Rockies 11, Mets 5
NEW YORK (AP)—Benched for two days, Willy Taveras languished in the Colorado dugout, trying to find his way out of a slump that had dropped his batting average as low as .135.
“I know what I can do,” the Rockies center fielder said. “I know what I have. I just need to work hard on my game.”
Restored to the top of the batting order on Wednesday, Taveras had five of Colorado’s season-high 20 hits as the Rockies broke out of an offensive drought in an 11-5 rout of the New York Mets.
Todd Helton had four hits and three RBIs and John Mabry added a three-run homer for the Rockies, who salvaged the victory after managing just one run in each of the first two games of the series against the Mets.
Twice, Taveras beat out bunts to energize big innings for the Rockies.
“When I was benched, I worked real hard with the hitting coach,” Taveras said. “It worked for the better. I was ready to play. You want to have good at-bats. You want to contribute.”
Manager Clint Hurdle saw the difference.
“He was much more polished at the plate today,” Hurdle said. “It’s not many days you show up at the ballpark and have five hits.”
For the Rockies, it was a welcome change. The team has been struggling offensively and a measure of that was Mabry’s three-run homer in a five-run third inning against Mike Pelfrey (0-2).
It was just the eighth homer all season for Colorado, lowest team total in the major leagues. And the five runs in one inning were more than the Rockies had scored in any game in the last week. The team had scored more than five runs in a game just five times in 21 games before Wednesday
“We needed to come out and play a good game, bust out with the bats,” Hurdle said. “Mabry’s home loosened us up a bit, no doubt.”
Josh Fogg (1-1) retired the first nine New York batters and contributed a pair of singles. He scored twice as the Rockies roughed up Pelfrey.
The Mets’ first-round draft choice blamed himself.
“I just kept throwing fastballs,” Pelfrey said. “They kept hitting it and I kept throwing it. Maybe I’m too stubborn.”
The Rockies pushed across a run in the first when Troy Tulowitzki walked, stole second and scored on Helton’s bloop single to center.
Colorado then tagged Pelfrey for five runs in the third, bunching four singles for two runs before Mabry broke open the game with his home run.
Fogg opened the inning with a single and Taveras beat out a bunt, setting up RBI singles by Matt Holliday and Helton. Mabry then hit his first home run.
Colorado was back for more in the fourth against reliever Aaron Sele. Again, Fogg opened with a single and Taveras beat out another bunt. The runners moved up on a sacrifice before Holliday drove in two runs with a single, and Helton’s double made it 9-0.
In the fifth, Brad Hawpe opened with a double and scored on Taveras’ two-out single. Helton doubled in the sixth and scored on a single by Mabry.
Jose Reyes had two doubles and two singles for New York. He would’ve had a fifth hit, too, but Taveras sprinted into the left-center field gap and caught Reyes’ first-inning drive near the wall.
Fogg took a shutout into the sixth inning, a turnaround from his last start when he was tagged for 11 hits and eight runs in just three innings against San Diego.
SS Tulowitzki made a diving catch to rob Ramon Castro of a hit in the third. … Pelfrey allowed six runs and eight hits in three innings. … Castro was thrown out trying to score on pinch-hitter Damion Easley’s two-out double in the fifth. … The 11 runs matched a season-high for the Rockies.