While the final day was not what anyone in purple wanted, it was still a road trip to remember for the Colorado Rockies.
The Rox ended their 10-day, nine-game road journey Sunday afternoon with a 3-0 loss to the Washington Nationals in the final contest of a three-game series.
Despite the loss, Colorado (70-79) fashioned a season-best 7-2 record on the road swing, taking three of four games from Philadelphia, sweeping a pair of games from Atlanta, and nabbing two of three contests from Washington.
Sunday’s loss snapped a five-game road winning streak, the Rockies’ longest winning streak away from home this season. The five straight victories also matched the team’s overall season high for consecutive wins.
One day after recording a 6-0 shutout victory of the Nationals (61-88), Colorado’s sixth shutout of the year, the Rox were blanked for the 16th time in 2021, but the first time since a 7-0 loss at San Francisco on Aug. 12.
The Rockies managed five hits Sunday (Trevor Story and Charlie Blackmon notched two apiece, with both Blackmon’s hits being doubles) and collected five walks off six Washington pitchers to create scoring opportunities throughout the game.
But the Rox left a pair of baserunners stranded in both the fifth and eighth innings and left the bases loaded in the sixth to drop the road finale.
Jon Gray (8-11) took the loss for Colorado, allowing two runs on just three hits in four innings on the mound. The veteran right-hander has now won just one of his last eight starts (1-5 record with two no decisions) while the 11 losses are the most for Gray in a season.
The road series win against the Nats was the Rockies’ fourth of the season. The 7-2 record on the trip marked the first time in four years that Colorado has won seven games on a road trip of at least nine games (last time was in May 2017).
Here are 3 things to like from the Colorado Rockies’ successful road trip
1. Rox win close contests: Five of Colorado’s seven wins were by one run, including the first four victories on the trip. Colorado is now 24-22 on the season in one-run contests.
2. New faces help contribute to road success: Several new faces who dotted lineups for the Rockies in the last nine games made key contributions.
Colton Welker, who was recalled from Triple-A on September 8, had his first Major League hit, run batted in and multi-hit game in his first career start September 9 at Philadelphia. Welker finished with four hits and five runs scored on the road trip. Ashton Goudeau, recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque on September 3, recorded his first Major League victory in relief September 12 at Philadelphia. Jordan Sheffield, reinstated from the injured list September 4, threw his fifth scoreless, one-hit inning of relief on Sunday.
"“Experience is the best teacher you can have,” manager Bud Black told media, including Rox Pile, after Sunday’s game about the play of the new additions to the Rockies roster.“You can get tremendous coaching. You can get a lot of feedback through data and scouting reports. But until you are between the lines, that is always the best teacher. I am excited for these guys to go through this experience because they will be better off for it in the long run.”"
3. Season turnaround on the road continues: After a 6-31 road start to the season, the Rockies have now won eight of their last 10 and 11 of their last 17 games away from Coors Field. Colorado is 16-18 on the road since the All-Star break.
After a day off from acton Monday, Colorado returns to Denver for its final homestand of the season, facing a pair of National League West rivals in the course of nine games (three vs. Los Angeles Dodgers, three vs. San Francisco, three vs. Washington).
The homestand at Coors Field begins at 6:40 p.m. (Mountain time) Tuesday against the defending World Series champion Dodgers. Antonio Senzatela (4-9, 4.06 ERA) is scheduled to take the mound for Colorado while Julio Urias (18-3, 2.99 ERA) is slated to start for Los Angeles.