CHICAGO (ESPN.com news services) -- The ball popped out of Matt Holliday's glove and for one agonizing moment, an entire stadium full of players and fans seemed to gasp.
Everyone but the left fielder, that is.He stuck out his bare hand and snared the ball, cradled it against his chest and Colorado escaped with a 5-3 win over the Chicago White Sox on Sunday.While Brad Hawpe hit the go-ahead home run and Aaron Cook earned his career-high 10th win, Holliday's game-ending catch stole the spotlight and sealed the Rockies' eighth win in 11 games.The White Sox loaded the bases against Brian Fuentes in the ninth on Juan Uribe's leadoff single and two two-out walks by Jermaine Dye and Jim Thome. Joe Crede hit a pop fly that Holliday nearly dropped as he avoided colliding with shortstop Carlos Quintanilla.A tense moment?"Not really. Just kind of in the middle of it," Holliday said rather nonchalantly.A backtracking Quintanilla, who was calling for the ball, had no idea it popped loose."Really?" Quintanilla asked reporters. "Wow. I didn't know that. I thought he caught it."He did, eventually.Hawpe's solo drive off Jose Contreras (6-5) in the sixth put Colorado ahead 4-3 after Dye tied it with a two-run shot in the fifth, sending the White Sox to their fifth loss in six games. That was just enough to make a winner of Cook (10-3), who allowed three runs and 10 hits while striking out three and walking two in six innings.The right-hander, who missed the final six weeks of the 2007 regular season with an injured oblique muscle, passed his previous high of nine wins two years ago. He has won three straight starts and is 4-0 in his last five.Fuentes earned his 11th save in 14 chances despite the drama in the ninth.When the ball left Crede's bat, Fuentes thought, "OK, it's an out," but he started to get nervous as Holliday and Quintanilla closed in on each other."I was hoping Matt would just kick him out of the way," Fuentes said.When Holliday finally made the catch, Fuentes turned to catcher Chris Iannetta and laughed. They could do it after a dramatic escape and another win in what might be the early stages of a big turnaround.Iannetta added a solo homer in the ninth, his second in three games. Scott Podsednik chipped in with a pair of RBI singles against his former team as Colorado took two of three from the AL Central leaders and continued to show some life after snapping an eight-game losing streak.Dye's homer aside, it was another difficult day for a White Sox offense that is struggling to score and may without their slugging first baseman for a while.Paul Konerko was a late scratch after straining a muscle near his ribs and chest wall and could be headed to the disabled list."I've never had anything happen like that," he said. "I don't have any answers for you. I took a swing and that ended the day. So we'll see where it is on Tuesday."Chicago pounded out 61 runs in a 7-0 homestand against Kansas City and Minnesota following manager Ozzie Guillen's tirade in Tampa Bay, but they scored just six while getting swept at Detroit.They stalled again over the weekend.Jorge De La Rosa and three relievers combined on a three-hitter for the Rockies in a 2-0 win on Saturday, and Cook looked like he was on a similar path early on."Offensively we've been streaky," Dye said.Chicago finally scored in the fourth and tied it at 3 in the fifth when the slumping Dye came through, sending a 1-0 fastball over the wall in right-center for his 11th homer.The White Sox threatened to take the lead, but instead of a big inning there was a big mistake.Thome walked and moved to second on Joe Crede's single, but got doubled off second on Nick Swisher's liner to left.Hawpe gave the Rockies a 4-3 lead with two out in the sixth when he drove his seventh homer -- second in three games -- beyond the reach of a leaping center fielder Alexei Ramirez.Contreras lost his second straight, allowing four runs -- three earned -- and seven hits in 6 2-3 innings. He struck out four and walked two.
The Rockies recalled catcher Edwin Bellorin from Triple-A Colorado Springs with Yorvit Torrealba serving the first of a two-game suspension Sunday and optioned infielder Jonathan Herrera to the Triple-A club. Torrealba was suspended for a fight with the Los Angeles Dodgers' Matt Kemp on June 3. ... With Konerko out Swisher moved from left field to first, Brian Anderson shifted from center to left, Ramirez went from second to center and Juan Uribe started at second base. ... Pierzynski has an 11-game hitting streak. ... Guillen said Thome will not be used at first base in NL parks for upcoming interleague series at Wrigley Field and in Los Angeles.Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.