Rockies serve up three homers in 6-5 loss to Padres

Rockies serve up three homers in 6-5 loss to Padres

As the all-star break nears, the Rockies’ stated goal is to reclaim a .500 record — at some point this summer.

But in order to achieve that rather modest objective, the Rockies need sustained success. That’s something that continues to elude them.

After taking three of four games in Arizona, Colorado returned to LoDo on a high note, then lost a 6-5 heartbreaker to the Padres on Monday night at Coors Field.

The Rockies made things very interesting in the ninth against San Diego lefty Taylor Rogers. A leadoff single by Randal Grichuk and an RBI double by Connor Joe brought the Rockies within two runs. Then Charlie Blackmon ripped a double to right to score Joe and cut the lead to 6-5.

Up to the plate stepped C.J. Cron, who was named to his first All-Star Game on Sunday. He hit a long foul ball into the right-field corner before grounding out to second to end the game.

Colorado, which fell to 38-49, entered the game with a 10-2 record at home vs. the Padres since the start of the 2021 season, a mark that included a nine-game winning streak.

But Colorado couldn’t overcome three San Diego home runs.

The death blow was C.J. Abrams’ three-run homer off Rockies rookie reliever Jake Bird in the eighth inning. Abram’s moonshot into the second deck above right field was one of three homers launched by San Diego.

“I thought I threw the curveball OK, but I’m sure it was probably in the middle,” Bird said. “I had just thrown him like eight fastballs in a row, and my curveball is a pretty good groundball pitch, and a strikeout pitch, so I thought at that point and time it was a good pitch to throw.”

Except that he failed to execute the curveball.

“I just need to bounce back and show what I can do the next time out,” he said.

The Rockies’ loss overshadowed a strong start from veteran right-hander Jose Urena, who’s making a push to become a permanent part of the rotation. Urena, making his second start for Colorado, delivered a solid, six-inning performance. The Padres reached him for two runs on seven hits but never threatened to blow him off the mound. Urena walked three and struck out three.

“I’m healthy and that is the main thing,” Urena said. “Every time I get out there I try to find my rhythm and I think that’s what the team is looking for. I feel like I have a pretty good chance to get back on track.”

Manager Bud Black said during his pregame huddle with the media that Urena, who turns 31 in September, has to tools to be a big-league starter. After watching Urena for the second time, Black was impressed.

“He threw the ball well,” Black said. “I really liked that he keeps the ball down, though he elevates at times. He pitched like I remember seeing him in Miami. Good arm, pitches to the bottom of the zone and pitches aggressively.”

Also eclipsed by the loss was the 1,000th hit of shortstop Jose Iglesias’ career. He ripped an RBI double to right-center in the eighth inning, driving in Blackmon to trim San Diego’s lead to 6-3.

“I like numbers and I like big numbers that pass the test of time,” Black said. “He’s proven to be a quality major league player. A thousand hits is a lot. Jose combines a premium defensive position with a thousand hits. He’s passed the test of time.”

Left-hander Sean Manaea did his part to end the Padres’ losing streak at Coors. Manea dominated the Rockies for most of his 6 1/3 innings, giving up two runs on just five hits while fanning five and walking only one. He posted his sixth quality start in his last eight outings and his 12th of the season.

Blackmon was the first to solve Manea, roping a leadoff triple in the fourth on a line drive that center fielder Trent Grisham took a terrible angle on. Blackmon scored on Cron’s sacrifice fly that pinned right-fielder Nomar Mazara against the wall before he made the catch.

Grichuk’s one-out, solo homer to left in the seventh sliced San Diego’s lead to 3-2 and ended Manea’s evening. Grichuk’s 385-foot homer was his ninth of the season. The veteran outfielder has four home runs through his last 20 games after hitting five through his first 53 games.

Grichuk also made two sensational catches in right field in the ninth inning that gave the Rockies a chance to rally in the bottom of the frame.

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