DENVER -- The D-backs' pitching rebounded nicely from Wednesday night's debacle, but it wasn't enough to salvage the series as the Rockies won, 5-1, on Thursday afternoon at Coors Field.After allowing 19 runs and using a pair of position players to throw 4 2/3 innings less than 24 hours before,
DENVER -- The D-backs' pitching rebounded nicely from Wednesday night's debacle, but it wasn't enough to salvage the series as the Rockies won, 5-1, on Thursday afternoon at Coors Field.
After allowing 19 runs and using a pair of position players to throw 4 2/3 innings less than 24 hours before, Arizona starter Robbie Ray tossed 5 1/3 sharp innings.
"That's about as good as I've been all year with all my pitches," Ray said. "I was mixing, and me and [catcher John Ryan Murphy] got on the same page pretty quickly, and whatever he was throwing down, I was throwing it and it was working."
The offense, though, couldn't take advantage of the opportunities it had, going 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position.
"We only scored one run, but I felt like we hit the ball really well today," D-backs outfielder Steven Souza Jr. said. "We hit the ball really hard, a lot of times at people. We just had nothing to show for us. They hit a bunch of bloopers that fell for them, and we hit the ball hard. That's baseball."
Part of the issue for the D-backs was they hit the ball to Gold Glove Award-winning third baseman Nolan Arenado.
Arenado snagged a pair of line drives and also made a tremendous play on Murphy's chopper to third and was able to cut Souza down at the plate.
"That glove is gold," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. "You've got to avoid that one, for sure. We hit the ball hard in some crucial situations and unfortunately didn't execute enough to score some runs. I can't fault these guys. They came out after a tough circumstance yesterday, grinding, played hard."
Things started out well for the D-backs as Jonathan Jay led off the game by being hit by a pitch and came around to score thanks to singles by Paul Goldschmidt and A.J. Pollock.
Rockies starter Kyle Freeland held the D-backs right there, though, through 5 1/3 innings. The Colorado bullpen carried the Rockies the rest of the way to the win.
With the loss, the D-backs are now 4-9 in their past four series and have fallen from first place in the National League West. They trail the Dodgers, who defeated the Padres on Thursday night, by a half-game.
"That's part of the season," Souza said. "Everybody's going to go through something like that. We know the guys in here and what they're capable of. It's not how we finish at the All-Star break, it's how we finish at the end of September."
That's true, but Lovullo would like to see his team play well in the first half's final three games in Atlanta this weekend.
"I want us to go into the break playing the type of baseball that we know how," Lovullo said. "I thought I saw that in spurts today. I want us to reload. I want us to know that it's a new series. Atlanta is a very good baseball team. They've got some good young talent, and we're going to be ready for it."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
I got this guy: With one out in the sixth, Ray hit Carlos Gonzalez with a slider that slipped out of his hand. Lovullo walked to the mound to talk to Ray, who convinced his manager to leave him in to face Chris Iannetta, who worked a walk to end Ray's day. The Rockies went on to score three runs in the inning and take the lead.
"I think I made good pitches, but [Iannetta] laid off of them," Ray said. "[Lovullo] trusts me to get that out right there, and unfortunately this time I wasn't able to, but for him to leave me out there and at least give me a chance to get this guy is huge."
Goldschmidt continues his dominance at Coors Field. After a 2-for-4 day, he is 12-for-23 (.522) with five homers in six games this year.
HE SAID IT
"I don't think there's any concern. We know how to play. Every guy in this clubhouse can step up on a daily basis so we're not really concerned about it, we're just going out and doing our job." -- Ray, on the team's recent struggles
The D-backs open a three-game series with the Braves on Friday at 4:35 p.m. MST at SunTrust Park with Zack Godley (10-6, 4.80 ERA) on the mound. Godley had been scheduled to start Thursday afternoon's game, but after he was needed in relief last Sunday, following his start two days before that, the D-backs elected to push him back a day to allow him to recover. Godley has made two starts against the Braves in his career and is 0-1 with a 10.64 ERA. The Braves will counter with right-hander Anibal Sanchez (4-2, 2.72).
Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.