Rockies hope winning ways translate to Coors

Club finishes 6-4 road trip, heads home to face D-backs, Mets

Rockies hope winning ways translate to Coors

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Rockies gathered their belongings with victorious smiles on their faces, but a challenge before their eyes: How are they going to succeed at Coors Field?

"We've played well on the road, we really have -- that's another area where we've taken a big step," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "We need to take it into the homestand and play well there."

The Rockies finished a three-city National League West road trip 6-4. Sunday's 2-0 victory over the Giants, which earned them a split of a four-game set, was their second shutout of the tour. A 24-year-old franchise that has finished all of one season with a winning road record sees its 2016 edition sporting an 11-8 record away from Coors Field.

On Monday the Rockies begin a six-game homestand with the first of three games against the D-backs, followed by three with the Mets. The problem is, the team's history of home dominance is just that -- history. After struggling to 36-45 at home last year, they've started this year 4-8.

"It's almost like we're playing better on the road than at home," said third baseman Nolan Arenado, who leads the NL with 12 home runs -- three during the just-completed trip. "That's kind of weird. Hopefully, we can turn it around at home and start playing the baseball that we know."

A key will be carrying the pitching momentum home.

Righty Tyler Chatwood, who starts Monday, didn't give up a run in 16 1/3 innings in two starts on the road trip, and is 2-0 with a 1.71 ERA against the D-backs. He's pitching after the last two starters, rookie Jon Gray on Saturday and Eddie Butler on Sunday, combined for 13 scoreless innings, during which they gave up five hits and struck out 11.

Butler's scoreless start

"Our guys threw really, really well," Rockies center fielder Charlie Blackmon said. "As long as I've been here, we've never had as many good outings, especially on the road, as I've seen. I'm impressed with those guy, want them to keep it up."

The Rockies have scored consistently in all venues, with the power of Arenado and Trevor Story (11 homers), and the consistency of Arenado (.322), Carlos Gonzalez (reached safely in 25 of 30 games, .312 average), Mark Reynolds (.333) and DJ LeMahieu (.302). Pitching has struggled at home, although the staff is not carrying two of the big culprits -- Jorge De La Rosa, who is working through a left groin strain, and Jordan Lyles, who has been optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque.

Even with the uneven play, the Rockies are in fine shape in a division with no early runaway leaders. All the teams are within 3 1/2 games.

"It's May," LeMahieu said. "Nobody's really tearing it up yet. The way we're playing now, the pitching we're getting, I can see us going on a hot streak here pretty soon."

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.