The Colorado Rockies suffered a 3-0 loss Wednesday afternoon to the San Diego Padres at Petco Park to end a brief three-game road swing.
The setback, the fifth straight for the Rox (15-29), was the team’s seventh consecutive defeat on the road (four losses have been by shutout) and dropped the club’s overall mark away from home to 2-17.
As one might imagine, the two road wins for the Colorado Rockies are the fewest in the Major Leagues. The Chicago Cubs, with six victories in 18 road games, have the next fewest.
For Colorado Rockies fans, the three-game sweep against the Padres was not pretty from an offensive point of view. The Rox were blanked twice (7-0 on Monday and 3-0 on Wednesday) and tallied just one run in 28 innings.
That lone run came in a 2-1, 10-inning loss Tuesday night.
For the three-game series, Colorado hitters whiffed a total of 44 times—12 in the series opener Monday, followed by a season-high 18 in the extra-inning loss Tuesday, and 14 more in the series finale Wednesday.
By comparison, in the three games with the Padres, the Rockies managed 12 total hits—4 on Monday, 6 on Tuesday and 2 on Wednesday.
One of the two hits for the team on Wednesday was by starting pitcher Chi Chi Gonzalez who, by the way, was the only player in the Rox starting lineup that did not have a strikeout.
While Colorado owns a 13-12 mark at Coors Field this season, the club has not found a way to win consistently on the road.
With nearly 75 percent of the team’s 81-game road schedule yet to be played, are there any indications that lead one to think the Rockies can clear the hurdle that has prevented Colorado from being successful away from Coors Field?
Here are 3 positive signs that might bode well for the Rockies in the future
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1. Starting pitching on the road is beginning to improve
Somewhat obscured in the team’s lack of hitting and run production in the road series with the Padres was two solid pitching performances by Rox starters. On Tuesday, Austin Gomber allowed only five hits and one earned run in six innings with one walk and seven strikeouts in a no-decision.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Gonzalez permitted just four hits and two earned runs with one walk and six strikeouts in a tough-luck loss. The performances by both Gomber and Gonzalez were worthy of victories for each had either received even modest run support
The outings on the mound from the duo helped lower the earned run average for Rox starting pitchers on the road this season but that number still stands at 6.63 (88.2 IP, 65 ER).
2. Hitting resurgence by Josh Fuentes
Although Fuentes saw his seven-game hitting streak end Wednesday (one game shy of his career-best), the versatile infielder has seen his batting average rocket from .191 to .254 after going 14-for-32 (.438) during a stretch that has included seven extra-base hits (including two home runs) and 14 runs batted in.
With his recent hot bat, he was named this week as the National League Player of the Week.
3. Return of C.J. Cron to the lineup
Cron who missed action recently due to a lower back strain returned to the lineup on Saturday and had an immediate impact. The first baseman went 3-for-4 at the plate to amass half of his team’s hits in the 10-inning loss. He is now hitting .300 on the season and has an OPS of .897. After a slow start, Cron has hit .380 (27-71) since mid-April with three doubles, five home runs,14 RBIs, and nine walks in his last 22 games.
Following the San Diego series, Colorado returns home for a quick three-game set against the Arizona Diamondbacks beginning Friday before embarking on a seven-game road swing that will take the Rox to New York to meet the Mets (four games) before going to Pittsburgh (three games).
Will the Rockies end their dismal road record on their next journey outside Colorado? We’ll see.