Rockies' offense finally slowed down
Arenado extends hit streak, but Colorado gets blanked for first time
ARLINGTON -- On the list of accomplishments for the Rockies' prolific offense this year, Thursday's unintentional and undesired feat might have been the most unusual. They managed to be shut out.
Rangers starter Matt Harrison yielded the third-inning hit that gave Nolan Arenado a club-record 28-game hit streak, but no runs in 5 1/3 innings, and pitching and defense held the rest of the way as the Rockies fell, 5-0, at Globe Life Park in front of 27,617.
The Rockies had outscored the Rangers, 29-5, while taking three straight -- two at Coors Field and one at Arlington -- before being shut out for the first time this season. However, it was the seventh shutout for Rangers pitching, which had fared well before the games with a Rockies (22-15) team that entered Thursday tied with the Giants atop the National League West.
"It's just one of those nights," said Carlos Gonzalez, who extended his hit streak to 10 games with a second-inning single. "Of course, [Harrison] pitched really well so we got to give him credit. Their bullpen did a tremendous job, too.
"It's four games so they have to make adjustments, too. That's what they did today. They did a great job holding a really hot team. It was a good win for them."
Although the Rockies won 3-of-4 in the Interleague set of games, the Arlington leg is considered a split. So technically, the Rockies' streak of series wins ended at six. The streak began after a split in San Diego April 14-17, so the Rockies haven't lost a series since dropping 2-of-3 at San Francisco April 11-13.
"I guess it'll happen from time to time," said Rockies manager Walt Weiss, whose team starts a three-game series at Cincinnati on Friday night. "I thought Harrison did a good job pitching back and forth with that fastball-changeup combo. We had some opportunities early, couldn't get the big hit tonight. We've been winning series so we're going to try to stick to that formula."
The Rangers outhit the Rockies, 7-5, with one of the hits being Prince Fielder's third homer of the season. All five runs, four earned, scored on Rockies lefty starter Franklin Morales (3-2), who gave up five hits and three walks but struck out five in six-plus innings.
Arenado popped out to short in the first inning. But he singled on a first-pitch fastball from Harrison with one out in the third to surpass Michael Cuddyer's 27-game streak last season.
"I figured he was going to give me something away," Arenado said. "It was away and down and I was able to put a good swing on it."
But Harrison (1-0) escaped any trouble he faced. Harrison has faced the Rockies twice, both in Arlington, and held them scoreless for a combined 10 1/3 innings.
"They have been swinging the bats well the past three days and didn't miss many mistakes," Harrison said. "But I was able to make my pitches and when I did make a mistake, they hit it hard at someone."
The Rockies threatened on Harrison in the second, but catcher Michael McKenry grounded into an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded. Harrison left with one on and one out in the sixth. Brandon Barnes doubled off reliever Nick Martinez to put runners at second and third, but Martinez struck out Jordan Pacheco, who played first base because Justin Morneau was scratched just before the game with a stiff neck.
Two Rangers runs scored in the second when Alex Rios doubled and scored on Leonys Martin's single. Martin would score when he stole third while Elvis Andrus struck out and came home when McKenry's throw sailed into left field.
Fielder made it 3-0 in the bottom of the sixth with his third home run of the season, which bounced off the front of the upper deck in right.
"There's nothing anybody can do," Morales said. "I missed a pitch and he got it."
Robinson Chirinos doubled to left in the bottom of the seventh and saw the ball escape Charlie Blackmon, who was making his first start in left field as Gonzalez served as designated hitter. Chirinos scored on Michael Choice's single off Tommy Kahnle, who wild-pitched in another run.
The Rockies nearly scored in the eighth, when Blackmon flied Aaron Poreda's pitch to Rios in right. Rios' throw reached the plate on the fly and barely beat McKenry, who was trying to score from third. Replay confirmed plate umpire Mark Ripperger's call to give the Rangers an inning-ending double play.
"I knew from the beginning I had him beat to home plate," Chirinos said. "I know I tagged him before he touched the plate. It was a close play but we got the out."