Rockies shut out for third time in four games; Wild Card race tight as ever

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There’s been movement over the past several days between the two clubs below the Colorado Rockies in the race for the final National League Wild Card spot, while Colorado’s bats have gone virtually silent over the past four games. The Rockies were shut out for the third time in four games with a 5-0 loss to the Padres on Saturday. Their lead in the Wild Card is just 1.0 game over the Brewers and 1.5 games over the Cardinals.

Milwaukee defeated the Cubs at home Saturday, gaining full game on Colorado. The Cardinals lost to the Pirates, remaining 1.5 back and seeing the Brewers leapfrog them in the standings. The two clubs have been within a half game of one another since Sept. 21.

Meanwhile, another tepid offensive outing by the Rockies is leaving the door wide open for either squad.

After scoring 16 runs against San Diego in the most-lopsided shutout win in club history last Saturday, Colorado has managed just 10 runs over their last six games – getting shut out three times over that stretch.

On Saturday, former Rockie Jhoulys Chacin (13-10, 3.98 ERA) handcuffed Colorado over six innings, allowing one hit and three walks, striking out six. Kirby Yates and Brad Hand each struck out two over one inning of relief for the Padres.

Bud Black threw seven different pitchers in the game Saturday, beginning with Chad Bettis (1-4, 5.72), who suffered his fourth loss of the year. Bettis spread seven hits and three walks over 4.2 innings, allowing only one run.

Antonio Senzatela gave up a run-scoring infield single in the sixth to expand San Diego’s lead – the run was charged to Kyle Freeland, who started the inning.

Chris Rusin continued his tough stretch, giving up three runs on two hits and a hit by pitch over just 0.1 inning. He has allowed five earned runs and 11 hits over his last 5.1 innings pitched.

It’s been tough sledding for the Colorado hitters, as well. Since exploding for those 16 runs on 17 hits last Saturday, the Rockies are hitting just .223 as a team with only 10 runs scored. They’ve stranded 44 baserunners over the past six games and struck out 56 times. Colorado had 12 strikeouts in Saturday’s loss; every Rockies hitter had a least one strikeout except Mark Reynolds, who pinch hit and grounded into a fielder’s choice to end the game.

Colorado and San Diego conclude their four-game series on Sunday afternoon. German Marquez faces Luis Perdomo. St. Louis and Milwaukee also wrap up their respective series with Pittsburgh and Chicago Sunday.

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