DENVER -- The Rockies had run the gauntlet, going 10-12 against six playoff contenders and division rivals in potentially the toughest stretch of their schedule all season. It turned out to be the Reds that gave them trouble.
The Reds handily routed the Rockies, 11-4, on Thursday night and won three of the four games played at Coors Field this week. The Rockies gave up 8.25 runs per game in the series, the second-most they've allowed in any series this season.
Rockies manager Walt Weiss was encouraged after facing the Giants, D-backs, Mets, Cardinals, Pirates and Red Sox last month. But despite the team's strong play, there was disappointment about Colorado's performance vs. Cincinnati.
"We talked about [not taking the Reds lightly]," Weiss said. "We were out in front of that. That was my message before the series. There was a heightened sense of awareness as far as that's concerned, but we just didn't play well. It wasn't because we took anyone lightly or anything like that."
Playing Cincinnati, which owns the third-worst record in the Majors at 19-35, represented a chance for Colorado to catch up in the standings. Instead, the Rockies are a season-high 8 1/2 games out of first place in the National League West.
Part of the Rockies' problem has been their poor play at home. They are only 10-15 at Coors Field compared to 14-14 on the road with their ERA rising from 3.90 to 6.99 at their home ballpark.
"The most important thing for us is we've got to dominate at home," said right fielder Carlos Gonzalez, who hit a solo homer in the fourth inning. "We've got to win games here. That's what's going to give us a chance."
The Rockies will have a chance to redeem themselves in the next three days with a series in San Diego, which owns the fourth-worst record, before heading north to face another playoff contender in the 28-27 Dodgers.
"We don't want to lose a series," said right-hander Eddie Butler, who took the loss Thursday after allowing eight runs on 11 hits over four-plus innings. "It [stinks], but we're going to get back out there tomorrow. That's the good thing about baseball, we have another game to go out and win tomorrow. We're going to turn it around and make a good push."
Ben Weinrib is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.