Cook, Smith lead Rockies past slumping Mets 4-1
DENVER – Willie Randolph didn’t get the pick-me-up he needed Sunday when the New York Mets lost 4-1 to the Colorado Rockies, whose patchwork lineup included four recent minor league call-ups.One of them, Seth Smith, hit his first major league homer, a three-run shot off John Maine to back an impressive start by Aaron Cook (7-3). The right-hander allowed four hits, all singles, in his seventh career complete game and first since July 25.Awaiting New York’s embattled manager back home Monday is a meeting with ownership amid speculation that his job is in jeopardy.After a losing streak that dropped the Mets (23-25) below .500, general manager Omar Minaya made a surprise visit Friday to Coors Field and issued a tepid statement of support for Randolph to reporters. Randolph, however, said his boss gave him no similar assurances behind closed doors.The Mets have dropped six of seven and nine of 13. They averaged only 2.4 runs in their past seven games.Prior to Sunday’s game, the Rockies placed slugger Matt Holliday on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring. He joined a crowded list of injured players for the defending NL champions, who put shortstop Clint Barmes (knee) and right fielder Brad Hawpe (hamstring) on the DL on Saturday.Barmes was the team’s leading hitter at .343 after taking over for Troy Tulowitzki, out until midseason with a torn left quadriceps tendon.To make matters worse, third baseman Garrett Atkins was out of the lineup for the second straight day Sunday with a stiff neck, as was center fielder Willy Taveras (knee).Maine (5-4) handled the makeshift lineup with ease at first, allowing no hits until Smith sent a 2-2 fastball over the right-field wall in the fourth to give Colorado a 3-1 lead.Maine, who also gave up a sacrifice fly to Yorvit Torrealba in the sixth, gave up four runs, three earned, and three hits in six innings.The Mets’ run came on Jose Reyes’ RBI single in the third. Otherwise, Cook was nearly untouchable. He walked one and struck out three in the first complete game by a Rockies pitcher since Jeff Francis did it last Aug. 29.The Rockies’ lineup included four players who started the season at Triple-A: Smith, Jonathan Herrera, Ian Stewart and Omar Quintanilla.Once the Mets return home, Randolph will get a chance to explain to Fred and Jeff Wilpon his recent comments about his portrayal on Mets broadcasts in which he raised the issue of race, Minaya said. Randolph has apologized for his comments.”I think it’s over,” Minaya said Sunday. “Once Willie apologized, that’s it.”Asked if the owners needed to say anything to Randolph about his comments, Minaya said: “I don’t think so. We need to move forward and focus on getting the team better.”Minaya said he took Randolph and his coaching staff out to dinner after Saturday night’s victory. He also said he appreciated Randolph’s attitude when the manager joked about his boss’ arrival in Denver by saying he spotted Minaya sharpening his machete.”I’m a believer of being in a good mood and staying positive,” Minaya said. “Be yourself and be positive. “I’m pretty sure he was joking. For me, joking about things, that’s baseball.”Notes: The Rockies have won just two of their last 11 series. … Reyes has reached base in 25 straight games and Carlos Beltran has reached base in 28 consecutive games. … Cory Sullivan was recalled from Triple-A Colorado Springs to take Holliday’s place and played the last two innings in center field.
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