The Colorado Rockies lost to the Cincinnati Reds Saturday night/Sunday morning at Coors Field by a score of 17-9.

After a rain delay of more than three hours, the two squads squared off in the second game of a three-game set.

The Rockies’ offense started off the game red hot at the plate, but Colorado’s inability to pitch effectively ultimately doomed them en route to a disheartening loss.

Ahead are takeaways from the loss.

Freeland struggles in return 

Saturday’s start was not the return to the show Rockies’ starter Kyle Freeland envisioned.

Freeland spent the better part of a month down in Triple-A with the Albuquerque Isotopes after struggling to find his footing at the big league level. Freeland made six starts with the Isotopes, pitching to a 0-4 record to pair with an 8.80 earned run average.

The Rockies demoted Freeland after he endured a slew of struggles, including a lack of command and effectiveness with his pitches.

Freeland was sharp in his final outing in Triple-A, pitching seven innings of one-run ball. The success paired with the All-Star break provided the Rockies with an optimal opportunity to recall Freeland in the hope he would return to form.

That was not the case as Freeland struggled immensely in his first start since his demotion. Freeland worked a clean first frame, and the Rockies’ offense even managed to provide him with a 4-0 advantage following the first inning.

Freeland was unable to buckle down on the mound, surrendering a pair of runs in the second and third innings. Early on, Freeland was unlucky as he managed to induce weak contact that wound up as hits; however, when the Reds’ lineup turned over, their offense was locked in and chased Freeland out of the game after just four innings.

Freeland departed with a line of four innings pitched, allowing five runs on nine hits while striking out three batters and surrendering four triples.

The four triples are the most allowed in a single game by a starting pitcher in club history.

The poor outing bumped Freeland’s season ERA up to 7.39.

Nolan being Nolan

Everybody knows Nolan Arenado is one of the best players in the game today. Arenado is a five-time All-Star and is the premier third baseman in the game today due to his superb hitting and tenacious defense.

Arenado’s brilliance on the diamond continued Saturday night versus the Reds. With two runners on base, Arenado smashed a towering two-run home run to left field that landed on the UCHealth glove located just beyond the foul pole.

Arenado is the first player to hit a home run into the mitt in left field since it was installed in 2018.

Whenever a Rockies’ player hits the mitt UCHealth, via the Colorado Rockies Foundation, will make a $5000 donation to the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Additionally, the home run gave the All-Star 2001 total bases for his career. Arenado surpassed the 2000 base milestone in his 966th career game which is the fewest amount of games by any third baseman in the live-ball era.

Offense explodes in the first inning

Despite the lengthy rain delay, the Rockies’ offense did not skip a beat and got off to a ferocious start at the plate in the first inning. Colorado’s lineup jumped on Reds’ starter Tanner Roark, posting four runs on six hits in the opening frame.

Charlie Blackmon started things off with a single to left field. After Trevor Story recorded an out, David Dahl reached with a single of his own. From there, Rockies’ All-Star Nolan Arenado proceeded to crush a two-run home run down the line in left field to establish an early lead for Colorado.

The Rockies kept the pressure on Roark. Daniel Murphy followed Arenado’s home run with a double that bounced off the wall in right field. Murphy’s double was inches away from getting over the wall for a home run. Nonetheless, Murphy came around to score after Raimel Tapia hit an RBI single to extend Colorado’s lead to 4-0.

All in all, the Rockies managed to provide starting pitcher Kyle Freeland with a sizeable cushion in his first game since returning from a stint in the minor leagues.