Troy Tulowitzki(notes) hit a three-run homer and Aaron Cook(notes) survived a shaky fifth inning that included homers by Evan Longoria(notes) and Carl Crawford(notes) as the Rockies snapped the Rays’ six-game winning streak with a 5-3 win Wednesday night.
“This was a big game for us,” Tulowitzki said. “To win 11 and then to lose how we did yesterday, it was kind of a statement game to come back and say, ‘Hey, we’re still a good team. It wasn’t a fluke that we won 11 games in a row.”’
The Rockies, who saw their long winning streak come to a halt Tuesday with a 12-4 loss to the Rays, have won 14 of 19 since Jim Tracy took over as manager last month.
“It’s pretty special, but I don’t want it to end there,” said Cook, who allowed three runs on eight hits in seven innings and induced 11 groundball outs.
“We had opportunities, just not enough,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said. “He kept putting the ball on the ground against us.”
Rookie left-hander David Price(notes) (1-1) surrendered five earned runs on 10 hits in seven innings but couldn’t keep the Rays from losing for just the second time in eight interleague games, allowing Tulowitzki’s big shot and another by Chris Iannetta(notes).
“I left some pitches up and they hit them out,” said Price, who explained that he watched the flight of the homers because “they were no-doubters. I wanted to see how far they would travel.”
In his sixth big league start, Price, who had walked 18 batters in his first 19 innings, didn’t walk anyone and struck out five.
“He was much better,” Maddon said. “After the home run by Tulowitzki, he pitched really well for the rest of the game. I liked that he threw more sliders for strikes. He even threw a change-up toward the end. His fastball command was much better.”
Price, the first overall pick in the 2007 amateur draft who earned national acclaim when he pitched out of the bullpen during the playoffs last season, settled down and the Rays made a game of it.
Cook got the better of his nemesis in a crucial at-bat later in the game as Burrell finished 1 for 3.
“He pitched me pretty tough tonight,” Burrell said. “He threw strikes and attacked the zone. We didn’t make a game of it.”
After Iannetta led off the bottom of the fourth with his ninth homer to make it 5-1, Carl Crawford (fourth) and Evan Longoria (16th) hit back-to-back shots off Cook with two outs in the fifth to make it 5-3.
Cook kept the ball down and off the plate and Burrell still managed to send it to the warning track in right field.
“I know he tends to see the ball really well off me, so I wasn’t trying to fool him as much as I was just making a good, quality pitch,” Cook said.
NOTES: Rockies RHP Taylor Buchholz(notes) underwent Tommy John-style ligament-replacement surgery on his right elbow Wednesday and is expected to be sidelined a year. … Crawford and Longoria also went deep back-to-back on May 7 against the Yankees. … Rays SS Jason Bartlett(notes) extended his hitting streak to a career-best 12 games. … Price collected his first major league hit with an infield single in the third.