Perhaps someone should let the Rockies’ offense know that winter is officially over, so it’s OK to come out of hibernation.
The Rockies managed just five hits and struck out 10 times in a 5-2 loss to San Diego on Tuesday night at Coors Field, where they have begun their home slate 1-4.
“It’s a collective thing,” manager Bud Black said. “You see this a lot across the landscape of this game, where, when your offense is going (well), you have five, six, seven guys swinging the bat well. … We have maybe a couple.”
Playing without power-hitting leadoff man Charlie Blackmon, who was a late scratch because of tightness in his right quadriceps, and getting no production from its role players, Colorado’s offense was limited to a two-run homer by Trevor Story.
The part-time trio of Michael Tauchman, Pat Valaika and Ryan McMahon is a combined 1-for-45 with 19 strikeouts to begin the season. Tauchman started in center Tuesday night, while Valaika manned first base.
San Diego clinched the game in the seventh when Hunter Renfroe drilled reliever Bryan Shaw’s first-pitch, two-out fastball into the right-field seats for a three-run homer. They were the first runs surrendered by Shaw this season.
“(Renfroe) stayed on a pitch up and away,” said Shaw, who signed a three-year, $27 million deal to come to Colorado. “Yesterday, he tried to pull the ball. Tonight he just went with it. It happens. I’ll just have to adjust my approach next time.”
Tyler Anderson gave the Rockies the start they needed: two runs allowed on seven hits with eight strikeouts and only two walks.
” ‘Andy’ threw well,” Black said. “I like the fact that he used all of his pitches again, like he did last week. The fastball played, the changeup was good — down and away — and he got a number of punchouts with it.”
The left-hander’s biggest pitch of the game arrived in the fifth. A leadoff, first-pitch homer by Austin Hedges tied the game 2-2, and then the Padres had two on after a single by Jose Pirela and a walk to Eric Hosmer. On a 1-2 count, Anderson pulled the string on a gorgeous 81 mph changeup to strike out Renfroe.
“Other than two walks, my changeup was in the zone tonight. So it was better tonight,” Anderson said.
The Rockies began the evening in optimistic fashion. Anderson struck out three in the first inning, though he did walk Hosmer. Then Story, batting cleanup, lofted his two-run, pop-fly homer to right off starter Joey Lucchesi to give Colorado the early lead.
Lucchesi, a rookie left-hander, pitched six strong innings, allowing four hits, striking out eight and walking one. He became just the seventh pitcher in Padres history to
allow zero earned runs while pitching at least six innings at Coors Field.