Colorado at Pittsburgh

Scoreboard
Colorado (49-60) «0110401007120
Pittsburgh (50-58)0000400004100

Rockies escape sweep as Cook ties for major league lead in wins

CBSSports.com wire reports
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PITTSBURGH -- It wasn't Aaron Cook's best performance, but the Colorado Rockies pitcher still added to his surprising win total.

Cook tied Arizona's Brandon Webb for the National League lead in victories, Troy Tulowitzki kept up his torrid pace with three more hits and the Rockies avoided a sweep with a 7-4 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday night.

Cook (14-6) pitched seven innings, allowing four runs and nine hits to win his third straight start. The right-hander, in his seventh season, had never won more than nine games before this year.

He pitched out of trouble in the second, third and fourth innings, stranding two runners each time. He allowed all of his runs in the fifth before retiring seven of the final eight batters he faced.

"The term is effectively ugly," Cook said of his outing. "The team gave me some runs early, and that made things easier."

Colorado manager Clint Hurdle had another term: gutsy.

"There was some grit," he said. "He did not have his best stuff."

Cook needed 108 pitches to get through his outing, his fifth-highest total in 23 starts.

"He was behind in the counts a little bit," Colorado catcher Chris Iannetta said. "He battled through it. He's not going to have every game where he's really dominant. As long as he gives us a chance to win in the end, that's all that matters."

Iannetta hit a three-run homer and Garrett Atkins, Matt Holliday and Willy Taveras had two hits each for Colorado, which improved to 10-3 since the All-Star break.

Tulowitzki went 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI. Since coming off the 15-day disabled list on July 21, the shortstop has raised his average from .166 to .241 by going 20-for-36 (.556).

"I believed in myself," he said. "I think there were a lot of people out there who didn't believe in me. I knew my swing was headed in the right direction. It was just a matter of going out there and getting results."

The Pirates, who rallied for wins in the first two games of the series, cut into a 6-0 deficit but couldn't complete the comeback this time.

Brian Fuentes pitched a scoreless ninth for his 18th save. The left-hander has 103 career saves, all with the Rockies, surpassing the previous team mark set by Jose Jimenez from 2000-03.

"It's wonderful," Hurdle said. "There's longevity, there's success, there's talent, commitment. He's dealt with some adversity. He's come out on top of it. Good for him. There's a new name on the board."

Iannetta's home run capped a four-run fifth against Pittsburgh starter Zach Duke and gave Colorado a 6-0 lead. Atkins had an RBI single in the inning.

Duke said he left a fastball up to Iannetta.

"That's the difference in the game right there," he said. "It did the most damage. If I get the ball down, I get the result I want, a ground ball. It's frustrating."

Duke (4-9) went five innings, allowing six runs and eight hits. The left-hander dropped to 0-5 in his past nine starts, and hasn't won since June 9, against Arizona. In three second-half starts, Duke has an 11.25 ERA.

"He's not hitting his spots as effectively," Pittsburgh manager John Russell said of Duke. "That's what's hurting him. When he's effective, he's staying down in the zone. Tonight, he didn't do that as much. The one thing I noticed, (catcher Ryan) Doumit had to move around a lot. It's not usually a good sign for Zach."

Jason Bay had a two-run single, Doumit drove in a run with a double and Jose Bautista also had an RBI during the Pirates' fifth.

They didn't score again.

"We score four runs off Cook, that's pretty good," Russell said. "It's just unfortunate we gave up too many."

Tulowitzki's RBI in the seventh put Colorado ahead 7-4.

Bautista had three hits, and Doumit and Jack Wilson added two hits each for the Pirates.

Notes

  • As expected, Russell said RHP Jeff Karstens will make his Pirates debut Friday when he starts against Chicago. Karstens was acquired from the New York Yankees last Saturday as part of a six-player trade.
  • Pittsburgh 2B Freddy Sanchez missed his third straight game with back spasms.
  • Clint Barmes made his first career start in right field for Colorado. Barmes, a middle infielder, played five games in center in 2007. Barmes was replaced before the bottom of the seventh by Cory Sullivan and moved to second base.
  • Colorado won the season series 5-2.
  • Pirates third base coach Tony Beasley sang the National Anthem.
 
