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Cook handles Nationals, scores run as Rockies win

Jul 21, 2007 - 3:29 AM WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- Aaron Cook can do more than just force opposing hitters to hit groundballs.

The Rockies pitcher had a career-high eight strikeouts over seven innings as the Rockies took advantage of a third-inning defensive lapse to down the Washington Nationals, 3-1, on Friday.

Cook, who entered the game with the lowest ratio of strikeouts to innings pitched in the major leagues, showed another dimension in his game by doubling his season-high in strikeouts. Cook (6-6) yielded just four hits and three walks, helping Colorado win for the fourth time in five games.

"I was able to mix in my pitches (on) both sides of the plate (and) use my four-seamer (and) sinker in and out," Cook said. "I had a pretty good breaking ball tonight. Usually, I keep attacking guys with my sinker over and over again. Tonight, I felt good enough to keep throwing my slider."

Colorado manager Clint Hurdle said that Cook has shown great improvement while Washington manager Manny Acta conceded his team could not do much with Cook.

"He's not a strikeout pitcher, but some of his struggles have been with two strikes," Hurdle said. "Now, he's putting people away. ... He's making quality pitches with two strikes."

"He was just nasty," Acta said. "He was just too much for us today."

Even the hitter responsible for knocking in the Nationals' lone run, Ryan Zimmerman, did not do his damage until after the righthander left the game, striking out twice on sinkers against Cook.

"It's a tough pitch," Zimmerman said. "Everything starts in the zone and then it's gone."

Cook drew a walk to open the third and moved to second when Willy Taveras reached on his league-leading 28th bunt single. Both runners moved up a base when Washington starter Billy Traber made an errant throw to first trying to retire Kaz Matsui, loading the bases for Matt Holliday. Holliday delivered a fielder's choice RBI groundout to plate Cook, staking the Rockies to a 1-0 lead.

Todd Helton followed with the first of two sacrifice flies in the contest to score Taveras and push the Rockies lead to 2-0. Helton's second sacrifice fly increased the lead to 3-0 in the seventh.

Jorge Julio relieved Cook to start the eighth and promptly allowed Washington's lone run on a RBI single from Zimmerman. It was one of the three hits surrendered by the righthander before giving way to closer Manny Corpas in the ninth, who set the Nationals down in order for his fourth save in six chances.

Traber (2-1), who was pressed into duty after Jason Simontacchi was placed on the disabled list on Friday, surrendered two runs - one earned - and three hits in his first start of the campaign.

Felipe Lopez scored a run and stole a base for the Nationals, who fell to 4-4 since the All-Star break.








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    COLORADO 0 0 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 3 7 1
    WASHINGTON 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 7 3 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: COL - AARON COOK, JORGE JULIO (8TH), MANNY CORPAS (9TH) AND CHRIS
    IANNETTA
    WAS - BILLY TRABER, CHRIS SCHRODER (5TH), RAY KING
    (7TH), SAUL RIVERA (7TH), JON RAUCH (

    Jul 20 9:54 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY RYAN ZIMMERMAN SCORED FELIPE LOPEZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, R ZIMMERMAN ON FIRST, R BELLIARD ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: COLORADO 3
    WASHINGTON 1 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: S RIVERA (.000, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    Rockies vs. NationalsJul 20 9:36 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY TODD HELTON SCORED WILLY TAVERAS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M HOLLIDAY ON FIRST, K MATSUI ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: COLORADO 3
    WASHINGTON 0 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR COLORADO: G ATKINS (.255, 1-FOR-3)

    Rockies vs. NationalsJul 20 9:01 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY TODD HELTON SCORED WILLY TAVERAS.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, M HOLLIDAY ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: COLORADO 2
    WASHINGTON 0 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR COLORADO: G ATKINS (.254, 0-FOR-1)

    Rockies vs. NationalsJul 20 7:46 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    FIELDER'S CHOICE BY MATT HOLLIDAY SCORED AARON COOK.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M HOLLIDAY ON FIRST, W TAVERAS ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: COLORADO 1
    WASHINGTON 0 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR COLORADO: T HELTON (.310, 0-FOR-1)

    Rockies vs. NationalsJul 20 7:43 PM
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