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Rox frustrated but focused after tough series

Colorado players, manager turn page following sweep by D-backs
MLB.com

DENVER -- The Rockies' weekend series against the D-backs was a chance to gain ground for home field in the National League Wild Card Game. Instead, the Rockies find themselves fighting to play in that game at all.

Three straight losses to the D-backs, including a 5-1 defeat Sunday, have the Rockies sitting just a half-game ahead of the Brewers for the second NL Wild Card spot. The D-backs outscored the Rockies, 20-8, and outhit them, 27-17.

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DENVER -- The Rockies' weekend series against the D-backs was a chance to gain ground for home field in the National League Wild Card Game. Instead, the Rockies find themselves fighting to play in that game at all.

Three straight losses to the D-backs, including a 5-1 defeat Sunday, have the Rockies sitting just a half-game ahead of the Brewers for the second NL Wild Card spot. The D-backs outscored the Rockies, 20-8, and outhit them, 27-17.

Full Game Coverage

"We're all frustrated. I don't know if it's boiled over, but we're all frustrated," DJ LeMahieu said. "There's no reason to be playing like we are, so hopefully we can turn it around against the Giants [on Monday.]"

The Rockies' slump isn't new, but the sweep by the D-backs highlighted critical issues like the weeks-long offensive lull with runners in scoring position. Before June 20, the Rockies led the Majors with a .321 average with RISP, but since then that mark is .257, ranking 18th. The Rockies went 2-for-30 in such situations vs. the D-backs.

Looking for jolt, Rockies shuffle batting order

Video: ARI@COL: Godley retires Blackmon to end the threat

During that stretch, the losses keep piling up. Since June 20, the Rockies have the fewest wins (25) in the National League and second-fewest in the Majors behind the White Sox (23).

Nolan Arenado, who didn't start Sunday but pinch-hit in the eighth inning, said the team is trying to take positives out of the recent downturn.

"We didn't take advantage of an opportunity to gain some games, that's for sure. But it is what it is," Arenado said. "The season's not over, we've got 20-plus games left, and today we hit the ball hard, just right at people."

Arenado added the Rockies know where they are in the standings, but the only thing they can control is what's in front of them.

LeMahieu said the players are putting pressure on themselves to compete, but that the Rockies have so much talent that they can start rolling "one of these days."

Video: ARI@COL: LeMahieu slides to rob Negron of a hit

"It's one of those things where everyone's trying," LeMahieu said. "Everyone's trying really hard, everyone's focused, but in baseball -- sometimes it sounds weird -- the harder you try, the harder it is."

The Rockies turn their attention to the last-place Giants. Rockies manager Bud Black said he believes the key to rebounding is playing a "sound" baseball game.

"It's frustrating for the guys for sure, and the coaching staff and everybody connected with the team," Black said. "I get it, but that's part of what we're going through. And when you go through it, you gotta keep going through it. It's tough, but this is a resilient group. I've got all the faith in the world in these guys."

Max Gelman is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Colorado Rockies