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San Diego at Colorado

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Cook wins sixth straight decision as Rockies drop Padres to .500

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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DENVER -- A year ago, it was unclear when -- or even if -- Aaron Cook would take the mound again for the Colorado Rockies, let alone almost throw a shutout at Coors Field.

But after missing most of last season after doctors found blood clots in his lungs in 2004, Cook did just that, winning a career-high and franchise-record sixth straight decision and leading the Rockies to a 4-2 victory over the NL West-leading San Diego Padres.

"Initially we just wanted him to be able to get healthy," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. "And now for him to come back and be able to pitch, that's a plus."

The Padres' second loss in three game to last-place Colorado dropped them back to .500 (76-76) and saw their lead over second-place San Francisco drop to 4½ games in the NL West. The Giants played at Washington on Thursday.

San Diego, which has struggled to score runs as it tries to hold on to the lead in the weak West, lost 20-1 Tuesday night and could muster only a series split of the four-game series in Denver.

"It's a tough loss," Padres manager Bruce Bochy said. "I thought Adam (Eaton) threw the ball well. We just couldn't quite cash in on a couple of opportunities there."

The Giants open a three-game series at Coors Field on Friday, followed by a four-game home series against the Padres starting Monday. San Diego opens a three-game series at Arizona on Friday.

It has been a long recovery for Cook since Aug. 7, 2004, when he left a game complaining of dizziness and shortness of breath. Doctors discovered the potentially life-threatening blood clots, forcing Cook out of baseball until July 30.

Since his return, he's been the Rockies best pitcher, allowing 14 earned runs in his last seven games.

For eight innings on Thursday, Cook seemed unstoppable. He allowed eight hits and retired the side in order in the first, third, fifth and eighth innings. He got 15 ground ball outs and had to work out of a jam only twice.

In the seventh inning, Cook had runners on second and third with one out, but caught a line drive by Robert Fick and turned the double play by throwing out Ramon Hernandez at third.

"It was self-preservation right there," Cook said of the catch that left him with a bruised pinkie and a bandaged hand.

In the fourth, he gave up base hits to Eric Young and Brian Giles to start the inning. But Cook got Ryan Klesko to ground out and Khalil Greene and Hernandez to fly out.

But in the ninth, he was forced to leave after allowing singles to Giles and Klesko. Greene then hit a two-run double to center off Brian Fuentes, who record his 30th save.

Helton's two-run homer to right off Eaton in the seventh gave the Rockies a 4-0 lead. Eaton (10-5) then was pulled after allowing four runs and seven hits over 6 1/3 innings.

"That was an impressive at-bat," Bochy said. "He fouled one off his knee and he battled, then he got one he could handle."

Clint Barmes and Cory Sullivan also had RBIs for Colorado.

With the win, the Rockies guaranteed they would finish the season with less than 100 losses -- a much better record than many predicted for the inexperienced team.

Cook, too, is doing better than many expected. He said he was probably pitching better than ever before in his career, which he credited, at least partially, to his illness.

"It just makes you stronger, more mentally tough when you're on the mound, knowing I was at a near death experience, and I'm just playing a game out there," he said.

Notes

  • The attendance of 18,119 was an all-time low in the 11-year history of Coors Field. The old record was 18,184, set May 12 against Arizona.
  • Despite the loss, San Diego won the season series 11-7.
  • RF Brad Hawpe got his 10th assist this season in the second inning, when he threw out Hernandez at the plate.
  • CF Dave Roberts and RF Giles collided in the third when they both went after a fly ball hit by Helton.
  • Colorado's Matt Holliday had his 10-game hitting streak ended.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Aaron Cook hugs catcher Todd Greene after his career-high and franchise-record sixth straight win.  (AP)
Aaron Cook hugs catcher Todd Greene after his career-high and franchise-record sixth straight win. (AP)

Players of the Game
Colorado

T. Helton
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
San Diego

K. Greene
AB 4
R 0
H 1
HR 0
RBI 2
 
San Diego Padres
Dave Roberts, CF4010010 .272
Eric Young, 2B4010000 .269
    Manny Alexander, 2B0000000 .000
Brian Giles, RF4120001 .305
Ryan Klesko, LF4110002 .251
Khalil Greene, SS4012002 .255
Ramon Hernandez, C4020003 .290
Joe Randa, 3B4030002 .277
Robert Fick, 1B3000003 .286
    Clay Hensley, P0000000 .000
   a- Ben Johnson, PH1000011 .214
Adam Eaton, P2000000 .190
    Mark Sweeney, 1B1000000 .296
Totals3521120214 
a-struck out for Hensley in the 9th
Batting
2B - Khalil Greene (29, Fuentes), Ramon Hernandez (19, Cook), Joe Randa (41, Cook)
RBI - Khalil Greene 2 (65)
SB - Eric Young (7, 2nd base off Cook/Greene)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Randa-Young-Fick
San Diego Padres
Adam Eaton (L,10-5) 6.1744531 4.18
Clay Hensley 1.2100010 2.09
IBB - Helton by Adam Eaton
WP - Adam Eaton (5)
Pitches-Strikes - Adam Eaton 112-61, Clay Hensley 29-18
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Adam Eaton 9-6, Clay Hensley 3-1
Batters Faced - Adam Eaton 30, Clay Hensley 6
Colorado Rockies
Clint Barmes, SS4111000 .297
Cory Sullivan, CF1111300 .294
Todd Helton, 1B3112112 .317
Matt Holliday, LF3000111 .306
Garrett Atkins, 3B4020003 .284
Brad Hawpe, RF4010012 .268
Todd Greene, C4000012 .244
    Brian Fuentes, P0000000 .000
Luis Gonzalez, 2B4120000 .288
Aaron Cook, P3000001 .125
    Danny Ardoin, C0000000 .239
Totals304845411 
Batting
2B - Cory Sullivan (13, Eaton), Luis Gonzalez (24, Eaton)
HR - Todd Helton (18, Eaton)
SH - Aaron Cook (4)
RBI - Clint Barmes (41), Cory Sullivan (28), Todd Helton 2 (71)
2-OUT RBI - Cory Sullivan (18)
SB - Clint Barmes (6, 2nd base off Eaton/Hernandez)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Brad Hawpe 1
DP - Atkins-Gonzalez-Helton, Cook-Atkins
Colorado Rockies
Aaron Cook (W,6-1) 81022010 3.23
Brian Fuentes (S,30) 1100010 2.47
WP - Brian Fuentes (7)
Pitches-Strikes - Aaron Cook 90-53, Brian Fuentes 12-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Aaron Cook 14-6, Brian Fuentes 2-0
Batters Faced - Aaron Cook 31, Brian Fuentes 4
Game Information
Attendance - 18119
Game Time - 2:16
Temperature - 70
Umpires - Home - Jeff Kellogg, First Base - Travis Reininger, Second Base - Mike Reilly, Third Base - Andy Fletcher