Major League Baseball
Rockies split two but lose De La Rosa
Major League Baseball

Rockies split two but lose De La Rosa

Published May. 23, 2011 1:00 a.m. ET

The music was muffled and the mood melancholy in the Colorado clubhouse even after one of the Rockies' biggest wins of the young season.

Carlos Gonzalez homered twice and the Rockies became the first team to decipher Josh Collmenter's tomahawk-throwing style, rallying past Arizona 12-4 on Tuesday, but they lost pitcher Jorge De La Rosa in the opener of the day-night doubleheader to a torn elbow ligament.

Then they lost the nightcap 5-2 when Joe Saunders (1-5) snapped a personal six-game losing streak, and Kelly Johnson hit a solo homer and had one of three RBI doubles off Jhoulys Chacin (5-3) in the sixth inning.

Colorado manager Jim Tracy was ejected in the third inning of Game 2 after arguing the call when home plate umpire Mark Wegner ruled that catcher Miguel Montero's throw to Saunders, who was covering home after a pitch got away, nabbed Dexter Fowler trying to score from third.


In between games, the Rockies said an MRI showed a complete tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in De La Rosa's left elbow. That likely means Tommy John-style tendon replacement surgery that would sideline the hard-throwing left-hander for a year.

De La Rosa was the Rockies' top pitcher so far with a 5-2 record and a 3.51 ERA. He was coming off his first career complete game when he got hurt.

''Obviously it would put a damper on it,'' shortstop Troy Tulowitzki said before learning of the dour diagnosis. ''I knew his arm was bothering him but I don't know to the extent.''

''I wish him the best,'' Gonzalez said. ''I hope he's OK. I want to see that guy back on the mound because he's one of the aces, one of the most important pitchers that we have on our club.''

With Ubaldo Jimenez still searching for his first win, De La Rosa had been the Rockies' best pitcher, and his teammates sensed the gravity of his injury as they awaited word on De La Rosa, who was sent to a hospital for the MRI.

''We're very concerned,'' said Greg Reynolds, who got the win in relief. ''I mean, he's a big part of this team and you keep your fingers crossed.''

During the opener, a 27-year-old man was critically injured when he fell from a stairwell leading to the center field seats at Coors Field. Police spokesman Sonny Jackson said the man was hospitalized in critical condition following a fall of approximately 20 feet onto concrete.

Reynolds (2-0) threw 3 2-3 effective innings in the opener, allowing one run and three hits. He was recently called up and set to start Saturday, but was pressed into duty when De La Rosa had to leave the game, which was a makeup from an April 3 snowout.

Collmenter (3-1), the Arizona rookie with the unusual straight overhand delivery, blanked Colorado for three innings to run his scoreless streak to 24 before he gave up solo homers to Gonzalez and Seth Smith in the fourth.

The Rockies figured him out after the first time through the order.

''His delivery is funky, so that's why it's so hard for us to have that rhythm. Hitting is about timing, and when you don't have timing it's hard. And it's hard to recognize his pitches,'' Gonzalez said. ''Coming over his head, it's hard to pick him up. His fastball is not too hard but it looks harder. And then you can see the 87 mph on the scoreboard, but it looks a little bit faster than that because he's mechanics are very slow.''

The Rockies began to get to Collmenter once they worked the counts into their favor.

Collmenter allowed five runs, just two earned, and five hits in 4 1-3 innings. He walked two and struck out one in a shaky outing after two solid starts that had the baseball world abuzz.

''I missed a few spots, location was off today,'' said Collmenter, who refused to place some of the blame on the cool, wet weather. ''It wasn't going out there and putting it wherever you wanted, I had to fight it today.''

The 25-year-old righty, who says he learned to throw that way playing with tomahawks as a kid, left the game in the fifth with the bases loaded following an error on first baseman Xavier Nady, a single and a walk.

Reliever Kam Mickolio walked Tulowitzki to tie it before allowing Todd Helton's sacrifice fly and Smith's RBI double that gave Colorado a 5-3 lead.

Coming into the game, Collmenter had allowed two runs in 26 innings, with 15 strikeouts and one walk since being called up from Triple-A Reno.

The D-Backs took a 3-0 lead in the third. De La Rosa had a 1-and-1 count on Chris Young with runners at second and third when he was replaced by Reynolds, who intentionally walked Young.

Nady's chopper handcuffed second baseman Jonathan Herrera as Ryan Roberts scored. Screened by Justin Upton, Tulowitzki couldn't come up with Melvin Mora's hard groundball that scooted under the shortstop's glove for a two-run single that made it 3-0.

The Rockies pulled to 3-2 in the fourth when Gonzalez hit a 75 mph changeup off the second-deck in right field for his seventh homer and Smith sent a fastball into the left-field seats for his fifth home run.

The Rockies scored five times in the seventh off Aaron Heilman, who gave up an RBI single to Herrera, a two-run triple to Dexter Fowler and a two-run homer to Gonzalez, who sent a changeup into the rock pile in center field for his eighth homer.

The D-Backs bounced back in the nightcap, taking a 1-0 lead on Johnson's sixth homer in the first. Johnson scored on Nady's fielder's choice groundball in the fourth after Giambi's solo homer in the second.

Arizona got run-scoring doubles from Johnson, Stephen Drew and Montero in the sixth to make it 5-1.

Wigginton's solo shot made it 5-2 in the seventh.

Saunders, who hadn't pitched more than 6 2/3 innings in any of his previous nine starts this season, allowed two earned runs on six hits over eight innings. J.J. Putz pitched the ninth for his 13th save in as many chances.

NOTES: Gonzalez has three career multihomer games. ... Collmenter set a franchise record with 15 consecutive scoreless innings to begin a career as a starter. ... D-Backs RHP Juan Gutierrez left the game with a sore right shoulder after facing just two hitters in the sixth.


Get more from Major League Baseball Follow your favorites to get information about games, news and more