De La Rosa's efficiency saves taxed bullpen

Left-hander allows two runs over 6 2/3 innings Saturday vs. Cardinals

De La Rosa's efficiency saves taxed bullpen

ST. LOUIS -- Rockies left-hander Jorge De La Rosa hadn't won in three starts and was barely competitive in two of them. Saturday night, he took a simple approach to correcting the problem, and wound up throwing 6 2/3 efficient innings in a 6-2 victory over the Cardinals.

"The only thing I have to do is attack the hitter like I did today," De La Rosa said.

Lately, the problem with dubbing the Rockies' rotation "Jorge, then let us pray," is De La Rosa's command hasn't exactly been divine. In his last start on July 27 against the Cubs, he began with three perfect innings, but gave up six runs on five hits and two walks, and didn't make it through the fourth.

But Saturday, he pitched around seven hits, struck out four and did not walk a batter, and held the Cards to two runs -- one on Jhonny Peralta's two-out homer in the fourth -- as he helped the Rockies end their losing streak at three games.

"He's got a cutter-changeup mix, and he puts them together well," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said.

It was a welcome sight for a bullpen that has been overworked recently. De La Rosa became the first Rockies starter to get through more than five innings since Eddie Butler went six against the Reds on July 24.

De La Rosa (7-4) has pitched through a cut on the tip of his left middle finger for much of the season. The swelling recently moved to the bottom of his finger between the top two knuckles. He is resigned to feeling pain every outing, but on Friday he used the discomfort to remind him to be efficient.

"It was bothering me, but I was able to keep pitching and make quick outs," he said. "That's why I got far into the game."

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.