The Colorado Rockies early season success continued to unravel over the weekend as the club was swept on the road by the San Diego Padres.
The Rockies lost five out of six games on their divisional road trip with stops in Arizona and San Diego. For the first time this season, Colorado (11-13) has fallen below the .500-mark.
The Rockies continued a scary trend of over-working their bullpen due to poor performances by their starting pitchers. The ballclub has the least quality starts of any team in MLB. None of their starters went more than five innings in San Diego. In fact, their bullpen has been forced to go at least three innings in eight straight contests.
Colorado’s offense also struggled to capitalize on scoring opportunities on their disappointing road trip. They went for 0-for-18 with runners in scoring position against the Padres.
Justin Upton was red hot on offense for San Diego. The left fielder went 7-for-12 with a homerun, two doubles, seven RBIs, five runs, and a stolen base in the series.
Catcher Derek Norris was also impressive – compiling six hits, one homerun, two doubles, five RBIs, and five runs.
Game 1, May 1 – Rockies 3 – Padres 14
Yangervis Solarte contributed four RBIs on two hits as the Padres embarrassed the Rockies 14-3 in the series opener. Solarte leads the Padres with 16 RBIs on the season.
Ian Kennedy (1-1) provided the Padres with a quality start – going six innings and allowing just two earned runs on four hits.
The same couldn’t be said for Eddie Butler (2-2) – who left the game after allowing five runs (three earned) in just four innings of work.
The Rockies committed four errors in the game – including one in the eighth inning by defensive stalwart Nolan Arenado.
The Padres blew the game out of contention with eight runs in the eighth inning.
Drew Stubbs finally picked up his first hit of the season with a solo homerun in the fifth inning of the losing effort. The underachieving outfielder is now 1-for-25 on the year.
Charlie Blackmon took the night of with a minor illness.
Game 2, May 2 – Rockies 2 – Padres 4
The Rockies couldn’t get their offense jump-started as they lost 4-2 to the Padres on Saturday. Colorado had their chances, but couldn’t convert to bring base runners home.
Brandon Morrow (2-0) allowed seven hits in six innings, but held the Rockies to just two earned runs.
Jorge De La Rosa (0-2) lost to San Diego for the second time this season. The veteran lefty allowed three earned runs on five hits in five innings.
Blackmon returned to the Colorado’s lineup and hit a homerun in the third inning.
Upton’s two-RBI single in the sixth inning gave the Padres a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
Craig Kimbrell stepped to the mound in the ninth inning and earned the save.
Game 3, May 3 – Rockies 6 – Padres 8
Jedd Gyorko’s two-run, pinch-hit homerun in the bottom of the sixth put the Padres up for good as they beat the Rockies 8-6 on Sunday to complete the sweep. The homerun was the first of the season for Gyorko.
The Rockies missed a golden opportunity to take control of the game in the top of the sixth inning – just before Gyorko’s blast. Troy Tulowitzki stepped to the plate to pinch-hit with the bases loaded and one out, but he popped out and Blackmon grounded out to end the inning.
The Rockies lost despite getting two homeruns apiece from Blackmon and Nolan Arenado.
Kyle Kendrick (1-4) and James Shields (3-0) each had rough days as they faced each other for the second time already this season.
Shields allowed nine hits and five earned runs in five and one-thirds innings. It was the least innings worked of the season for Shields.
Kendrick failed to go more than five innings for the fifth time in his last six starts. The righty was tagged for six earned runs on six hits in five innings. His ERA ballooned to and ugly 8.73.
Kimbrel earned his eighth save of the season in the bottom of the ninth.
The Rockies will look to get things back on track as they return home for a three-game series with the Arizona Diamondbacks starting Monday night.
Nathan is a staff writer for Mile High Sports. He can be reached on Twitter at @TheRealNatron.