Rockies power up but come up short in slugfest

Rockies power up but come up short in slugfest

Rockies power up but come up short in slugfest
DENVER -- The Rockies found a couple more hits and converted them into a couple more runs against the D-backs on Saturday night, but ultimately the result was the same, with the Rockies falling, 8-7, in a nail-biter after losing a lopsided laugher the night before.

With much improved pitching in the second matchup of a four-game series at Coors Field, the game had a decidedly different feel to it. The Rockies led in the middle innings, but couldn't battle all the way back from Arizona's five-run sixth as the D-backs retired eight straight Rockies to end the game and hand Colorado its eighth consecutive loss and its 15th in the last 17 games.

"We played offense last night and tonight the way you'd like to see a team function collectively," manager Jim Tracy said. "There has to come a time where seven runs and 14 hits is enough."

The Rockies were done in by a five-run sixth at the hands of hybrid reliever Carlos Torres, but they had five pitchers put up zeros, keeping them competitive throughout the game as the lead went back and forth. Colorado knocked D-backs starter Patrick Corbin out of the game after three innings, and although Rockies starter Jhoulys Chacin lasted only four due to an elevated pitch count, he left with the lead.

"I started throwing strikes in the first inning," Chacin said, trying to be economical with the Rockies' 75-pitch limit for starters. "They just got me. They started swinging and hitting [to] the gap. They hit it where nobody was."

All the damage against Chacin came in the first frame. Adam Eaton drove a leadoff triple to deep center field then came home on a grounder by Aaron Hill to short in the next at-bat. Justin Upton doubled to right and Paul Goldschmidt plated him with a two-base knock off the right-field wall. Jason Kubel's run-scoring single to center capped the rally and gave the D-backs a 3-0 lead before the Rockies came to the plate.

"It was all fastballs they hit in the first inning," Chacin said. "Three hitters, Goldschmidt, Kubel, and [Chris] Johnson hit first-pitch fastballs. After that I started mixing in my changeup and slider. They were trying to get deep in the counts, and I threw too many pitches in four innings."

Colorado staged a two-out rally in the bottom of the inning as Jordan Pacheco singled to short and Wilin Rosario singled to right, but Chris Nelson stranded them when he struck out to end the inning.

As Chacin settled down, Corbin unraveled, yielding a four-run rally in the second that saw the Rockies claim the lead. Andrew Brown kicked it off with a monster solo shot 434 feet to the left-field concourse that bounced out of the park and into the players' parking lot. DJ LeMahieu legged out a three-bagger to the right-center alley, and Chacin singled through the middle to bring him home. Dexter Fowler reached on a bunt single and Pacheco doubled into the left-field corner to complete the team cycle in the inning, but he was caught at third trying to get the extra base.

"The kids out there playing, it's another terrific effort," Tracy said of his five-rookie lineup. "It's a very difficult chore to ask these guys to keep coming back two or three times [a game]."

The Rockies rookies combined for 10 hits, with three coming from Rookie of the Year candidate Rosario, who has three hits in three straight games. His second hit was a 418-foot home run to left for his 26th of the season. He passed Todd Helton's franchise mark of 25 rookie home runs, setting the record on the list of Rockies greats that includes Troy Tulowitzki (24 rookie homers).

"I feel like I can be on the list with those guys," Rosario said. "When you put Helton and Tulo [on the list], you need to put my name [on] too. It's impressive. The emotion I have right now is something crazy -- I can't explain."

Chacin's line closed with three runs on seven hits and two walks in four innings, and though he'd settled down nicely posting three consecutive zeros on the scoreboard and retiring the last four hitters in succession, his 84 pitches were beyond the Rockies' cap for starters.

Chacin's early departure allowed the D-backs to reclaim the lead on Hill's sixth-inning, bases-loaded triple to center that a diving Fowler missed by inches. Among Torres' three walks in the inning was one to Eaton, who was trying to bunt. The D-backs loaded the bases again in the inning before adding two more on Jason Kubel's sacrifice fly and Chris Johnson's single, making it 8-5.

"We got beat tonight because of the sixth inning," Tracy said. "We walked four guys. We walked two to load the bases and after the Hill triple we walked two more to reload the bases. Loading the bases twice on four walks, more times than not, that's going to cost you at the Major League level."

Colorado walked seven on the night while Arizona walked none. Of the Rockies seven walks, three came around to score.

"If they're just going to give you free bases, we're going to keep putting up good at-bats and put ourselves in situations with guys in scoring position," Kubel said. "We've got to take advantage of all that."

Colorado climbed back within a run, adding one in the sixth when Tyler Colvin singled to center, advanced to second on a wild pitch, and came home on pinch-hitter Matt McBride's two-out single to center.

They added another in the seventh after Josh Rutledge beat out an infield single to open the inning followed by Pacheco's third hit of the night, a single over short, before Rosario grounded into a double play, scoring Rutledge but starting a string of nine consecutive outs from eight straight batters to end the game.

Owen Perkins is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.