Rangers complete sweep of Rockies with another blowout victory
Everything is bigger in Texas.
Including, it seems, the Colorado Rockies’ road woes.
A May to remember turned into a Texas trip to forget this weekend at Globe Life Field in Arlington, culminating with Sunday afternoon’s 13-3 loss to the AL West-leading Rangers that completed a three-game series sweep.
Texas outscored Colorado 31-10 over three blowout wins, putting a decisive end to a run of recent Rockies success that saw them win four of their previous six series.
Colorado is now 10-8 in May and 9-16 on the road, with a seven-game homestand against Miami and the New York Mets up next.
“This was a tough series against a good team,” manager Bud Black told reporters after the game. “It’s one series. Our guys will be ready to play tomorrow (against Miami).”
The loss Sunday followed themes familiar to those well acquainted with the Rockies’ issues away from Coors Field in recent seasons.
Problems finding the timely hit? The Rockies stranded eight runners, scoring just one unearned run off starter Andrew Heaney (five strikeouts, six hits, two walks) despite getting the lead-off hitter on base in four of his six innings pitched.
Subpar starting pitching? Right-hander Connor Seabold gave up five hits (two homers), two walks and five earned runs over 3 2/3 innings, making him the third straight Rockies starter unable to make it past the fifth.
Even the Colorado bullpen, so consistently good all season, wasn’t immune to the big inning as call-up Matt Carasiti was dinged for six runs in the fifth.
The game was far enough out of reach by the eighth inning that Black turned to utility man Alan Trejo for mop-up duty. He gave up two runs, but also logged his first strikeout.
“We caught them at the wrong time as far as how they are swinging,” Black said of the Rangers, who lead the majors with 297 runs scored. “They fought a lot of pitches off, and it got to 0-2 and (Seabold) just couldn’t make that critical pitch to stop the bleeding in the inning they got five.”
Indeed, the troubles arrived for Seabold in the second inning, when the right-hander’s inability to put hitters away after getting ahead in the count came back to haunt him.
It began when leadoff hitter Josh Jung worked a 1-2 count to 3-2, then hammered a four-seam fastball 405 feet into the left field bleachers.
After recording two outs, the Rangers pounced again. Ezequiel Duran drew a walk after going down 0-2, then Leody Taveras ripped an 0-2 fastball up the middle for a single. Marcus Semien drilled the next pitch down the left-field line to score both runners with a double, and Corey Seager finished off the five-run frame by lifting a 3-2 slider 383 feet for a two-run dinger.
Seager, like Duran and Taveras before him, also went down in the count 0-2.
“It’s a little bit of a combination of how they are swinging as a group and the at-bats that they had, and a little bit of Connor maybe not getting that pitch on the corner, getting it down or getting it in enough, or getting it up enough when he tried to go up,” Black said.
“It was a tough day for Connor. He battled though. The pitch count elevated quite a bit in the second inning, but he hung in there and battled.”
All told, nine of the Rangers’ 13 runs came with two outs, including five of six in the fifth off Carasiti on a three-run double from Taveras, RBI single from Semien and RBI double from Seager.
For the Rockies lineup, the struggles Sunday could be summed up perfectly by the top of the second.
Colorado loaded the bases on a Randal Grichuk single, Mike Moustakas walk and Brenton Doyle bunt single. But Heaney got Trejo to chase a 2-2 changeup, then Austin Wynns hit a soft grounder back to the pitcher, who threw home to start an inning-ending double play.
Colorado finished 2 for 10 with runners in scoring position, with Doyle producing both hits — the bunt single and an RBI double with the game already out of reach in the eighth.
The Rockies’ lone run off Heaney came on a fielder’s choice groundball from Moustakas in the sixth after first baseman Nathaniel Lowe’s throw to second hit Grichuk’s helmet as he slid into the base, allowing Ryan McMahon to score.
“We had the one opportunity (in the second) we couldn’t cash in,” Black said. “But (Heaney)’s a veteran pitcher, right, just like the three guys that they threw against us — (Martin) Perez, (Jon) Gray and Heaney. Three veteran pitchers who’ve been around the block. They know how to navigate their way through an inning.”
Footnotes: The Rockies selected Carasiti to the major league roster prior to Sunday’s game and designated left-handed reliever Fernando Abad for assignment. … MLB.com reported that the Rockies and right-handed pitcher Luis Cessa have reached an agreement on a minor league deal. Cessa appeared in seven games for Cincinnati this season, starting six. The 31-year-old veteran had a 1-4 record with a 9.00 ERA and 2.23 WHIP prior to being released by the Reds. Cessa is 17-22 with a 4.43 ERA over an eight-year MLB career that included parts of six seasons with the New York Yankees.
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