TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Aaron Cook was hit hard in his second spring start, allowing nine hits and nine runs, five earned, in 2 2-3 innings, and the Colorado Rockies were pounded by the Texas Rangers 16-5 on Thursday.
Cook hit Ian Kinsler with a 1-2 pitch during a four-run first when he gave three hits, including a two-run homer to first baseman Chris Davis, who went 4 for 4 with 3 RBI. Michael Young was 3 for 3 and Taylor Teagarden knocked in three runs for the Rangers, who had 23 hits.
Cook was hoping to throw 40 pitches or less but ended up throwing 73, leaving after a double by Young during a five-run second inning for Texas. Four of those runs were unearned due to a throwing error by third baseman Ian Stewart on an attempted force play.
"(It was) a little bit elevated," Cook said of his signature sinker. "When I would get it down, it was going down out of the zone. So I was kind of fighting myself with that."
Rockies right fielder Brad Hawpe, slowed at the outset of spring training by an infection in his left big toe, doubled in his first two at-bats.
"I felt good at the plate," said Hawpe, who also had two hits in an intrasquad game Wednesday. "Continue to feel good at the plate, that's the trick. The other part of the puzzle is get your legs ready for the baseball season and your arm."
Colorado manager Jim Tracy said he would not have played Hawpe at the start of Cactus League play, anyway, feeling he had overused Hawpe in the second half of 2009 — when he slumped to a .240 average with nine homers and 27 RBI after becoming an All-Star for the first time.
The 30-year-old Hawpe said he couldn't maintain his energy and strength as the season wore on, and he changed his diet and exercise regimen in the offseason to try and increase his durability.
"Physically, he looks really, really good," Tracy said. "The at-bats he took today, that was some kind of impressive."
NOTES: Rangers OF/1B Chad Tracy, whose father, Jim, manages the Rockies, doubled off Franklin Morales to open the seventh. Chad Tracy is expected to open the season at either Double-A or Triple-A. "The bat goes through the zone in a hurry," Jim Tracy said. "He can hit, and he knows he can hit." ... Rockies pitcher Jimmy Gobble began the ninth but strained his left groin while facing his fourth batter and left the game. ... The Rangers broke a five-game Cactus League losing streak. They had not won since they began exhibition play with a 13-3 win one week ago against Kansas City. ... 1B Jason Giambi will make his Cactus League debut Friday when the Rockies play San Francisco. ... Melvin Mora made his second consecutive start at second base. He has also started at third base and left field this spring.