The good news: the Rockies’ rookies are getting lots of major league playing time.
The bad news: the Rockies keep failing and their offense keeps flailing.
The latest example was their 3-0 loss to the Giants on Thursday afternoon at Coors Field, giving the Giants their first four-game sweep in Denver since July 15-17, 2019 (July 15 was a doubleheader).
With a 64-86 record, Colorado is 22 games under .500, tying its low-water mark of the season. Although the Rockies had 10 hits, they were 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position en route to being shut out for the 12th time this season.
Thursday marked just the second time in franchise history that the Rockies were shut out at home while getting 10 or more hits. It also happened on Aug. 13, 2005, vs. Washington.
Rockies shortstop prospect Ezequiel Tovar, officially called up from Triple-A Albuquerque on Thursday morning, did not play. He’s scheduled to make his major-league debut against San Diego on Friday night at Coors. But five other rookies did start: first baseman Michael Toglia, third baseman Elehuris Montero, shortstop Alan Trejo, left fielder Sean Bouchard and catcher Brian Serven.
“The main thing is to try to win today and win tomorrow, for the integrity of the season,” manager Bud Black said, noting that first baseman C.J. Cron (bruised hand), shortstop Jose Iglesias (bruised right thumb) and second baseman Brendan Rodgers (on the injured list with a sore hamstring) were unavailable.
“But it was necessitated that we play a bunch of young guys and we are going to play a bunch of young guys again tomorrow, and get them exposed,” Black continued. “This will help them and ultimately help us. We talked about it the last couple of days about finding out about these guys. … This gives us a snapshot of what they will look like in the big leagues.”
The Rockies’ best chance to score came in the second inning. They loaded the bases on singles by Toglia and Trejo, and a walk to Bouchard. But right-hander Tyler Rogers coaxed Serven into a groundball double play. Serven also grounded into an inning-ending double play in the seventh.
Veteran right-hander Jose Urena provided the Rockies with a solid start, allowing two runs over 5 2/3 innings. He struck out six and walked one. But with no offense supporting him, Urena’s record slipped to 3-7 even as he trimmed his ERA from 5.70 to 5.34.
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In the first inning, Giants center fielder Mike Yastrzemski ripped a one-out double to right off Urena and scored when left-handed hitter Joc Pederson beat the shift by rolling a single down the third-base line. Yastrzemski boosted the lead to 2-0 with a solo homer to right in the sixth inning.
San Francisco increased its lead to 3-0 in the seventh on LaMonte Wade Jr.’s RBI single off right-hander Justin Lawrence.
The Rockies open their final home series of the season against San Diego on Friday night. The Padres are battling for a National League wild-card spot.
Padres RHP Yu Darvish (15-7, 3.05 ERA) at Rockies RHP Ryan Feltner (3-8, 6.05)
6:10 p.m. Friday, Coors Field
TV: AT&T SportsNet
Radio: KOA 850 AM/94.1 FM
Feltner is coming off a late-season boost with a win over the Cubs at Wrigley Field, pitching 5 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on six hits, while walking one and fanning four. The rookie right-hander is facing the Padres for the third time this season. He has no record and a 3.72 ERA against them.
Last Thursday, Sean Manaea made his first start in nearly two weeks but was saddled with a loss against Arizona. He allowed two runs on three hits, walked none and struck out three across five innings. Two of the hits, however, were solo homers. He’s faced the Rockies three times in his career, all of the games coming at Coors Field, where he’s 1-2 with a 4.24 ERA and has served up three home runs.
Trending: Outfielder Yonathan Daza keeps rolling. He was 2-for-4 against the Giants on Thursday, marking his eighth multi-hit game since coming off the injured list on Sept. 6. He’s hitting .341 (29-for-85) across 23 games since Aug. 1.
At issue: Colorado has lost four consecutive home games after coming off just their second winning road trip of the season. Moreover, the Rockies have lost five straight at home overall since Sept. 11.
Saturday: Padres LHP Manaea (7-9, 5.18) at Rockies RHP Chad Kuhl (6-9, 5.48), 6:10 p.m., ATTRM
Sunday: Padres RHP Mike Clevinger (6-7, 4.23) at Rockies LHP Kyle Freeland (9-10, 4.38), 1:10 p.m., ATTRM
Monday: Off day