Two home runs from Ryan McMahon. A home run and a double from Nolan Arenado. Four walks from new leadoff hitter Raimel Tapia. A 4-for-5 day from Sam Hilliard, including a ninth-inning triple.
Fourteen hits in all as the Rockies’ offense finally awoke from hibernation.
All was good at Coors Field, right? Not exactly.
The Rockies lost, 10-8, to the Astros on Thursday afternoon because German Marquez, their No. 1 starter, picked a bad day to have an off day.
Colorado lost for the ninth time in its last 11 games and sits one game above .500 with a 13-12 record.
“I do think guys are upset, because you’re never going to be happy losing nine out of 11,” said Arenado, who took a step toward working out his slump with his seventh homer of the season. “We need to continue to fight and continue to battle. There’s not a whole lot left to say. We just have to play better baseball.
“Our pitchers are pitching good and then we don’t score runs. And then today we scored runs and kind of tripped on the bump. So, collectively, we have to put it together a little bit better.”
The Astros, an American League powerhouse, have beaten the Rockies nine straight times, including four times this week. Friday night in Los Angeles, the Rockies open a three-game series against the Dodgers, who entered Thursday’s play with an 18-8 record, best in the majors. Colorado went 4-15 against the Dodgers last season, including a 1-8 mark in L.A.
McMahon, however, disagrees that the Rockies are lacking the mentality to play with the “big boys.”
“I don’t know if there is really anything we’re lacking,” he said. “We’ve just need to get on the same page.”
The Astros, winners of eight straight, shelled Marquez, scoring 10 runs in five innings. The back-breaker was a three-run home run by Abraham Toro in the fifth. It was only the second time in his career that Marquez allowed double digits in runs. He was raked for 11 runs by the Giants on July 15, 2019, in just 2 2/3 innings.
“I felt good, my body felt good,” Marquez said. “My delivery just wasn’t good. Those kinds of days (happen). I just have to keep the ball down. It wasn’t like that today. But I have to keep moving forward.”
Marquez’s subpar performance was something of a shocker given that he entered the game with a 2.25 ERA having allowed two or fewer earned runs in each of his first five starts this season.
Now the Rockies have to find a way to get out of their losing spiral. When they opened the 60-game season 11-3, qualifying as one of eight National League playoff teams almost seemed like a certainty. Not anymore.
“We are not matching up, for sure,” manager Bud Black said. “We’ve got to sync up the pitching when we hit. The last week or so it hasn’t been that way.”
The 2020 Rockies say there are playoff contenders, but against the Dodgers and the Astros, both World Series participants in two of the last three seasons, the Rockies have been pretenders. After losing four straight this week to the Astros, the Rockies now head to Los Angeles for a three-game series beginning Friday. A closer look:
Rockies vs. Astros
* Lost nine straight to Houston since Aug. 15
* Are 3-17 vs. the Astros since Houston’s move to the AL in 2013
Rockies vs. Dodgers
* Have never won an NL West title while Dodgers have won seven straight (18 overall)
* Were 4-15 against the Dodgers in 2019, including 1-8 in L.A.