DENVER -- The Rockies had Part 1 of big innings down pat Wednesday afternoon at Coors Field when they put the leadoff hitter on base five times. But they did nothing with it and fell to the Angels, 8-0, to see their season-best win streak end at six games.Carlos Gonzalez
DENVER -- The Rockies had Part 1 of big innings down pat Wednesday afternoon at Coors Field when they put the leadoff hitter on base five times. But they did nothing with it and fell to the Angels, 8-0, to see their season-best win streak end at six games.
Carlos Gonzalez doubled and singled for his first multi-hit game since returning from a right hamstring injury on April 30, and David Dahl doubled and singled to place his average at .304 since his April 22 promotion from Triple-A Albuquerque. But the Rockies went 0-for-12 with eight strikeouts with runners in scoring position.
It added up to a hard day at home, where the Rockies are 6-8 despite a 21-16 overall record.
Given the Rockies' longstanding tradition of offense at home, they might look like strangers to their fans. But manager Bud Black said the strangers on the mound -- led by Angels righty starter Jaime Barria (3-1), who struck out seven and pitched around five hits and a walk in 5 1/3 innings -- had something to do with it.
"We couldn't solve their starter," Black said. "We hadn't seen him. We talk about that all the time. First time facing a club, or a pitcher, the advantage at times goes to the pitcher. It looked a little that way today."
It didn't help that the Rockies' 5-8 hitters had struggled against right-handers -- Trevor Story (.198 entering the game), Chris Iannetta (.217), Ian Desmond (.133) and Daniel Castro (.143) -- and they saw their woes continue.
Story flied out against Barria after Gonzalez's double in the second, and struck out against Justin Anderson in the sixth. Iannetta struck out against Barria after two had reached to open the fourth. Desmond, who saw his batting average dwindle to .176 and heard boos from a normally polite home crowd, struck out four times, twice with two runners on base and once to end an inning (the sixth). Two innings ended with Castro at the plate -- on a strikeout in the second and a fly ball in the fourth.
Desmond, who seemed to be coming out of his slump with two home runs Sunday on the road against the Mets, went 0-for-8 with seven strikeouts in two games against the Angels.
"They threw a lot of soft [pitches] out there, all series," Desmond said. "I saw filthy heaters, but I saw three in my last at-bat, and one prior to that in all my at-bats.
"We're always trying to improve. That's the name of the game. Obviously, we need to be better. But you try to put it behind you at the same time."
The Rockies had their best chance to score in the eighth. Dahl led off the frame with a single and Nolan Arenado followed with a double, but Angels lefty Jose Alvarez struck out the next three hitters -- Gonzalez, Story and Iannetta -- to get out of the jam unscathed.
But in the grand scheme, the Rockies are 1-1 on a homestand that continues with four games against the Brewers starting Thursday night.
"We can't ride the emotional roller-coaster," Iannetta said. "Understand that our body of work over the first five or six weeks of the season is pretty good. We're five games over .500. We're in a good spot going into the next five months of the season."
A club-record run of nine quality starts (six or more innings, three or fewer earned runs) also ended. Lefty Tyler Anderson (2-1) gave up four runs, including a Zack Cozart solo shot and a Justin Upton two-run tater in the third (his 10th career homer at Coors), among six hits in five innings.
"They just did a good job hitting mistakes," Anderson said. "There were some mistakes that they took advantage of.
"Of course, you want to be able to go more, stay in the game a little longer, but it's one of those days where you don't have your best stuff and best command."
Rene Rivera homered for the Angels in the seventh off Chris Rusin.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Sticking with his man: The key moment might have been during Black's postgame news conference. With Desmond's hitting struggles and his $70 million contract (in its second year, at $22 million) making fans restless, Black said there would be no change at first base.
"I'll trot him out there again [Thursday]," Black said. "He had a big day in New York -- homer against [Noah Syndergaard], homer against [Hansel Robles], the game-winner. Today, it looked like he just wasn't seeing the slider."
Desmond is by far the most experienced first baseman on the club. Castro spent Tuesday afternoon working at the position just in case. Gerardo Parra has 23 appearances at first base but never started at the position.
Arenado has reached base in 19 straight games, the second-longest streak of his career. He had a 30-gamer April 9-May 10, 2014.
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
On a third-inning single by the Angels' Michael Trout, the bat snapped and hit Iannetta, the Rockies' catcher, and plate umpire Jerry Layne. Both needed attention before continuing.
"It hit me in the back, right on the spine," Iannetta said. "I wasn't sure what hit me, if it was the barrel or the sharp part. I felt something and took a second to see what it was all about. And I was OK."
HE SAID IT
"He mixed it up very well, used his offspeed a lot. He threw me mainly changeups. He threw a slider that was pretty good, a back-foot one. But I can see where the righties had tough at-bats." -- Dahl, a left-handed hitter, understanding why his righty-hitting teammates struggled against Barria
Right-hander German Marquez (2-3, 4.76 ERA) will start the opener of a four-game set with the Brewers at Coors Field on Thursday at 6:40 p.m. MT. He's performed well on the road (2-1, 1.96) but needs to find his groove at home (0-2, 10.64). Righty and one-time Rockies pitcher Jhoulys Chacin (2-1, 4.08) will start for the Brewers.
Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter and like his Facebook page.