Rockies' recent woes linked to rotation

Starting pitchers stung by HRs in rough 10-game stretch

Rockies' recent woes linked to rotation

DENVER -- Almost as quickly as they surged, the Rockies went the other direction. The same could be said for their starting pitching.

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In losing nine of 10, the Rockies have seen their rotation go 1-9 with a 7.17 ERA and give up a .330 batting average and a .953 OPS.

One problem has been keeping the ball in the park. The 13 home runs allowed in the previous 10 games are the most in the Majors. The Angels had given up 10, and the Marlins, Brewers and Mets yielded nine.

So while the offense has struggled, the team's fortunes always rest with the starting pitching. Jorge De La Rosa pitched like a front-of-the-rotation guy and callups Chad Bettis, Chris Rusin and David Hale provided a lift.

During the recent rough stretch, De La Rosa was the only pitcher to win, but he gave up six runs in five innings Friday night against the Brewers. Bettis, the starter Saturday against the Brewers, was 0-2 with a 7.20 ERA, Rusin was 0-2, 12.54, and Hale was 0-2, 7.36. Veteran righty Kyle Kendrick was 0-2 with a respectable 2.38 ERA in three starts during the skid.

Worth noting

• Right-handed reliever Scott Oberg threw two scoreless innings Friday, a night after giving up a three-run, pinch-hit homer to the Astros' Domingo Santana in what ended up an 8-4 loss.

In 21 innings this season, Oberg (2-1, 5.13 ERA) has given up eight homers, which led all Major League relievers.

Oberg, a closer at Double-A Tulsa last year before undergoing right shoulder surgery, went to Spring Training as a non-roster invitee but impressed enough to earn a callup on April 12 and has been with the club for all but a few days since. Manager Walt Weiss said the struggles are part of Oberg's education.

"He's just gotten hurt at times with some elevated breaking balls," Weiss said. "His stuff plays late in the game, it really does. We've talked about how much we like Scotty -- great competitor, too. He's going to play a role at the back end of the bullpen for a long time.

"He's going through some of the growing pains that young pitchers and young players go through in this league. But as you can see, I haven't lost confidence in him. I still throw him in high-leverage situations."

• Broadcaster Jerry Schemmel of the Rockies/KOA Radio Network, is away from the club participating in the Race Across America biking event. Schemmel, a high-level biker, and Brad Cooper, who has participated in Ironman triathlons, have formed Team Enduring Hope. They took off from Oceanside, Calif., on Saturday and plan to complete roughly 3,000 miles through 12 states over a period of a week or less. They plan to reach Annapolis, Md., next Saturday night.

Schemmel and Cooper are racing to raise funds to build an orphanage in Haiti, in an area still affected by a 2010 earthquake. To make a donation, visit the Team Enduring Hope website.

Ryan Spilborghs and Cory Sullivan, former Rockies outfielders who are Root Sports Rocky Mountain broadcasters, will be filling in for Schemmel on KOA alongside broadcaster Jack Corrigan.

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.