Defeating a good team is difficult but giving a good team extra chances to score makes the prospects of winning extremely challenging. The Colorado Rockies learned that lesson the hard way on Sunday afternoon against the team with the best current winning percentage in the Majors.
The combination of two fielding errors, defensive misplays and some ill-timed walks proved costly as Colorado dropped a 7-3 decision to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the finale of a four-game series at Coors Field.
Rockies outfielder Randal Grichuk and catcher Brian Serven had big offensive days against the Dodgers
Randal Grichuk continued his recent tear at the plate with a pair of hits and two RBI while Brian Serven socked his fourth homer of the season to lead the way offensively for the Rox (46-57), who dropped three of the four contests against Los Angeles (68-33).
Serven led off the bottom of the third with his homer and Grichuk followed later in the inning with a two-run single to put Colorado in front, 3-2.
But, with German Márquez (6-9) on the mound for the Rockies, the game would turn in the top of the fourth inning, thanks to Colorado’s ability to execute.
Márquez struck out Will Smith to open the fourth then issued his first walk of the game to Jake Lamb. Gavin Lux then bounced a possible double play grounder to Rockies second baseman Brendan Rodgers.
But Rodgers could not cleanly field the grounder and was only able to get Lux out at first as Lamb moved to second base.
“You would like to think that you can turn a double play. Lux is pretty fast,” Black said of the potential inning-ending grounder.
“Whether he would have beat it on the back end, I’m not sure. But you got to at least catch and field it cleanly and make the play to second to give yourself a chance.”
Max Muncy then won a long at-bat with Márquez drawing the righthander’s second walk of the inning.
Cody Bellinger promptly lined a double to right field to drive in Lamb, and when Grichuk misplayed the hit for an error, it allowed Muncy to score all the way from first as Los Angeles took the lead for good at 4-3.
Grichuk’s error was the second of the contest for the Rox after left fielder Kris Bryant collected a throwing error in the first inning. (Rodgers was not charged an error on the Lux grounder)
“There was a couple of miscues today,” Colorado Manager Bud Black said in his post-game press conference. “Some uncharacteristic things happened, which hasn’t been the norm.”
The two errors on Sunday gave the Rockies seven in the Dodgers series, marking the second time this season that the Rox have committed seven errors in a four-game set (also April 25-28 at Philadelphia).
The fielding lapses against Los Angeles came after Colorado had committed only five errors in a 26-game stretch that started on June 23.
Márquez allowed six hits and five runs (four earned) with four strikeouts along with his two fourth-inning walks in a six-inning starting stint.
“For me, we have to compete with this team,” he said about playing against the Dodgers. “We have to make the little things. They are one of the best teams in baseball. I feel like we have to compete against them.”
Besides the loss, Rockies left fielder Kris Bryant was removed from the game in the sixth inning with what was called “left foot soreness.”
“Aggravated his foot,” Black said about Bryant’s departure from the game. “Got him out of there. He was sore. It’s going to be bothersome moving forward until this resolves itself.”
With the homestand complete, Colorado now departs on a seven-day, eight-game road trip that begins Monday night with the first of a five-game series with San Diego. Antonio Senzatela (3-5, 4.90 earned run average) is the scheduled starter for the Rox while Mike Clevinger (2-3, 3.38) is slated to get the starting nod for the Padres.