Signs of life for offense, but D-backs' rally falls short

Signs of life for offense, but D-backs' rally falls short

PHOENIX -- There were positive signs for the D-backs in their 5-4 loss to the Rockies on Monday night, particularly from an offense that had gone missing during the previous three-game series with the Pirates.

This is the big leagues, though, and those kinds of things only go so far with the men who are tasked with winning games.

"It's not horseshoes or hand grenades is it?" D-backs manager Chip Hale said. "It doesn't count to get close."

Monday's loss was the fourth in a row for the D-backs, who have dropped five of six on their current homestand, with two games left against the Rockies.

"You've got to win," outfielder Mark Trumbo said. "You want to know how to have more fun, and you want to know how to do all the things that come with that, you have to win ballgames. It's just plain and simple. We can point out all the other signs of improvement here and there, but if we're not winning ballgames, there's not going to be a whole lot of great stuff to talk about."

The D-backs scored just two runs in three games against the Pirates, and they matched that in the fifth inning off Tyler Matzek on Monday.

The fifth snapped a 20-inning scoreless streak and cut the Rockies' lead in the game to 4-2.

Pollock's RBI single

The D-backs added single runs in the sixth and eighth innings to claw to within one, and they had runners at first and third with two outs in the ninth before Trumbo grounded out against John Axford to end the game.

"I thought we battled tonight," Hale said. "We battled back."

The D-backs had to battle back, because once again a starting pitcher had a rough beginning. This time it was Chase Anderson, who gave up a three-run homer to Justin Morneau in the first inning.

"This was a game I think we had a decent chance to win," Trumbo said. "They got on us early, but we came back pretty good, and it sure would have been nice to get maybe a nice knock there at the end to at least tie it up."

Hitting with runners in scoring position was an issue for the D-backs in the Pirates series, as they went 2-for-21 in those situations.

Monday, it was more of the same, as they were 1-for-13.

"We have not been swinging the bat well, period," Hale said. "And especially with men in scoring position."

The D-backs can even the series Tuesday with rookie Archie Bradley on the mound. The right-hander has been the closest thing the D-backs have had to an ace all season.

"You need to have a short-term memory," Trumbo said. "Short enough to forget the bad stuff and also fire you up when needed, and after four straight losses, it's time for us to come out with some passion tomorrow and get back on the right track."

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.