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Gonzalez, De La Rosa combine to lift Rockies over Yankees

The SportsXchange

DENVER -- Carlos Gonzalez got burned in his previous at-bat. He made sure it didn't happen twice.

Gonzalez turned on a Hiroki Kuroda fastball and sent it into the Colorado bullpen with two outs in the sixth, and the Rockies beat the New York Yankees 2-0 on Tuesday night.

Jorge De La Rosa (3-3) pitched six strong innings to get the win, and Josh Rutledge had three hits for the Rockies.

Three Colorado relievers held New York to one hit over the final three innings, with Rafael Betancourt getting the final three outs to earn his ninth save in as many chances.

Kuroda (4-2) took the loss despite pitching seven strong innings. He allowed two runs on seven hits in dropping his first game since Opening Day.

"He pitched well enough to win," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "You're usually going to win most games when you (give up two runs), we just weren't able to do much tonight."

Neither were the Rockies until the sixth. Kuroda appeared to be in complete control after retiring the first two batters of the inning, but Colorado finally got to him.

Rutledge singled to center to set the table for Gonzalez. Two innings earlier Kuroda struck him out with a fastball in, so he was looking for the same magic in the sixth.

"The before at-bat I got a swing and a miss at a close location, so I was aiming for that (location)," Kuroda said.

Gonzalez, who hit .400 against Kuroda when he was with the Dodgers, expected the pitcher to try his luck again. When the 90 mph fastball came, he jumped on it for his seventh home run of the season.

"His delivery is a little sneaky and it's tough to pick up," Gonzalez said. "I was expecting that fastball and I was kind of waiting for that. It was a good pitch, middle in, and I was able to put the ball in play."

It came against a guy who had been dominant to that point.

"I always have a good feeling when CarGo's in the box," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "That's what he can do. He can change the game with one swing. And that's what it took tonight. Kuroda did a great job and it was one swing by CarGo that was the difference."

Colorado threatened for more when Michael Cuddyer and Todd Helton followed with singles, but Nolan Arenado lined out to right to end the threat.

The home run made a winner out of De La Rosa. He allowed three hits, struck out two and walked one to rebound from a tough outing against the Dodgers on May 1.

"In L.A., I was (falling) to third base," De La Rosa said. "And I made the adjustment in the bullpen."

Rain invaded Tuesday's game in the third inning and fell steadily throughout the rest of the night, sometimes heavily.

It didn't seem to bother the pitchers, who had allowed a combined five hits and no runs midway through the sixth.

The Yankees tried to come back in the seventh. Pinch-hitter Brett Gardner led off with a walk but was erased on a double play off the bat of former Colorado third baseman Chris Nelson.

Ichiro Suzuki and Chris Stewart had a hit and stole two bases each for the Yankees, who have lost three of four.

"We thought we could run a little bit tonight and we did it," Girardi said. "Whenever we can do it we're going to try to do it. Unfortunately it didn't work out and we didn't get any runs."

Neither team could get a run across in the first five innings because of effective pitching and timely defense.

The Yankees had two runners reach third, but De La Rosa struck out Jayson Nix with Suzuki at third, and Arenado's play on a slow grounder prevented Stewart from scoring in the top of the fifth.

The Rockies lost some of their punch when an inflamed left adductor tendon kept shortstop Troy Tulowitzki out of the lineup. The swelling is near the area where he had surgery last year, knocking him out of all but 47 games.

An MRI taken Monday morning showed there was no issue with the surgically repaired area and head trainer Keith Dugger said the test came back "clean."

Tulowitzki, who complained of "heavy legs" after the Rockies' road trip last week, sat out Friday's game against Tampa Bay but homered Sunday. He said he was relieved with the MRI results.

"I know a lot of people are worried. But I'm not worried," he said. "I'm relieved because I know exactly what it is. It's just a little sore. I saw the MRI. It looks good. They believe I need some rest. I'm good, though. I hope to be starting tomorrow."

NOTES: The Yankees have stolen 11 straight bases without a putout. The last time they had a player caught was April 25. ... New York SS Eduardo Nunez was out of the lineup with tightness in his rib cage. Girardi said Nunez has improved, but he wanted to be cautious and shut him down for the first game of the series and most likely Wednesday's game. Nunez, who is the starter while Derek Jeter works his way back from a broken ankle, was replaced by Nix. "Our backups need backups," Girardi said before the game. "This really tests our depth." ... Rockies 1B Todd Helton pleaded guilty Tuesday in an Adams County, Colo., court to a charge of driving while ability impaired. He was sentenced to a year's probation, a $400 fine and 24 hours of community service. Helton was arrested early Feb. 6 after he was spotted driving erratically.
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