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Bats unable to heat up to back sharp Bettis

Special to MLB.com

MIAMI -- And the hits just keep on not coming. The Rockies have never hit much at Marlins Park, but they made Marlins starter Caleb Smith look like a salty veteran in a 3-0 loss on Sunday in the rubber match of a weekend series to start a nine-game road trip.

Smith (1-3), who came into the game with a career 6.69 ERA, earned his first Major League win, limiting the Rockies to just two hits over a career-high seven innings. He struck out nine.

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MIAMI -- And the hits just keep on not coming. The Rockies have never hit much at Marlins Park, but they made Marlins starter Caleb Smith look like a salty veteran in a 3-0 loss on Sunday in the rubber match of a weekend series to start a nine-game road trip.

Smith (1-3), who came into the game with a career 6.69 ERA, earned his first Major League win, limiting the Rockies to just two hits over a career-high seven innings. He struck out nine.

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"It's tough to say right now. We're definitely a better offensive team than we've been playing lately," said shortstop Trevor Story, who had a Rockies season-long seven-game hit streak snapped with an 0-for-4 day. "It's tough to say what the problem is."

Video: COL@MIA: Ziegler fans Story to earn his 3rd save

The Rockies lost at Marlins Park for the eighth time in 11 games and are 7-17 all time at Miami's home.

They have hit a woeful .215 (167-for-777) all time at Marlins Park. For the series, the Rockies scored a total of two runs. One of those was driven in by relief pitcher Antonio Senzatela in Friday's 1-0 victory, and the other was a solo homer off the bat of Charlie Blackmon in Saturday's 4-1 loss.

"It definitely slants towards the pitcher," Rockies manager Bud Black said of Marlins Park. "I don't think you can really change a hitter's approach drastically based on the ballpark. You just don't do that. But we do talk about certain things that are important in ballparks that slant towards the pitcher, for sure.

"It just comes down to having good at-bats, good approaches and realizing the importance of situational hitting, putting the ball in play, advancing runners, those sorts of things."

Tweet from @Rockies: Let���s put this one behind us. pic.twitter.com/3CDeXOyOX2

Those were the things the Rockies collectively couldn't do throughout the series.

"We just didn't swing the bats here this series," Black said. "There's not much to say about it. We just didn't swing the bats well. You can look at it a couple different ways. Their bullpen did a real nice job. They've got some good arms out there in the 'pen with some velocity and secondary pitches."

The Marlins added to a 1-0 lead on a Miguel Rojas solo homer, a 370-foot shot that just barely cleared the left-field fence and into the Marlins' bullpen, with a hit probability of 22 percent, according to Statcast™.

Video: COL@MIA: Rojas smacks a solo homer to left field

It was that kind of day and that kind of series for the Rockies, who squandered a quality outing from starter Chad Bettis (3-1). The right-hander went seven innings, allowing just two runs on four hits. He struck out five and walked one.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Two pitches -- both cutters -- made a big difference in the game, especially considering the Rockies were limited to just four singles and didn't put more than one baserunner on in any frame. A second-inning cutter to Lewis Brinson was tagged for a run-scoring single, and the cutter to Rojas was hit for a fourth-inning homer.

"I really beat myself up about the two cutters, one to Brinson and the one to Rojas. I think the fastball command was really good today," said Bettis, who like the rest of the team, isn't allowing frustration to set in because of a lack of offense. "I don't think it's time to panic by any means. Some of their guys made some good pitches on our guys. Unfortunately, that's how it went this series."

Video: COL@MIA: Brinson drives in Anderson with RBI single

SOUND SMART
As a team, the Rockies collected just 15 hits in the three-game series, the lowest total for a Rockies team at Marlins Park. The previous low was 20 in 2013.

HE SAID IT
"We just couldn't get to him. [Smith] pitched with a lot of confidence. And then the last couple of nights, we just couldn't get to their bullpen." -- Black, summing up the game and the series

UP NEXT
The Rockies continue a nine-game road trip when they open a three-game series on Monday in Chicago to face Cubs left-hander Jon Lester. Lefty Kyle Freeland is scheduled to pitch for the Rockies in his first appearance at Wrigley Field. Freeland was struck on the left heel by a line drive in his previous outing but earned his first win of the year by pitching a season-high seven scoreless innings. First pitch is set for 5:05 p.m. MT.

Glenn Sattell is a contributor to MLB.com based in Miami.

Colorado Rockies, Chad Bettis