DENVER -- Jorge De La Rosa had five quality starts in six outings since being reinstated to the Rockies' rotation. The Rays finally spoiled his run in an 11-3 rout at Coors Field on Wednesday to win their first road series in six weeks.Tampa Bay lit into De La Rosa
DENVER -- Jorge De La Rosa had five quality starts in six outings since being reinstated to the Rockies' rotation. The Rays finally spoiled his run in an 11-3 rout at Coors Field on Wednesday to win their first road series in six weeks.
Tampa Bay lit into De La Rosa early with Evan Longoria's RBI double in the first. Longoria, who ended the series with five extra-base hits, was one of three runners to score in the third before the floodgates opened the next inning. Six of the first eight batters reached base, en route to five runs, highlighted by Steve Pearce's RBI double and former Rockie Corey Dickerson's RBI single.
"It was a pretty good day, man," said Rays shortstop Tim Beckham, who went a career-best 5-for-5. "I just wanted to keep building off that and trusting my approach. It's great to get the win today and great to take the series. We're looking forward to going to Oakland and keeping the momentum going."
This was De La Rosa's first start since being reinstated to the rotation on June 14 in which he allowed more than three runs. The nine runs and 11 hits he gave up were both season highs.
"I felt good, just pitch selection was really, really, really bad," De La Rosa said. "You're in the big leagues and you make mistakes, they're going to hit you hard. That happened today."
Following two straight rough outings, right-hander Chris Archer held the Rockies to two runs -- which scored in the second inning on Tony Wolters' safety squeeze and Charlie Blackmon's sacrifice fly -- on four hits with 11 strikeouts and two walks in six innings. It was his first quality start since June 17.
The Rockies fell to 21-24 at home.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Archer bears down: After giving up two second-inning runs, Archer settled in. He faced two batters over the minimum in his final four innings and struck out eight during that stretch, including the final five he faced. Archer threw first-pitch strikes to just four of the first 11 batters but stepped up after the second inning to throw first-pitch strikes to 10 of his final 14 batters.
"I felt good from the time that I took the ball," Archer said. "There was some crazy stuff that happened there. I did kind of lose my feel, but I'm happy that we had a great offensive day and I was able to get it together and get through six innings." More >
Doing a little with a lot:Daniel Descalso doubled and took third on Brandon Guyer's error with one out in the second, but that was as hard as the Rockies could hit a ball against Archer. The big hit was not to come, as Archer fanned 11 in six innings. The Rockies struck out 15 times total, after whiffing 12 times against Blake Snell and the Rays in Tuesday night's 10-1 loss. It's the first time in club history the team has been fanned 12 or more times in consecutive home games.
"That guy last night had really good stuff, and Archer was really good today, too -- good slider, good fastball, competed well," said Rockies second baseman DJ LeMahieu, a teammate of Archer during their days in the Cubs' system.
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Capitalizing on mistakes: The Rays' big fourth inning was helped in large part by the Rockies' mistakes. De La Rosa walked Archer on six pitches to lead off the inning, and he proceeded to put four straight batters on base with two outs. Furthermore, his wild pitch scored Logan Forsythe from third, and Trevor Story's throwing error plated an extra run on Beckham's RBI single.
"There's no doubt you've got to capitalize and take advantage of a team's mistakes. We've had that happen to us throughout the course of the year at times, so when other teams give you extra outs, it's huge to capitalize on."
Could've stopped it right there: With the score tied at 2 and Longoria at third with one down in the top of the third, De La Rosa had a chance to end the threat and possibly get into the roll he had been on the previous six starts. But Steven Souza Jr. knocked a 90.3-mph fastball for a sharp single through the middle, and the Rays were on their way. De La Rosa would give up 11 hits and nine runs, seven earned, in four innings.
"I was somewhat inspired by Blake Snell last night. He looked really good. He attacked, he used his off-speed in a smart way, and I told him after the game, 'Thanks for the inspiration.' He said, 'Let's keep inspiring each other.' I think we're definitely capable of the past two nights and even more. We only went six innings, but we're capable of more." --Archer
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Blackmon singled in the bottom of the fifth to run his hit streak to a career-high-tying 12 games. He last accomplished the feat Aug. 14-26, 2014.
The Rockies' disagreement with the strike zone began when leadoff man Blackmon took a called third strike to lead off the bottom of the first and stormed away, waving demonstratively. Home-plate umpire Paul Emmel expressed his conviction by following Blackmon a few steps. In the top of the second, with Beckham at the plate, Emmel ejected hitting coach Blake Doyle for arguing the strike zone policy from the dugout. Weiss had a brief and peaceful talk with Emmel.
After one a long replay review, the Rockies were awarded a second-inning run on Mark Reynolds' deft slide after Blackmon's fly ball. Emmel originally ruled that Rays catcher Curt Casali, who took the throw from Souza, made the tag in time. But after examining many angles, it was determined that Casali never made a tag and Reynolds never touched the plate. By rule, if there is no tag and no contact with the plate, the defense has to appeal Reynolds' failure to touch the plate before the crew chief makes contact with the replay official. In other words, had Casali tagged Reynolds after the play to make sure, Reynolds would have been out.
Rays: Left-hander Matt Moore (5-7, 4.33 ERA) takes the mound for the Rays to open a four-game set in Oakland on Thursday at 10:05 p.m. ET. Moore has pitched at least six innings and limited opponents to two earned runs or fewer in his last four starts, which has lowered his ERA by 0.71.
Rockies: Righty Chad Bettis (7-6, 5.55 ERA) is 3-1 and the Rockies are 6-1 in his last seven starts. He threw 6 2/3 innings and gave up three runs on six hits Friday at Atlanta, and it didn't figure in the decision in a 4-3 Rockies victory. The Braves will start righty Mike Foltynewicz (3-3, 3.70 ERA), who threw seven innings -- six of them scoreless -- against Bettis and the Rockies.
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Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and** like his Facebook page**.
Ben Weinrib is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver.