HOUSTON -- The Rockies found the defending World Series champion Astros to be a bit of a double-edged sword.
A Colorado team that has seen plenty of tough competition lately saw the reigning champs at full strength on Wednesday, falling, 12-1, at Minute Maid Park. A night earlier, the Rockies had sent Houston to a ninth consecutive home loss.
The Astros jumped all over starting pitcher Tyler Anderson with a three-run first inning and a three-run second en route to the blowout.
Anderson allowed nine runs, tying a career high, in 4 1/3 innings before the Rockies boarded a late-night flight to Atlanta with a 1-1 series split. Anderson's nine runs were all earned, raising his ERA from 3.94 to 4.39.
"I made mistakes that sometimes you get away with and sometimes you don't," Anderson said. "It seemed like tonight, it looked like they were just trying to hunt fastballs and hit pitches that were hard. I think they struggled with that last night with [German Marquez]. They were just looking for hard stuff, and I gave them a lot of hard stuff in the middle of the plate."
Colorado split its season series with the Astros, 2-2, and saw a four-game winning streak come to an end. Counting a home series win against the Dodgers, the Rockies went 4-2 over their last six games, consecutive series against last year's World Series teams.
Carlos Gonzalez, Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story ripped three consecutive two-out singles in the fourth inning against hard-throwing All-Star right-hander Gerrit Cole. Story's hit tacked on Colorado's first -- and only -- run of the evening against Cole, who struck out 12 in six innings. The Rockies struck out 32 times in 18 total innings of the two-game series.
"He looks like a little bit of a different pitcher in an Astros uniform than he did in a Pirates uniform," Rockies manager Bud Black said. "I think with the Astros, it seems as though he's throwing a lot more fastballs, really trying to get velocity, maybe really trying to ride the ball a little bit up and a little bit away from hitters with some velocity. ... There's no doubt he was on tonight."
The Diamondbacks were off Wednesday, so Colorado's loss pushed it back to 1 1/2 games behind Arizona in the National League West.
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Story extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a single in the fourth inning. The hitting streak is the second longest of Story's career, trailing only a 13-game run set from July 3-22 of this season. Story's streak is the longest active streak in the National League.
HE SAID IT
"Well you look at their strikeout numbers and they're strikeout pitchers, so I'd be more concerned if we're striking out against guys who don't strike people out. But [Justin] Verlander has over 200 strikeouts. Cole has way more strikeouts per innings pitched and we just fell along into that tonight. We just couldn't handle his stuff." -- Black, on striking out 32 times vs. Astros pitchers in two games, including starters Verlander and Cole
MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
Gattis blasted his second home run of the evening against Rockies reliever Harrison Musgrave. Gattis' solo shot landed in the first row of the right-field bleachers, where Gonzalez attempted to rob the homer high above the wall. An official crew chief review searched for fan interference, but a home run was confirmed.
The Rockies will travel to Atlanta and will meet the Braves at 5:35 p.m. MT on Thursday at SunTrust Park. Colorado will hand right-hander Jon Gray (9-7, 4.81 ERA) the ball against Braves starter Julio Teheran. Gray is 4-4 with a 4.88 ERA in 62 2/3 innings on the road. Thursday will be his first outing versus the Braves this season.