Back-to-back 4-3 losses to the 47-85 Rangers hurts.
What’s worse? That loss not only ensures a losing road trip and a lost series against Texas, but Tuesday’s defeat is number 50 away from Coors Field this year. The Rockies are now 43-22 at home and 17-50 away from home.
The latest loss came thanks to former Rockie Jordan Lyles holding the Rockies to six hits. Sure, three of those were homers, but it wasn’t enough. Austin Gomber is still struggling with control issues and a high walk count. When he the game in the fifth inning, the Rockies were down 4-1. The Rockies tried to come back, but for the second straight night, the Rangers held on.
Lyles dominates former squad
For six innings, Jordan Lyles dominated the Rockies. Outside of a Sam Hilliard solo homer in the third, Lyles had his former team’s number. Staring in the third inning, Lyles retired 12 straight Rockies, which lasted all the way into the seventh when C.J. Cron and Ryan McMahon hit their homers. After striking out Elias Díaz, Lyles allowed a sneaky bunt to Garrett Hampson and that ended his night. Lyles totaled seven strikeouts, including three in a row looking vs. Díaz, Hampson, and Hilliard in the fifth inning. He also induced eight groundouts.
Three homers, but only six hits
Sam Hilliard got the Rockies on the board in the third in his hometown with family in attendance at Globe Life Field. With the Rockies down 1-0, Hilliard hit a shot to left for his ninth homer of the year.
Hometown Homer for Sam Hilliard pic.twitter.com/qPvQbjHoiF— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) September 1, 2021
In the seventh, the Rockies came back to life briefly with solo shots from Cron and McMahon. Cron’s homer to right was not only his 25th of the season, but his 11th of the month of August. He also added a single in the game, accounting for one third of the Rockies hits. Cron ends the month slashing .387/.463/.828 with 11 homers, 34 RBI, and 13 walks. McMahon followed with another homer to right field for his 20th HR of the year. McMahon hit four homers in August, which was the same he hit in June and July combined.
The homers were great, but for the second straight night, they were not enough. The biggest reason: they were all solo shots. The Rockies went 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position and left five runners on base. Raimel Tapia also got thrown out stealing just after Trevor Story struck out in the first inning, negating another baserunner.
Gomber the walker
What has happened to Austin Gomber? He’s got some control issues that manifested in a nasty way on Tuesday night, resulting in six walks in 4 1/3 innings. Three of those walks came in the third inning. Amazingly, the Rangers only scored one run in third. Adolis García, who drew three walks from Gomber, scored twice after those walks. The first was in the third and then again in the fifth. Gomber (9-9) exited the game shortly after, just after giving up a single to Nathaniel Lowe. Yency Almonte entered and forced two ground outs, but one allowed García to score. Gomber ended the game giving up four runs on four hits, including solo homers by Lowe and Leody Taveras (the cousin of former Rockie Willy Taveras), with six walks, and two strikeouts. Gomber never had a three-up, three-down inning.
Before going on the IL in June, Gomber walked 23 batters in 78 1/3 innings through his first 15 starts. In his eight starts since returning to the rotation on July 21, he’s walked 18 opponents in 37 innings.
Bullpen shows up
Want some good news? The Rockies bullpen held it down on Tuesday, allowing zero runs in 3 2/3 innings. Entering the game with runners on the corners and only one out, Almonte got two grounders to get out of it with only one run getting in, but it was charged to Gomber. Almonte didn’t allow a run and struck out two, even though he did walk one. Tyler Kinley pitched a scoreless seventh with two strikeouts. Daniel Bard entered in the eighth and immediately gave up a single to Nick Solak. He bounced back to strike out Jonah Heim and Díaz popped up to throw out Solak, who was trying to steal second. It went from trouble to two outs. Bard finished his inning by getting Taveras to ground out.
The Rockies and Rangers will finish their Texas series on Wednesday with a day-game showdown between Kyle Freeland (5-6, 4.17 ERA) and Kohie Arihara (2-3, 6.59 ERA). With the Rockies having swept the Rangers in three games at Coors Field earlier this season, the Rockies could still win the season series, even though they’ve dropped two in Arlington.