Franklin Morales showed up to Salt River Fields at Talking Stick today.
That's neither a good thing or a bad thing, it just is what it is. Morales, who has always shown flashes of brilliance mixed with frustratingly inconsistent command, did just that again on Monday in the Rockies' 5-0 loss to the Padres in Cactus League action.
Morales, who entered the game having thrown five scoreless innings with six strikeouts across two starts, retired the first five batters of the game before surrendering four consecutive hits in San Diego's three-run second inning. The first three of those were extra-base hits, including a two-run homer off the bat of utility infielder Ryan Jackson. Morales also uncorked a wild pitch during the Padres' two-out rally, allowing the third run to score.
Morales ultimately lasted only 2⅓ innings, giving up three runs on five hits while striking out three.
The good news, aside from the fact that Morales did not issue a walk, is that the bullpen pitched pretty well. Greg Burke immediately induced a double-play grounder to get Morales and the Rockies off the hook in the third, and Tommy Kahnle, Tyler Matzek, Matt Belisle and Wilton Lopez each turned in a scoreless inning of impressive work to follow.
Brooks Brown allowed a pair of runs on three doubles in the eighth before Yohan Flande's scoreless ninth.
The Rockies' offense managed to rack up nine hits, four of which were doubles, but went 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position. Nolan Arenado provided two of those two-baggers while Carlos Gonzalez added a pair of hits including a double, but Troy Tulowitzki grounded out three times with RISP. Michael Cuddyer and Wilin Rosario both went 0-for-3, as well, while Justin Morneau went hitless in two plate appearances in his return to the lineup.
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