Amid rough patch, Rockies keeping level heads
Club gives up lead, falls to 1-4 at Coors Field
DENVER -- The Rockies, who often depend on trips home to ignite them, refused to question themselves after losing their fifth straight -- and fourth straight at Coors Field -- 7-6 to the Padres on Tuesday night.
"No one said this thing was going to be this easy," Troy Tulowitzki said. "We started off well, but we knew we were going to go through a time when it was going to be rough. We didn't know it was going to be so quick."
The latest setback proved the difficulty of the task for the Rockies, who believe they have talent to make a mark in the National League West.
The revamped Padres lineup outhit them, 13-7, but the Rockies executed. Nick Hundley tripled in a run and homered, Charlie Blackmon added a two-run triple and they scored on productive outs -- a DJ LeMahieu grounder and a Tulowitzki sacrifice fly. Starter Tyler Matzek walked six in five innings, but thanks to three double plays behind him -- one on a sliding stop and glove-only flip by LeMahieu, another with the bases loaded in the fifth -- had him in position to win.
But it wasn't enough against the Padres, revamped offensively, strong in starting pitching and with star closer Craig Kimbrel (who gave up the Hundley homer, but earned his fifth save).
With Jorge De La Rosa's two-inning start in Monday's 14-3 loss having already strained the bullpen, the Rockies needed lengthier and better starting pitching. Instead, lefty reliever Boone Logan (0-1) endured a four-run eighth in which several balls were not hit hard but they did damage.
"It's a feeling that I let 24 guys down, but I've got to erase it, we've all got to erase it," Logan said.
Games like Tuesday's scream for a patented Rockies barrage at Coors Field.
"Offensively, we're not as hot as we were; we need to get the offense going again," Colorado manager Walt Weiss said. "We've been running into some tough arms, but that's the way it's going to be all year."
The Rockies hope outfielder Carlos Gonzalez, who prevented a run with a pinpoint throw from right in the fifth, can shake a slump that has dropped his average to .189, with one homer and five RBIs. The Rockies have one of baseball's best lineups, but only if Tulowitzki (.327, eight RBIs) and Gonzalez are going. Weiss said he would give consideration to moving Gonzalez out of a prime spot for a break.
"I stay positive, I keep working -- it's only 50 at-bats, only two weeks," Gonzalez said. "I've been robbed a couple of times, but hits are going to fall."
The starting pitching will have to improve, but nothing else pushed the Rockies to panic.
"We have all the confidence in the world, still," LeMahieu said. "We put ourselves in position to win. It just didn't happen."