DENVER (CBS4) – The Colorado Rockies at last gave Aaron Cook plenty of run support, and they did it by rewriting their history of ineffectiveness against Ricky Nolasco.
Cook pitched effectively into the eighth inning and Carlos Gonzalez’ three-run homer highlighted a powerful offensive display that sent the Rockies to a 12-5 victory over the Marlins on Wednesday night.
Colorado batted around twice in beating Marlins starter Ricky Nolasco for the first time in six tries. Chris Iannetta also provided much of the offensive pop, hitting a double and a single to drive in four runs. Gonzalez, who also had a run-scoring single, also finished with four RBIs.
“He’s pretty much had his way with us,” Rockies manager Jim Tracy said of Nolasco. “But tonight, we capitalized on a couple of opportunities that we created for ourselves and we didn’t let them get away.”
Nolasco (9-9) came in sporting a 5-0 record in his five previous starts against the Rockies, including going 3-0 with a 1.64 era in his three prior starts at Coors Field.
The latest outing for Nolasco was a much different story. He went three innings, matching his second-shortest outing of the season, and allowed a career-high 11 runs on 11 hits. The total also was the most runs ever allowed by a Marlins starter in team history.
“I was making pitches. I can’t believe how many balls just somehow turned into hits, with the bloopers and groundballs,” Nolasco said. “The home run was coming when you have a day like that. I felt good, there’s no excuses there. There’s not much you can do when those days come like that. Obviously, nothing really worked.”
The team’s previous high by a starter was 10 runs allowed, which had been done six times, most recently by Nolasco on Aug. 12, 2009, against Houston.
Nolasco did have two strikeouts, giving him 757 with the Marlins to tie Dontrelle Willis for the team record.
Cook (3-7) had gotten only four runs of support in his previous four outings, but there was no such problem on this night. He was staked to a 5-0 lead in the first and saw the Rockies add another six runs in the third inning.
“The guys gave me a lead early and I was able to settle down and just make pitches throughout the game,” Cook said.
He lost his bid for his third career shutout when Jose Lopez led off the eighth inning with a home run. Two outs later, Mike Stanton connected for his 29th homer and Cook was relieved by Matt Reynolds, who finished up. Cook allowed three runs on nine hits in 7 2-3 innings, his longest outing of the season.
For Nolasco, it quickly became apparent that he wasn’t going to be able to repeat his past success against the Rockies.
Three batters into the game, Gonzalez hit an RBI single. Chris Nelson’s bases-loaded infield hit pushed across a second run and Iannetta followed with a line drive that caught Mike Cameron flat-footed and sailed over the center fielder’s head for a bases-clearing double.
“I hit it good, had a lot of backspin,” Iannetta said. “It was a tough play, but I was happy he didn’t catch it, for our sake and my own.”
The Rockies took up the pounding again in the third, when they also sent nine batters to the plate. Iannetta and Cook hit successive RBI singles, and Mark Ellis added a run-scoring single before Gonzalez connected for his 20th home run. The six runs in the inning tied a season high by the Rockies.
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