The grand puzzle of the Rockies’ dreadful road performance this season is giving manager Bud Black a metaphorical headache.
“We bang our heads against a wall trying to figure this out,” Black said. “We really do.”
On Tuesday night, playing in the first-of-three games in Arizona, the Rockies suffered another self-inflicted migraine. Starting pitcher Jon Gray gave up four straight doubles in the first to trail 3-0 with no outs. Colorado’s comeback ultimately fell short. Closer Daniel Bard loaded the bases in the ninth and pegged David Peralta — scoring a walk-off run in a 4-3 defeat.
Colorado dropped to 6-32 on the road this season and 37-49 overall. It stung worse against the lowly Diamondbacks (24-63).
Gray’s hot-and-cold season continued in the desert. Diamondbacks’ Josh Rojas, Peralta, Eduardo Escobar and Christian Walker all lit him up for doubles — with several hit hard — to begin the night. But Gray settled down, retired a stretch of 10 consecutive Diamondbacks, and pitched five shutout innings to end his night.
Colorado’s offense made its push against Arizona starter Merrill Kelly facing two-outs situations. Charlie Blackmon singled in the fourth and scored on a Brendan Rodgers RBI double. Raimel Tapia’s single brought home C.J. Cron later in the fifth to trail 3-2.
The Rockies were unable to capitalize in the sixth, though, after a Trevor Story leadoff walk and another Blackmon single. But Colorado wouldn’t make the same mistake in the seventh. Elias Diaz walked and Garrett Hampson, while pinch-hitting for Gray, reached base via infield single. A Yonathan Daza groundout scored Diaz to make it 3-3.
Colorado relievers Jhoulys Chacin and Carlos Estevez preserved the tie with scoreless seventh and eighth innings, respectively. But Arizona relievers Noe Ramirez and Joakim Soria matched their brilliance with six consecutive outs.
Bard came in to close the game in the ninth. He gave up a leadoff single to Stephen Vogt and walked Daulton Varsho. Bard then forced Nick Ahmed to lineout. But he loaded the bases with a walk to Rojas, and then lost the game after a hit-by-pitch issued to Peralta.
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