DENVER (AP) – Aaron Cook pitched effectively into the eighth inning and Carlos Gonzalez’ three-run homer highlighted a powerful offensive display that sent the Colorado Rockies to a 12-5 victory over the Florida Marlins on Wednesday night.
The Rockies, who had struggled to provide Cook with run support in past outings, batted around twice in beating 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
NOTES: Nolasco had not allowed more than three runs in any of his previous five starts against the Rockies. … Cook made his 13th start, his ninth consecutive season with at least 13 starts. … Marlins LHP Randy Choate has returned to Miami to have his ailing pitching elbow evaluated by team doctors. … The Marlins head to San Diego to open a four-game series with Florida’s Javier Vazquez opposing Tim Stauffer. It’s a return trip for Marlins manager Jack McKeon, who spent 11 years in San Diego, both in the Padres’ front office and as skipper.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)