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 overcomes a shaky outing and picks up win No. 14, which ties for the MLB lead in victories.  (AP)
Aaron Cook overcomes a shaky outing and picks up win No. 14, which ties for the MLB lead in victories. (AP)

Players of the Game
Colorado

T. Tulowitzki
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 0
RBI 1
Pittsburgh

J. Bautista
AB 4
R 0
H 3
HR 0
RBI 1
 

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Colorado Rockies
Willy Taveras, CF5120002 .254
Jeff Baker, 2B4100012 .284
    Cory Sullivan, RF1000001 .154
Matt Holliday, LF3121200 .342
Garrett Atkins, 1B5221002 .303
Chris Iannetta, C4113100 .276
Troy Tulowitzki, SS4131010 .241
Clint Barmes, RF-2B3001003 .298
Ian Stewart, 3B3010111 .309
Aaron Cook, P2000011 .261
   a- Seth Smith, PH1010000 .255
    Taylor Buchholz, P0000000 .000
    Brian Fuentes, P0000000 .000
Totals35712744  
a-doubled for Cook in the 8th
Batting
2B - Garrett Atkins (25, Beam), Troy Tulowitzki (15, Duke), Ian Stewart (8, Duke), Seth Smith (3, Beam)
HR - Chris Iannetta (12, Duke)
SF - Clint Barmes (1)
SH - Aaron Cook (14)
RBI - Matt Holliday (63), Garrett Atkins (68), Chris Iannetta 3 (44), Troy Tulowitzki (21), Clint Barmes (26)
2-OUT RBI - Garrett Atkins (26), Chris Iannetta 3 (22), Troy Tulowitzki (6)
SB - Willy Taveras (48, 2nd base off Duke/Doumit)
Team LOB - 7
Colorado Rockies
Aaron Cook (W,14-6) 7944310 3.53
Taylor Buchholz (H,18) 1100020 1.64
Brian Fuentes (S,18) 1000020 3.00
Pitches-Strikes - Aaron Cook 108-63, Taylor Buchholz 15-12, Brian Fuentes 9-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Aaron Cook 11-9, Brian Fuentes 1-0
Batters Faced - Aaron Cook 33, Taylor Buchholz 4, Brian Fuentes 3
Pittsburgh Pirates
Nate McLouth, CF3100111 .279
Luis Rivas, 2B3100211 .252
Ryan Doumit, C5121011 .333
Jason Bay, LF5112002 .282
Doug Mientkiewicz, 1B4010000 .283
Jason Michaels, RF4010012 .231
Jose Bautista, 3B4031010 .251
Zach Duke, P2000004 .122
   a- Brian Bixler, PH1000001 .173
    T.J. Beam, P0000000 .000
    Jason Davis, P0000000 .000
   b- Chris Gomez, PH1000000 .295
    Franquelis Osoria, P0000000 .333
Jack Wilson, SS4020002 .276
Totals36410435  
a-grounded out for Duke in the 5th
b-flied out for Davis in the 8th
Batting
2B - Ryan Doumit (22, Cook), Doug Mientkiewicz (15, Cook), Jack Wilson (12, Buchholz)
SH - Nate McLouth (3)
RBI - Ryan Doumit (39), Jason Bay 2 (64), Jose Bautista (44)
2-OUT RBI - Jose Bautista (16)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Jason Michaels 1
DP - J. Bautista-Rivas-Mientkiewicz
Pittsburgh Pirates
Zach Duke (L,4-9) 5866231 5.27
T.J. Beam 2.2311210 4.74
Jason Davis 0.1000000 0.00
Franquelis Osoria 1100000 6.08
WP - Zach Duke (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Zach Duke 96-54, T.J. Beam 56-38, Jason Davis 2-2, Franquelis Osoria 9-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Zach Duke 4-7, T.J. Beam 1-6, Jason Davis 1-0, Franquelis Osoria 2-0
Batters Faced - Zach Duke 24, T.J. Beam 13, Jason Davis 1, Franquelis Osoria 3
Game Information
Attendance - 16587
Game Time - 2:46
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Damien Beal, First Base - Bruce Dreckman, Second Base - Todd Tichenor, Third Base - Brian Gorman