05/30/08 6:30 PM ET
Baker hits club-record four doubles
Rox right fielder swings hot bat Friday vs. Cubs
By Thomas Harding / MLB.com
Baker was in the same boat as the Rockies, who have lost five straight. Baker had gone hitless in 13 at-bats and seen his batting average drop from .232 to .191 before Friday. The performance brought him back up to .233, but didn't put a smile on his face.
"Obviously, it was good personally to go out there and square some balls up, but it doesn't mean anything," Baker said. "We had another bad loss in another game that we let slip away, that we cant continue to let happen if we want to get to where we want to be."
Baker's first two doubles were off Cubs starting pitcher Ted Lilly, against whom the Rockies scored seven runs (four earned). They came in the first and third innings. The second pair of doubles were off Jon Lieber, in the fifth and seventh.
After his fourth double, Rockies manager Clint Hurdle replaced Baker with Cory Sullivan for defensive purposes. The Rockies, trying to end a losing streak at four games, were protecting a 9-4 lead.
Rockies players have doubled three times in a game on 27 occasions, the last time by Garrett Atkins on April 21, 2007.
Baker became the regular second baseman when Clint Barmes moved to short to replace the injured Troy Tulowitzki. But Baker, a third baseman and right fielder previously, has lost recent playing time. The presence of more traditional middle infielders, the Rockies' need to get power-hitting Ian Stewart -- another third baseman dabbling at second -- onto the field and Baker's slump conspired against him in recent days.
"He was on the ball all day long, and that's very good to see because we need him to find the barrel," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. "He found it four times today. He used the big part of the ballpark, hit a ball hard the other way. He could be a big help to us on the offensive side of things."
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.