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Coors gives Kendrick rough welcome in first home start

Rockies righty allows 8 runs on 8 hits, 5 walks in loss to Cubs

DENVER -- For Rockies Opening Day pitcher Kyle Kendrick, his first week in purple pinstripes has been a tale of two cities: it was the best of times; it was the worst of times.

After seven innings of shutout baseball in a 10-0 Opening Day win in Milwaukee, Kendrick came home to Coors Field and gave up a career-high eight earned runs in five-plus innings to even his record at 1-1 as the Rockies earned their first loss of the season.

"Obviously my command wasn't there," Kendrick said. "I walked five guys. That's definitely not me. I fell behind in counts. [I gave up] the homers, and I had to come back [over the plate]. The ball was up. You don't want to leave pitches over the plate, but I was battling, and it just wasn't a good night for me."

Kendrick also matched his career high with three home runs, though he minimized the damage by yielding all solo shots -- including back-to-back drives in the third, both on sinkers, and a lead-off homer in the fifth off his change-up.

"My cutter was kind of the only pitch [I could] command, so I stuck with that," Kendrick said.

He matched winning pitcher Jason Hammel -- a former Rockie making his debut against his old club -- as each allowed eight hits, but the five walks were the difference, with three of them coming around to score.

"He had to work pretty hard throughout the outing, but he managed the game pretty decent," said Rockies manager Walt Weiss. "He dealt with some traffic and did damage control for most of the night. I thought he still put us in position [to win]. "

Another former Rockie led the barrage against Kendrick. Dexter Fowler stepped up his game in his first trip back at Coors Field, where he played the first six seasons of his career. Fowler legged out a pair of triples in the first two innings, scoring in the first and driving in two in the second. It was his fourth career game with two triples, and he's now a career 5-for-12 (.417) with two doubles and two triples against Kendrick.

"Dexter hits a lot of triples," Weiss noted. "We've seen him do it. [He and Kendrick] have got some decent history."

It was Kendrick's seventh career start at Coors Field, and his record fell to 1-2 with his ERA rising more than a full run to 6.33, but he resisted blaming his new ballpark.

"My command could have been like that anywhere," Kendrick said. "I just have to stay after it. I don't have many games walking five guys."

The setback didn't faze the rest of the Rockies, who slipped to 4-1. The club remains confident in themselves and in Kendrick.

"He pitched a really great game [Monday], so I'm sure he'll have another opportunity; there's nothing to worry about," Carlos Gonzalez said. "We'll keep our focus on trying to win the game tomorrow."

Owen Perkins is a contributor for
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