Chatwood's solid start key to Rockies ending skid

Chatwood's solid start key to Rockies ending skid

Chatwood's solid start key to Rockies ending skid
DENVER -- The Rockies finally put up a stop sign on their road toward the worst season in franchise history.

Strong pitching from starter Tyler Chatwood and a late home run from Andrew Brown helped the Rockies beat the D-backs, 4-2, on Monday night to end their season-worst losing streak at nine games at Coors Field before 22,227.

"I was just trying to get a win going and get off that losing streak," said Chatwood (5-5), who went 5 2/3 innings to win for the first time since Aug. 14. "You never want to go through that as a team."

The Rockies (59-94) remained one loss from matching the most losses in any of their 20 seasons. They dropped 95 in 1993, their inaugural year, and 2005. By ending their losing streak, the Rockies avoided their first double-figures losing streak since April 24-May 7, 2005.

The Rockies avoided being swept by the D-backs (77-76). On Tuesday, the Rockies will face the Cubs in the opener of their final home series of the year. The Rockies and Cubs are tied for the second-worst record in the Majors, with the Astros safely on the bottom.

With the Rockies finishing the year with 20 games in as many days, a win in a well-pitched game makes the crawl to the finish seem not as long.

No lead was safe during the skid, but on Monday the Rockies held a one-run advantage -- gained on DJ LeMahieu's RBI single in the fourth against Trevor Cahill (12-12) -- until the bottom of the eighth, when Brown hit his fourth home run of the season.

Chatwood held the D-backs to nothing more than Jason Kubel's two-run homer in the fourth. He limited the D-backs to three hits and struck out three, against two walks. Chatwood was backed by a couple of standout fielding plays from shortstop Josh Rutledge.

"The thing that was so impressive tonight was the way that [Chatwood] pounded the ball into the strike zone, and pounded it at 94, 95 mph, down in the strike zone, and did it the entire time he was out there," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. "His ball-strike ratio was terrific [86 pitches, 52 strikes], which is why he got as far into the game as he got."

Chatwood, who kept a brisk pace while throwing to utilityman Jordan Pacheco behind the plate, mixed finesse and power, according to Kubel, who improved his season homer total to 30.

"He was throwing hard first of all and keeping it somewhat elevated some of the time, but not all the time," Kubel said. "It makes it kind of hard to catch up to it. After that first round, he started going to more breaking stuff and kind of kept us a little off balance. He did a nice job tonight."

Left-handed reliever Josh Outman replaced Chatwood with two on and two out in the sixth, striking out Kubel. Guillermo Moscoso followed with 1 2/3 spotless innings. Rafael Betancourt pitched out of a two-out, two-on situation by forcing a John McDonald fly ball to earn his 30th save.

"Hats off to them for the way we continue to play and the effort they continue to give," Tracy said. "When you get effective starting pitching -- and tonight, 17 outs worth -- we can be a very effective ballclub."

Thomas Harding is a reporter for Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.