A year from now this game will be remembered for Nolan Arenado breaking the team's streak for games with consecutive hits, but for now, I will remember it for the loss that could have been a win. Injuries and bad luck in sweep games continues to plague the team.
It all starts with Justin Morneau not being available due to a stiff neck. A lineup already without its starting right fielder and starting catcher was just weak enough for an average performance from an average left handed starter to shut them down. Add to that a couple of errors and a good, but not great, start from Franklin Morales and the Rockies left a sweep on the table for the sixth time this year.
The top of the second had the Rockies with runners on first and second with no outs after back-to-back singles from Carlos Gonzalez and Drew Stubbs. The problem is that Colorado then hit the weak part of their lineup and a line out by Barnes (replacing Cuddyer) was followed by a nice nine-pitch walk by Jordan Pacheco (replacing Morneau) but then Mike McKenry grounded into a double play.
As often happens when you fail to capitalize on a golden opportunity, the other team takes advantage the following inning. A double by Alex Rios in the bottom of the second led to a run when Leonys Martin followed it up with a single. A balk, followed by a stolen base attempt coupled with a throwing error and, voila, a 2-0 lead for the Rangers.
The next opportunity came for the Rockies in the sixth when Troy Tulowitzki got his second walk of the game. After back-to-back strikeouts sandwiched around a pitching change, Brandon Barnes hit a double to right that gave the team two runners in scoring position. Again though, with the weak part of the lineup, Jordan Pacheco struck out to end the inning.
Deja vu, a squandered Rockies opportunity means the opponent will score. This time it was Prince Fielder who interrupted Morales' good start with a solo home run making the score 3-0.
The Rockies had yet another opportunity to score a run in the seventh when McKenry led the inning off with a double. DJ LeMahieu then had a productive out moving McKenry to third but he was erased on a outfield assist double play when Charlie Blackmon attempted a sacrifice fly but McKenry couldn't beat the throw home.
Stop me if you heard this before, but the Rangers again jumped on the Rockies misfortune. This time it was a double to lead off the bottom of the sevent by Robinsion Chirinos with him ending up on third due to an error by Charlie Blackmon. Unlike the Rockies, the Rangers had no problem moving their runner in but it came after Morales hit a batter and Tommy Kahnle gave up an RBI single, making the score 4-0.
But the Rangers were not done yet. A fly out led to both base runners advancing on Blackmon's second error of the inning and Colorado gave up another run on a wild pitch after intentionally walking Prince Fielder. The wild pitch causing first base to be open gave the Rockies the opportunity to intentionally walk Alex Rios and that paid off when Martin flew out to second and then Andrus grounded out to the pitcher, but the score now stood at 5-0.
Oh well, on to Cincinnati. Here's the game chart:
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