The Rockies’ struggles continued at home on Independence Day, this time at the hands of the Cincinnati Reds. Manager Bud Black was complimentary of his rookie starter, Kyle Freeland, despite a losing effort. It’s Colorado’s hitting that really needs to come around, Black says.

“You know overall I think the line looks a little worse than how [Freeland] probably pitched. He got a couple pitches up later in the game, but Hamilton got the leadoff single, scored a run. The one that hurt him – it looked like a pretty good pitch – was the slider down that he kind of dug out. That gave [the Reds] three runs. But Kyle hung in there. They chipped away, they got some hits, they got some balls into right-center on him.”

Black was impressed by the Reds’ starter, Homer Bailey, and the way he converted pitches in tough situations.

“[Bailey] off-speeded us with a changeup and a breaking ball. He didn’t pound a lot of fastballs so the off-speed was working. We just couldn’t really get anything going. We couldn’t get a ball in the gap, couldn’t get a ball in the seats. It’s a difference of a few pitches here and there. He made them, our guys didn’t.”

In Black’s opinion, it’s really a hitting slump of sorts that has the Rockies reeling.

“There’s a disconnect, you know we’re just not really putting it together with a number of guys in one inning. We’re getting some hits here and there but we’re not bunching them together. It’s not unlike what happened earlier in the year when we talked about this. You need guys – five, six guys swinging the bat well, and we do not have that right now.”

The Rockies are back in action Wednesday at 6:40 p.m. local time with the third of four games against Cincinnati looking to break out and make up some ground in the NL West. Jon Gray (1-0, 3.93 ERA) will be on the mound for the Rockies, facing off against Scott Feldman (7-5, 3.78).