first and it set the tone for a slower-paced game. I was fortunate to get out of the first inning with 51 pitches and only three runs.”
Lowe settled down after that, and he retired 11 straight at one stretch before Cook singled to lead off the fifth. He gave up RBI singles to Holliday and Garrett Atkins and left after the fifth inning.
The Rockies cushioned their lead in the sixth when Podsednik singled to drive in Chris Iannetta to make it 6-1.
Torre said the Dodgers have had the eyes of slumping Andruw Jones examined several times. “They’ve checked out OK,” Torre said. “We know his problems aren’t physical ones and his hitting trouble isn’t terminal.” … Dodgers RHP Jason Schmidt (shoulder) will throw a simulated game in Los Angeles on Monday. … Furcal has reached base in all 31 games this year. He is three shy of tying Duke Snider 1955 record for the club’s longest streak to start the season, according to Elias Sports Bureau. … Rockies INF Jonathan Herrera got his first career RBI in the eighth inning.