The winning streak is the Rockies' longest since their
season-high five-game winning streak June 11-15.
The Rockies (40-53) jumped on Twins starting pitcher Kris Johnson
(0-1) early and scored five runs in three innings. He pitched four
innings, taking the turn of injured Ricky Nolasco. The bulk of the
Rockies' early damage came on two-run homers by center fielder Drew
Stubbs in the first and shortstop Troy Tulowitzki in the third.
Tulowitzki also made a vital defensive play with the bases loaded to
end the seventh, helping Adam Ottavino snuff out a Twins' rally.
"It's tough to play from behind," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said.
"It takes you away from some things offensively where you've got to
play more conservatively at times. When your starting pitcher does
well, the game tends to fall into place for you as we saw tonight."
Left-hander Jorge De La Rosa held the Twins (42-50) to one run in
six innings, leaving after a 102-pitch workday. He gave up a run in
the second on a pair of doubles but then didn't allow a runner to
reach second base for the balance of his outing.
De La Rosa's right hamstring cramped as he ran out a sacrifice bunt
in the second, causing the Rockies some concern.
"We were worried about him," Weiss said. "He was inning-to-inning
after that. I was surprised he got as deep into the game as he did."
Colorado right fielder Carlos Gonzalez played for the first time
since June 3. He singled ahead of Tulowitzki's homer and threw out
second baseman Brian Dozier as he tried to go from first to third on
first baseman Kendry Morales' single in the third with the Rockies
"He's such a talented defender," Weiss said. "We've seen him play
all three (outfield positions), and it's Gold Glove caliber
regardless of where he's at in the outfield. That was a big throw at
that point in the game."
In addition to Gonzalez, the Rockies will welcome Brett Anderson
(broken finger) back to their rotation Sunday after a three-month
absence. And third baseman Nolan Arenado, who tripled and scored in
the second, returned July 3 after missing six weeks with a broken
De La Rosa (10-6) won his fourth straight start and earned his 65th
career win with the Rockies, a franchise record for a left-hander
(left-hander Jeff Francis also won 64 games ) and second all-time in
Rockies history behind Aaron Cook (72).
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said of De La Rosa, "He changed speeds.
He threw his changeup in there. He's going to cut the fastball down
and in. He did all those things we knew he was going to do, made
some pitches when he had to. We made him throw some pitches, but
ultimately he got us out."
Rockies reliever Rex Brothers retired the first batter he faced in
the seventh before yielding consecutive singles to shortstop Eduardo
Escobar and center fielder Sam Fuld. When right-handed-hitting Josh
Willingham came off the Twins' bench to pinch hit, Weiss brought in
[to top of second column]
He struck out Willingham but walked Dozier to load the bases.
Catcher Kurt Suzuki hit a grounder that Tulowitzki snared in the
hole, and his long jump throw was in time to get Suzuki.
that play look way too easy," Gardenhire said. "It wasn't that easy.
He's a good one."
Rockies left fielder Charlie Blackmon led off the first with a
single, and Stubbs followed with his 10th homer and fourth in six
games. Arenado opened the second with a triple, and catcher Wilin
Rosario followed with a run-scoring single.
Johnson ended up yielding eight hits and five runs in four innings
before being lifted for a pinch hitter with the Rockies leading 5-1.
This was the second spot start this season and the third career
start for Johnson, who pitched 4 1/3 innings on May 1 against the
Los Angeles Dodgers, leaving that game with a 1-0 lead after
throwing 106 pitches.
"I'm very hopeful (of another start)," Johnson said. "I want to get
out here again and just show what I can do and go long in the game
and give this team a chance to get a win. It's kind of disappointing
when you come out for two starts and they need you and you can't
make five innings."
NOTES: OF Carlos Gonzalez, who underwent surgery June 10 for a
benign tumor on his left index finger, was activated. RHP Jair
Jurrjens was optioned to Triple-A Colorado Springs. ... Rockies RHP
Eddie Butler (right rotator cuff inflammation) is scheduled to make
his first rehab start Saturday and throw about 60 pitches for
high-Class A Modesto against Bakersfield. ... Rockies RHP Jordan
Lyles (left third metacarpal fracture) threw 30 pitches of live
batting practice and used his glove for the first time since he
suffered a broken bone in his left hand. He will likely make his
first rehab start July 18 for Double-A Tulsa. ... Rockies RHP Nick
Masset (left patellar tendon strain) is scheduled to throw off the
slope of the mound Saturday and, if he feels good, throw a bullpen
session Sunday. ... Gardenhire said he kept LF Josh Willingham, 35,
out of the starting lineup because the team arrived at 4 a.m. from
Seattle and will rest C Kurt Suzuki on Saturday. ... Twins SS Danny
Santana (left knee deep bone bruise) flew from Minneapolis to the
Twins' complex in Fort Myers, Fla., where he will soon begin a rehab
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