Rockies' many rally chances left unfinished
Rosario's knock club's lone RBI after CarGo's first-inning homer
DENVER -- Carlos Gonzalez's first-inning homer on Thursday seemed to be the Rockies' perfect omen. Colorado had capitalized early with runners in scoring position and seemed to have a bead on Astros starter Collin McHugh.
But that's where the offensive production slowed to a standstill. Amid their 8-4 loss to Houston at Coors Field, the Rockies left nine men on base and finished 2-for-13 with runners in scoring position. McHugh, meanwhile, didn't yield another hit in those situations.
"It's hard," Gonzalez said. "That's why we get paid. That's why we're here. We're here to drive in runs and take advantage of those situations, and when it doesn't happen, it's frustrating."
Between the second and fourth innings, the Rockies had seven opportunities with runners in scoring positions.
They produced zero runs.
"We had [McHugh] on the ropes a little bit there early, but we couldn't quite get that big hit," Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki said. "We'd have some runners on and just didn't do it."
There wasn't better evidence of that than in the third. Tulowitzki and Gonzalez both reached to start the frame, and the Rockies appeared ready to respond after Houston had tied the game at 3 in the top half of the inning.
But Nolan Arenado and Ben Paulsen struck out in succession, and Michael McKenry followed with a flyout to left, allowing McHugh to escape the inning unscathed.
Not much changed when Houston went to its bullpen. In the eighth, Colorado had four opportunities with men in scoring position but converted just one chance. The Rockies again struck out in back-to-back at-bats with a runner on second, then flied out with a runner on third. After Gonzalez's homer, Wilin Rosario's RBI single was the Rockies' only damage.
"We had some opportunities," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "We've been real good with runners in scoring position most of the year, one of the best in baseball. But we didn't get the big hit today."
The Rockies' day began with promise. It ended with the club's 20th loss in 33 home games.
"It's unacceptable," Gonzalez said of the Rockies' Coors Field woes. "I guess everybody goes through a tough stretch, but it's got to end. "We've got to hit."