Indians 7, Rockies 6: Morales blows up again, middle of order lets Rockies offense down

Jason Miller

The Rockies were thoroughly unconvincing, despite scoring six runs, in their second straight loss in Cleveland.

Despite a four-run seventh inning that tied the game, the Rockies were unable to overcome another rough start from Franklin Morales and an unproductive day from the middle of the order in a 7-6 loss to the Cleveland Indians.

Morales did nothing to quell the calls for him to be removed from the starting rotation and probably created more of them in an outing in which he was just not very good at all, giving up six runs on eight hits in 5 1/3 innings, walking ttwo and striking out three. He gave up a three-run home run to Mike Aviles in the second and a two-run shot  to Lonnie Chisenall in the sixth, accounting for five of the six runs the Indians scored against him. Aviles and Chisenhall batted ninth and eighth in the Indians' order, respectively.

Morales put the Rockies in a quick 4-0 hole through two innings, but Colorado got back in the game in the top of the third when DJ LeMahieu doubled home Wilin Rosario, who had walked, and scored on Charlie Blackmon's single. Third baseman Michael Cuddyer followed Blackmon's single with one of his own, and a double steal put runners on second and third with one out for Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki, both of whom struck out to end the threat.

Gonzalez and Tulowitzki, along with Justin Morneau and Drew Stubbs who hit fifth and sixth in the Rockies order, combined to go 0-for-16 with eight strikeouts. Not going to win too many games when the guys hitting third through sixth in your lineup do that.

After Chisenhall's two-run home run in the sixth, the Rockies rallied in the top of the seventh. With one out, Corey Dickerson hit his sixth home run of the season to cut the Cleveland lead to 6-3, and that was followed by a pair of singles from Rosario and LeMahieu, putting two men on for Blackmon, who hit his 10th home run of the season on a hanging slider from Josh Outman to tie the game at six.

It was again the bottom of the Cleveland order that was the Rockies' demise in the bottom of the eighth, as pinch hitter Jason Kipnis was walked by Rex Brothers, was sacrificed to second by Chisenhall and scored on Aviles' single to right.

Despite Dickerson's leadoff walk, the Rockies were unable to tie the game in the ninth.

The Rockies will look to salvage a game against the Indians in tomorrow's season finale. First pitch is at 11:05 a.m. mountain time as Jhoulys Chacin will take on Josh Tomlin.

Source: FanGraphs

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