DENVER (AP) – Aaron Cook pitched six solid innings for his first win in more than a year, Garrett Atkins homered and drove in four runs, and the Colorado Rockies ended a four-game losing streak Monday night with an 11-2 victory over the slumping Milwaukee Brewers.

Cook (1-1) returned to Colorado’s rotation on July 30 after missing nearly a year with blood clots in his lungs that nearly killed him. After being tagged for seven runs in 4 1-3 innings his first start back, Cook pitched well enough to win his next two outings, only to walk away with no-decisions in both games.

Cook got the win this time, allowing two runs and nine hits for his first win since Aug. 1, 2004, against Arizona.

Colorado’s offense certainly helped, sending Milwaukee to its sixth loss in seven games.

The Rockies managed only four runs against Washington last weekend, setting a record for fewest in a three-game series in Coors Field’s 10-year history.

Colorado had one more than that in the fifth inning alone and ended up with 17 hits. Most of the damage came against starter Ben Sheets (8-9), who gave up a career-high 13 hits and matched another career high with 10 runs allowed in six innings.

Todd Helton hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning and finished 3-for-5, raising his average above .300 (.304) for the first time since May 22. The All-Star first baseman is 11-for-25 since coming off his first trip to the disabled list last Wednesday and has raised his average 40 points since July 1.

Atkins had an RBI single in Colorado’s five-run sixth inning against Sheets, then hit his first homer in 152 at-bats in the seventh, a three-run shot off Justin Lehr to put the Rockies up 11-2.

Sheets pitched nine innings in each of his three previous starts and appeared well on his way to another complete game in the early going.

Hitting the mid-90s with his fastball, Sheets rolled through the first three innings, striking out five of the first 10 batters he faced.

Then the Rockies started to figure the big right-hander out.

Luis Gonzalez led off the fourth with a single, then Sheets left a fastball up at the letters to Helton, who ripped it to right for his 13th homer. Matt Holliday followed with a hard single, then Omar Quintanilla hit a bloop single just over third base to put the Rockies up 3-1.

Colorado piled on in the sixth, scoring five times on a two-run single by Danny Ardoin and RBI singles by Atkins, Dustan Mohr and Larry Bigbie to go up 8-2.

It was the second time in 20 starts Sheets allowed five earned runs. At least he had a single in the fourth inning, his first hit in 37 at-bats this season.

Notes: Quintanilla stole second in the fourth inning for his first career stolen base. … Sheets also gave up more than five earned runs against the Chicago Cubs on June 23. … Sheets matched Victor Santos’ club record for hits allowed set June 6, 2004, against Anaheim. … Atkins’ last homer was June 30 against St. Louis.

AP-ES-08-15-05 2338EDT


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