Thanks to an offensive outburst on Thursday afternoon, the Colorado Rockies salvaged a split with the San Francisco Giants in their weather-shortened two-game series at chilly Coors Field.
Nolan Arenado and Mark Reynolds knocked back-to-back home runs in the top of the first inning as the snow swirled around downtown Denver, helping the Colorado Rockies jump out to a 7-0 lead. However, it was a sixth-inning rally and an eighth-inning RBI single from Trevor Story that finally pushed the Rockies to a 12-11 victory and upped their record to 17-20 on the season.
Colorado’s offense started quickly on Thursday but needed even more as the game wore on because Rockies pitching once again couldn’t hold a lead or keep the other team from scoring by hitting home runs.
The Rockies are now on a historic pace for giving up runs. They have now allowed four or more runs in 15 consecutive games. That is tied for the longest streak in franchise history, matching a run of 15 straight contests from June 18 to July 4, 2001.
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That includes 14 runs surrendered to the Giants on Tuesday and 26 combined runs at the hands of the Arizona Diamondbacks in the three-game series just prior to San Francisco coming to town. Counting Thursday, that’s 51 runs in the last five games surrendered.
Another streak that must end has to do with the long ball. Colorado’s starters have now given up a home run in each of their last 13 outings. That streak was extended on Thursday when Kyle Freeland gave up a two-run homer to Tyler Austin in the top of the third. Austin would victimize the Rockies again in the sixth with a three-run shot against Bryan Shaw that tied the contest at 8.
Freeland would give up five runs (three earned) in 4.1 innings of work, lowering his ERA slightly from 5.90 to 5.84.
For Colorado manager Bud Black, the streaks begin and end with the rotation and how they perform.
"“Our starters have to pitch better, I know that,” Black said matter-of-factly. “The last turn through the rotation haven’t been very good. Going back, we didn’t pitch great in Milwaukee.“For us, long-term, these guys have to be consistently solid to keep us in games. That’s what it boils down to. When you’re not on, there’s a skill to not being bad. You sort of have to hang in there.”"
German Márquez is scheduled to make the start on Friday night when the San Diego Padres come to town to start a three-game series. He is 1-1 with a 5.87 ERA in four home starts so far this season. Can he break the pair of streaks? We’ll find out Friday at 20th and Blake.