Pomeranz effective but Rockies bats held in check

Pomeranz effective but Rockies bats held in check

Pomeranz effective but Rockies bats held in check
DENVER -- When the Rockies lost two of three to Cincinnati in late May, they said it sparked the team to a turnaround, motivating them to win six of their next seven and give them hope of clawing back into the Wild Card race.

Two months later, Friday's 3-0 loss to the Reds -- the Rockies' seventh in their past nine games -- provided a different perspective for a club on pace to lose 100 games for the first time in franchise history: When the offense is rolling, the pitching staff gives up runs galore. And when the pitching is good, the bats take too long to awaken.

Friday night at Coors Field was a case of the latter. Rockies starter Drew Pomeranz got through the first three innings unscathed before giving up two runs in the fourth on Ryan Ludwick's double and Todd Frazier's sacrifice fly.

"Unfortunately we couldn't do anything offensively tonight," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. "I feel like we pitched well enough to win."

Pomeranz (1-6) was pulled with one out in the sixth after consecutive singles. Adam Ottavino tossed two wild pitches, the first of which allowed the Reds to advance their runners to second and third, and the second gave Ludwick an easy path home from third.

"We gave them a run they didn't need to have there," said Tracy, who suggested that while both were called wild pitches, one could have been ruled a passed ball on catcher Wilin Rosario. "But there was no miscommunication at all there."

The Rockies didn't get a man on base until the fourth inning when Carlos Gonzalez singled with two outs off Reds starter Bronson Arroyo. Michael Cuddyer followed with a groundout to shortstop.

"[Arroyo] kept us off balance all night," said third baseman Jordan Pacheco, who had two hits.

Arroyo (6-6) was dominant in 6 2/3 innings, scattering six hits and striking out three.

"Bronson did what Bronson Arroyo does," Tracy said. "He had a real good mix of his pitches. Pitched around his fastball and used his slider, changeup and curveball. He did a very good job going back and forth with us."

Had he felt better, Arroyo might have been able to pitch past the seventh.

"In this atmosphere, a couple times I had to run hard," Arroyo said. "I felt like I was getting the shakes a little bit."

With runners on second and third and one out in the bottom of the fifth inning, manager Jim Tracy allowed Pomeranz to hit instead of sending up a pinch-hitter. Andrew Brown had appeared in the on-deck circle with Josh Rutledge, the No. 8 hitter, at the plate, but Tracy had no intention to actually have Brown hit.

"We certainly wanted Rutledge to be pitched to and not pitched around," he said.

Pomeranz grounded out to first base to end the inning and extinguish what would prove to be the Rockies' best scoring opportunity.

"The way Pomeranz was throwing, the inning was set up for him to continue that," Tracy said.

Pomeranz struck out Jay Bruce, but Ludwick and Scott Rolen teamed up for back-to-back singles.

Marco Scutaro -- who was traded to the Giants after the game -- smacked a one-out double in the eighth inning but Gonzalez and Cuddyer each followed with groundouts.

"We had a couple situations where we missed opportunities," Tracy said.

Reds closer Aroldis Chapman struck out the side in the ninth inning to earn his 20th save of the season. It was the fourth time the Rockies have been shut out at home.

Trey Scott is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.