The Rockies have made a habit of playing close games on the road and Wednesday night was another one, as Colorado dropped lost a 4-2 decision to the San Diego Padres. The two-run deficit must have seemed like a rout to the Rockies, who have played 10 road games this year and eight of them have been decided by just one run.
Pitching was the difference for the Padres on Wednesday night. Andrew Cashner’s last outing was a one-hit shutout against the Detroit Tigers last week, and he pitched true to form against the Rockies at Petco Park. Cashner allowed two runs, one unearned, over 7.1 innings even though Colorado collected 9 base hits against him. Efficiency was the theme for the 27-year old right-hander, as 73 of his 97 pitches went for strikes.
Early on it looked like it might be the Rockies night. Justin Morneau sent the first pitch he saw from Cashner over the fence in the second inning to give his team a 1-0 lead. Morneau was perfect at the plate in three at-bats and had all of Colorado’s RBI, his second coming on a sacrifice fly in the eighth. He raised his batting average to .354. As a team, the Rockies had 10 hits, and Morneau was the only one with more than one.
The night was not bad for Rockies starter Jorge De La Rosa either. He had been demoted to the bullpen because of his poor start this year, but was given another starting nod when Brett Anderson went on the DL after suffering a broken finger in San Francisco over the weekend. De La Rosa pitched six innings, giving up two earned runs on seven hits. The big damage was done by the Padres in the fifth inning when Alexi Amarista scored on a passed ball by catcher Jordan Pacheco and Chris Denorfia drove in Everth Cabrera with a double to deep right field.
For the Rockies, another close loss on the road means they have to win on Thursday to salvage a split of their four-game series with the Padres. Franklin Morales will go to the mound for the Rockies. He is 0-1 this season with a whopping 6.39 ERA. In his last start he allowed the White Sox six runs in six innings of work at Coors Field. The Padres will counter with right-hander Ian Kennedy (1-2, 4.24 ERA).
If there is anything positive about the loss to the Padres on Wednesday, the Rox can look at the fact that eight different players had at least one hit in the game. Colorado still leads the league in batting average, hitting .295 as a team.
On Friday the Rockies return home where, unlike the road, close games are not the trend. In six games at Coors Field so far this season, the team has won by as many as six, and lost by as much as 12. After Thursday’s finale at San Diego, they will start a six game home-stand, playing three-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies and then the San Francisco Giants.
Commentary by Chuck Podhaisky
Guardian Liberty Voice Sports Writer covering the Colorado Rockies