DENVER (AP) — Some run support at long last made all the difference for Kevin Correia.
Correia pitched six innings of one-run ball, Eduardo Escobar homered, and the Minnesota Twins pulled away late to beat the Colorado Rockies 9-3 on Saturday.
Correia (5-11) scattered seven hits and cooled the power-hitting Rockies, who stranded 10 baserunners and were kept in the yard after slugging eight home runs in their previous two games. He walked one and struck out one in snapping a hard-luck three-game losing streak during which he had received no run support.
“We haven’t been doing a good job of scoring runs early for him,” Twins second baseman Brian Dozier said. “He’s probably leading the league in getting the fewest amount of runs so it was good to get him a lot of run support and get on a good-hitting team like Colorado early.
“Hats off to K-Co for doing a heck of a job.”
The Twins were shut out in the last two losses for Correia, who helped the Twins offense break out against Colorado with a run-scoring double for his first hit of the season and first RBI in three years.
“I think everybody was excited about that,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “I know he was until he got to second base and had to breathe this light air. It’s always exciting for a team when a pitcher gets a hit.”
Correia welcomed the offensive show, including his own bit role.
“It’s always nice having a lead, although 2-nothing in Colorado, you know you’re not going to go out there and be like, ‘OK, let me hold this 2-nothing lead the rest of the game,'” Correia said. “But it was definitely nice to get that run support early, and it was nice to be able to mix in (his) hit.”
Tyler Matzek (1-4) allowed four runs and seven hits in six innings in the loss, his fourth straight since winning his major league debut.
“The first inning was the only inning I wasn’t comfortable throwing,” Matzek said. “After that, I felt I was making good pitches. Balls were finding a few holes. And some went down the line. The home run came on a good pitch.”
Up 4-1, the Twins secured the win with a three-run eighth inning. Pinch-hitter Chris Parmelee hit a bases-loaded single to drive in a pair, and the third run scored on Dozier’s sacrifice fly.
Minnesota tacked on two more runs in the ninth on an RBI single by Kurt Suzuki and an obstruction call on Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado.
Correia worked out of trouble in the fifth. After giving up consecutive one-out singles, including a run-scoring basehit by Charlie Blackmon, Correia induced Troy Tulowitzki to ground into an inning-ending double play.
“He was cutting the ball on us really good,” Rockies manager Walt Weiss said of Correia. “Going away from the righties and in on the lefties. We put a lot of balls in the air. We didn’t quite get to them.”
Blackmon finished 5 for 5 for his 29th multihit game of the season, including a career-best six-hit game against Arizona on April 4.
Matzek was in trouble from the outset, falling behind 2-0 three batters into the game. Dozier led off with a double, Escobar reached on a fielder’s choice and Kendrys Morales followed with a double to score them both.
Escobar put the Twins up 3-0 when he started the third with a homer, his third of the season, and Correia, whose run support is lowest among Twins starters, helped himself with a two-out RBI double in the fourth that he drove down the third-base line.
Matzek walked one and struck out two.
NOTES: Rockies LHP Brett Anderson (0-2) is set to come off the 60-day disabled list to start Sunday’s series finale against the Twins in his first appearance since April 12 at San Francisco, when he broke his left index finger during an at bat. He’ll be opposed by RHP Phil Hughes (9-5). … Correia last had an RBI on July 28, 2011, at Atlanta while with Pittsburgh. … Scott Baker was the last Twins pitcher to double in a game on May 21, 2011, at Arizona. … The Twins improved to 5-9 in interleague play. Colorado fell to 6-8. … Colorado got two ninth-inning runs on Carlos Gonzalez’s RBI double and Tulowitzki’s run-scoring groundout.
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