Saturday, July 12, 2014
Sports News

Rockies win third straight game

Send a link to a friend  Share

[July 12, 2014]  DENVER -- The Colorado Rockies, who are finally getting healthy, are trying to reach the All-Star break on something of a roll. They won their third straight game Friday night, beating the Minnesota Twins 6-2.

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 leading 3-1.

"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 finger.

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 right-hander Ottavino.

[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.

"He made 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 assignment.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

< Sports index

Back to top