Sanchez, Marlins beat Rockies
August 1, 2008
MIAMI ” Anibal Sanchez felt as healthy as he did during the 2006 season, when he won 10 games and threw a no-hitter as a rookie.
A little help from his Florida teammates ” and Colorado’s pitching staff ” sure didn’t hurt.
Sanchez won his first start in 15 months, Hanley Ramirez and Jorge Cantu hit home runs and the Marlins beat the Rockies 12-2 on Thursday night.
“I felt a bit nervous being away from the mound and the team for such a long time,” Sanchez said. “But I just focused on doing a good job and locating the pitches. Thankfully, everything worked out.”
The right-hander allowed two runs and six hits in 5 2-3 innings to win in his first start since May 2007. A shoulder injury that required surgery last June sidelined Sanchez for most of the season.
“For the first time out in a long while, he kept his composure,” Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “Hopefully he will build from that one and keep going forward.”
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Sanchez threw 95 pitches, striking out four and walking two before leaving to a standing ovation.
“It was very warm and emotional. I didn’t know how much (fans) anticipated my return,” Sanchez said. “I thank them and I hope I won’t disappoint them the rest of the season.”
Rockies starter Jorge De La Rosa (5-6) retired just five batters, his shortest outing of the season. He left after allowing six runs in the second, including two on bases-loaded walks.
“I was going too fast to home plate and the ball was going down,” De La Rosa said. “I don’t know what happened.”
De La Rosa gave up five hits, walked four and hit a batter before he was replaced by Kip Wells. He also allowed a two-run single to Jeremy Hermida and Dan Uggla’s two-run double.
“He showed some growth the last two starts when he got in the stretch, and tonight, for whatever reason, he fell back in that trap door,” Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. “Watching out there, I couldn’t really pinpoint whether it was mechanical, whether he got in a hurry. The command just went out the window.”
Wes Helms stranded two runners when he flied out to end the second, but the Marlins had already built a 7-0 lead.
Colorado’s control problems didn’t stop with De La Rosa.
Wells walked three straight in the fourth, including a base-loaded walk that scored Hermida, who was the subject of trade rumors earlier in the day. John Baker followed with a two-run single to give Florida a 10-1 cushion.
Ramirez homered in the fifth to make it 11-1, and Helms added an RBI single in the eighth.
Hermida went 3-for-5, Uggla, Cantu and Helms all had two hits and every Florida position player in the starting lineup drove in at least one run.
“It was just a good all-around day today,” Hermida said.
Troy Tulowitzki, who entered the game batting .556 (20-for-36) since coming off the disabled list July 21, went 0-for-5 for the Rockies.
Florida took a 1-0 lead in the first when Cantu hit a two-out home run, and Colorado picked up a run in the fourth when Matt Holliday scored on Ian Stewart’s broken-bat single.
The Rockies added another on Omar Quintanilla’s RBI single in the sixth.
The Marlins wound up getting a big lift from Sanchez on a day when an even bigger name nearly joined them in South Florida.
The team was in negotiations to acquire slugger Manny Ramirez from the Boston Red Sox, but talks broke down before the non-waiver trade deadline. Reports had Hermida going to Pittsburgh in a three-way deal that would have sent outfielder Jason Bay from the Pirates to the Red Sox, and Ramirez to the Marlins. Prospects and money were also part of the negotiations.
The Red Sox instead sent Ramirez to the Los Angeles Dodgers in a three-team trade in which the Pirates still sent Bay to Boston.
“It happens every year and guys’ names get brought up,” Hermida said. “It’s just part of the business that you learn to deal with the longer you’re in it.”