Rockies’ win streak ends in slugfest with visiting Phillies

Apr 20, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies second baseman Garrett Hampson (1) breaks his bat on a hit in the fifth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Win streaks in baseball are hardly ever built to last, something the Colorado Rockies were exposed to as their five-game win streak concluded Saturday night against the Philadelphia Phillies, 8-5.

Led by strong situational hitting and a powerful home run from the league’s supervillain, Bryce Harper, the Phillies slugged their way to victory.

Ahead are takeaways from the blunder.

Senzatela fails to hold the lead

Antonio Senzatela was sharp in his season debut against the San Diego Padres, hurling 6.2 innings, allowing just one run off six hits.

The 24-year-old was unable to match his prior performance in his first start at Coors Field.

The Rockies gifted Senzatela a 2-0 lead on home runs in back-to-back innings from both Charlie Blackmon and Raimel Tapia.

The right-hander proceeded to cough up a run in the third inning, surrendering a leadoff walk to Maikel Franco who later scored on Cesar Hernandez’ single to left field.

Senzatela followed up the third inning by allowing three runs to cross home in the fourth.

The inning started with back-to-back-to-back singles from the Phillies. With the bases full and no outs, Senzatela left a breaking pitch high to Phil Gosselin who ripped a double to center field, clearing the bases and putting Philadelphia on-top, 4-3.

Senzatela buckled down following the fourth inning and wound up finishing with a line of six innings pitched, allowing four runs on seven hits while striking out three.

Chuck picked up where he left off 

Blackmon did not waste any time at the plate Saturday night.

The three-time All-Star blasted the first pitch of his leadoff at-bat over the fence in right field to establish an early 1-0 lead for the Rockies.

Blackmon also hit a walk-off two-run home run Friday night, good for his first longball of the season.

“It took too long to hit that first one, but I guess that was a good time to hit one,” Blackmon said prior to Saturday’s game. “Hopefully I don’t have to go another 80 at-bats.”

Chuck did not have to wait long as he managed to hit two home runs in as many at-bat’s.

The leadoff home run was the first time in Rockies’ history a player hit a leadoff home run after hitting a walk-off the game before, per Elias Sports.

Blackmon has cranked 37 home runs in a season as a leadoff hitter for the Rockies, good for the franchise record for the leadoff spot and second most in baseball since his debut in 2011.

Later in the game with Colorado down 7-4, Blackmon ripped a triple to center field, scoring a run to bring the Rockies within two of the Phillies. The outfielder fell merely a double shy of hitting for the cycle.

Blackmon collected four hits total Saturday night and appears to be locked in at the plate following a slow start to the season.

Run, Raimel, run! 

Young outfielder Raimel Tapia’s speed was on full display in the bottom of the second inning.

Tapia smacked the first pitch he saw from Phillies’ starter Aaron Nola to deep center field. The ball bounced off the wall and got past center fielder Roman Quinn, allowing Tapia to speed around the bases.

With the ball rolling around the grass in center field, Rockies’ third base coach Stu Cole waved the speed demon home:

The inside-the-park home run was the 18th in Rockies’ history and the first since Blackmon did it against the New York Mets in 2017.

Tapia is in the midst of a make-or-break season as the 25-year-old is out of options. If the Rockies feel he is not adequate enough to warrant a spot on the major league roster, they’d have to either place him on waivers, available to the rest of the league or trade him.

Routine rest for Nolan

Some Rockies’ fans may have been startled when they saw All-Star Nolan Arenado was not in the lineup Saturday.

Exhale Rockies’ fans.

Manager Bud Black confirmed Arendo was simply out of the lineup in order to rest and stay sharp for the long haul of the season. Ryan McMahon manned third base in his absence.

Expect Arenado back in the lineup for the series finale on Sunday.

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