Even with Charlie Blackmon finding his swing, the Rockies are finding ways to lose.
Blackmon continued climbing from his early season slump by going 2-for-4 with an RBI double. Over the last three games of the Rockies’ current road trip, Blackmon is 5-for-11 with two doubles and three RBIs. He finished the night with a .194 average and has not ended a game this year above .200, but he’s definitely heading upward.
But in this one-step-forward, two-steps-back Rockies season, the positive game-to-game developments are almost invariably undone. This time, righty reliever Robert Stephenson gave up two runs -- one unearned because of his error -- in the seventh inning of a 5-3 loss to the D-backs at Chase Field.
The loss dropped the Rockies to 1-3 on their current road trip, 1-9 on the road this season, and a long way from any kind of consistency.
For every bright spot -- like Blackmon, Trevor Story’s third-inning RBI triple to end an 0-for-10 skid, reliever Carlos Estévez’s 1 1/3 solid innings as he continues a recovery from a slow start -- there is enough darkness to cost games.
• Starter Antonio Senzatela had a 3-0 lead, but he found himself and his pitch count exhausted (104 in just 4 2/3 innings) by a patient D-backs lineup. He gave up three runs -- one on Josh Rojas’ fourth-inning leadoff homer -- on nine hits.
“They put me in a lot of counts. I got to 3-2 too many times,” said Senzatela, who yielded every hit but Rojas’ homer with two outs. “They fouled off a lot of pitches. [Eduardo] Escobar in the first inning was [an 11-pitch] at-bat.”
• Blackmon’s RBI double put runners at second and third with no outs, but Yonathan Daza struck out on three Luke Weaver pitches, the last a called strike.
“That's a young hitter taking a called third strike,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “You’ve got to do everything you can to put the ball in play. The infield is back. The situational hitting part of that is what we’re talking about.”
• And Stephenson entered with the score tied, but he dropped a throw while covering first base to let seventh-inning leadoff man Josh VanMeter reach, then yielded Escobar’s triple and David Peralta’s RBI single.
“You saw the Diamondbacks tonight throw five pitchers, and they each put up a zero,” Black said. “We threw three relief pitchers. Stephenson got nicked, and that was the ballgame.”