New closer, same result for Colorado

New closer, same result for Colorado

ARLINGTON -- A new closer led to the same result for the Rockies on Wednesday night, but they also expressed the same resolve.

"We've got to do our job better, but I have confidence we will," said Adam Ottavino, who blew his first opportunity when he yielded Adrian Beltre's go-ahead two-run single in the eighth inning of a 5-4 loss to the Rangers. "We're not this bad.

"As bad as it was today, we'll get past it."

Four of the last six games have seen former closer, rookie Carlos Estevez, blow two saves, righty reliever Scott Oberg blow another and Ottavino -- who had previously held opposing righties to a .115 average -- miss his chance after the Rockies walked the bases loaded so he could face Beltre. Colorado now has three straight blown saves against Texas.

Despite the loss, the Rockies ended the night where they began, five games out of the second National League Wild Card berth.

The bullpen performed well out of the All-Star break, when the team surged, and the hope is that the relievers will regain their form.

Not only has there been upheaval in the ninth inning, but original closer Jake McGee has struggled since returning from an early knee injury, and veteran free-agent signees Jason Motte (inflammation in right rotator cuff) and Chad Qualls (colitis) are on the disabled list.

But none of this would be an issue if the other relievers were performing well.

On Wednesday night, a bullpen in need of help didn't need Mark Reynolds' one-out fielding error with Boone Logan on the mound. Logan then hit Shin-Soo Choo, and with one out, manager Walt Weiss intentionally walked Carlos Beltran to load the bases for the dangerous Beltre, whose game-winner gave him five hits and six RBIs in three games against the Rockies.

"Heck, I wish it wasn't Beltre," Weiss said. "But I'd take Otto against just about any right-handed hitter in the league. He's one of the best right-handed relievers against right-handed hitters in the National League. At that point I feel like that's our best shot."

CarGo praises Prince: Gonzalez watched with interest as Rangers veteran Prince Fielder announced on Wednesday that he can no longer play after undergoing two surgeries on his neck.

"I got to play against him when he was in the National League [with Milwaukee], and he was one of those guys that you knew was going to be in the lineup every day," said Gonzalez, who is nursing an injured left ankle and hopes to avoid going on the disabled list. "He was a great player, and it's sad to see him go like that.

"I was watching his speech, seeing his kids. It was tough. But I'm sure some way, somehow, he's going to be involved in baseball. He loves the game, and he's been in the game since he was a little kid."

Butler pushing: In his last two games at Triple-A Albuquerque, right-hander Eddie Butler is 2-0 with a 1.76 ERA and .137 batting average against, and he could be a factor for the Rockies late in the season.

"He's done a nice job of being a little bit more consistent through his starts here, and he's on the [40-man] roster, so he's part of the depth -- it's nice to see him pitching like we believe he can and know he can," general manager Jeff Bridich said.

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for 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.