for this game

Hochevar keeps Royals rolling

Jun 26, 2008 - 5:55 AM By Marc Bowman PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

KANSAS CITY, Missouri (Ticker) -- Luke Hochevar pitched eight strong innings as the Kansas City Royals completed a three-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies with a 4-2 victory Wednesday night.

The Royals remained red-hot as they improved to a major league-best 12-3 during interleague play. Kansas City has won 10 of its last 11 contests and matched its longest winning streak of the season at five games while climbing out of last place for the first time since May 27.

Hochevar (5-5), who enjoyed the longest outing of his career, allowed two runs and seven hits while walking two and striking out three.

"It was about competing," Hochevar said. "Mostly it was keeping ball down and going right after hitters. I wanted to keep the ball down and compete like a madman."

"He made a real good adjustment, an in-game adjustment, that allowed him to pitch eight innings for us," Royals manager Trey Hillman said. "He had a good sinker and was getting the ball down. Hochevar stayed down a little longer (in his delivery) which helped him get to the proper release point."

The 24-year-old righthander allowed just one hit over his final six innings and collected 17 of 24 outs on ground balls before Joakim Soria pitched a perfect ninth for his 21st save in 22 opportunities.

"He changed speeds well and kept the ball down," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. "He stayed away from the barrel in the middle of the plate. He pitched a very good ballgame."

Hochevar, who grew up in Denver as a Rockies fan, is unbeaten in his last five starts.

"There are some guys playing (for Colorado) that I grew up watching," Hochevar said. "To play against them is a dream come true. But I still have to focus and think 'it's just another hitter'. Todd Helton is a future Hall of Famer, but if that's going through my head when I'm pitching, I'm in trouble. I just have to focus on keeping the ball down."

Ross Gload hit the first of his two doubles to lead off the third inning, then scored on David DeJesus' one-out single to tie the score. DeJesus, who extended his hitting streak to 11 games, later scored on Alex Gordon's sacrifice fly to give Kansas City a 2-1 lead.

"We're playing good baseball, using good fundamentals, and getting timely hits," DeJesus said. "The pitching has been great, especially when they get runners on. We're able to get the double plays that it seems like we used to be hitting into, and now when we're getting runners on, we're getting hits to drive them in."

"I can't say enough about Ross sticking with it," Hillman said. "He just had trouble getting it started this season and he hit some balls hard right at people, but he stayed with it and it's paying off."

Gload added a pair of insurance runs with his third hit of the night, a one-out double in the sixth inning, chasing Rockies starter Aaron Cook (10-5) from the game.

"We're always trying to add on," Gload said. "I fought off some pitches - sinkers - fouled some off. They were down. He was still keeping it down."

"Gload got him tonight in a big way," Hurdle said. "He blasted a two-out double. You've got to give them credit sometimes. They threw up some good at-bats in some tough situations to stay in counts and find a way to find some holes."

Cook lost his second straight bid to tie Brandon Webb and Joe Saunders for the major league lead in victories. The 29-year-old righthander lasted 5 1/3 frames, yielding four runs on eight hits with no walks and two strikeouts.

"He kept us in the game," Hurdle said. "He probably deserves a better line than the one he finished with. They did extensive at-bats on him and I think there's times when there might have been a pitch or two elevated, but they just battled. They battled and stayed in counts and were able to scratch some hits out."

"I knew they would be well prepared for me this game," Cook said. "I had (Royals pitching coach) Bob McClure as a pitching coach for about 4 1/2 years, so I knew they'd be ready for everything I threw at them. I felt like I made pretty good pitches except for a couple there in the sixth inning. Gload hit a pretty good pitch, but unfortunately I didn't pitch as well as I should have."

Chris Iannetta's two-out double scored Garrett Atkins as Colorado jumped ahead 1-0 in the second inning. The Rockies, who have lost four straight, had four of their seven hits in that inning, but Clint Barmes grounded into a double play which helped the Royals escape the inning after surrendering just one run.

"That was actually good for me," Hochevar said. "They punched in four hits in that inning. When you get in that type of situation it becomes fight or flight. I wanted to keep the ball down and be aggressive and we got the double play. That was the turning point of the game."

"Luke was able to locate his pitches down," Buck said. "On the double play, he was able to locate a slider down and that was a big play for us."

Brad Hawpe's leadoff homer - his 10th of the season and fifth in his last 12 games - cut Kansas City's lead to 4-2 in the seventh. It was the Rockies only hit over the final six frames.








  • ML
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    COLORADO 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 7 2
    KANSAS CITY 0 0 2 0 0 2 0 0 x 4 8 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: COL - AARON COOK, MANNY CORPAS (6TH), MATT HERGES (7TH), BRIAN
    FUENTES (8TH) AND CHRIS IANNETTA
    KAN - LUKE HOCHEVAR, JOAKIM SORIA (9TH) AND JOHN BUCK

    HOME RUNS: C

    Jun 25 10:40 PM


  • ML
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY BRAD HAWPE (10) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT IN THE
    7TH OFF LUKE HOCHEVAR.
    CURRENT SCORE: COLORADO 2, KANSAS CITY 4
    DUE UP FOR COLORADO: C BARMES (.333, 0-FOR-2)

    Rockies 2, Royals 4  Top 7, 0 OutsJun 25 10:05 PM


  • ML
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY ROSS GLOAD SCORED MARK TEAHEN AND JOHN BUCK.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, R GLOAD ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: COLORADO 1
    KANSAS CITY 4 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: A CALLASPO (.293, 0-FOR-2)

    Rockies 1, Royals 4  Bot 6, 0 OutsJun 25 9:54 PM
  • 10
    roots
    McTool Added 5 roots

    Rockies 1, Royals 2  Bot 6, 0 OutsJun 25 9:50 PM


  • ML
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY ALEX GORDON SCORED JOEY GATHRIGHT.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, M AVILES ON FIRST, D DEJESUS ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: COLORADO 1
    KANSAS CITY 2 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: J GUILLEN (.290, 0-FOR-1)

    Rockies 1, Royals 2  Bot 3, 0 OutsJun 25 9:06 PM


  • ML
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY DAVID DEJESUS SCORED ROSS GLOAD.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, D DEJESUS ON FIRST, J GATHRIGHT ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: COLORADO 1
    KANSAS CITY 1 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: M AVILES (.347, 0-FOR-1)

    Rockies 1, Royals 1  Bot 3, 0 OutsJun 25 9:02 PM
  • 5
    roots
    senorpepr Added 5 roots

    Rockies 1, Royals 0  Top 3, 0 OutsJun 25 8:47 PM


  • ML
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY CHRIS IANNETTA SCORED GARRETT ATKINS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C IANNETTA ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: COLORADO 1
    KANSAS CITY 0 TOP, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR COLORADO: O QUINTANILLA (.271, 1 HR, 10 RBI)

    Rockies 1, Royals 0  Top 2, 0 OutsJun 25 8:30 PM