A close loss may be still a loss, but in this case it stings a little less.
The Rockies couldn’t solve their woes on the road, in St. Louis, or in 2021 in general, but they did put up eight runs and show some life in a 9-8 loss to the Cardinals on Saturday afternoon.
“I like to sit back and look at that today as a game where we fought really hard and had a chance to win that game,” said Charlie Blackmon, who had three of Colorado’s 11 hits in the loss.
“It is good to see some offense on the road.”
Colorado twice faced four-run deficits. It came back from 5-1 to force a tie in the fifth but left the tying run on second base in the eighth as it tried to erase the second.
It was the Rockies’ seventh straight loss in St. Louis, where they are 4-24 since 2012.
Colorado is the first National League team to reach 20 losses.
The Rockies had been outscored 84-44 on the road entering Saturday — an average of 6-3 — so, yeah, this was different even as the road record plummeted to 2-13.
A Dom Nunez bases-loaded double brought in three runs in the fifth inning and tied it after the Rockies had fallen into a 5-1 hole behind starting pitcher Chi Chi Gonzalez.
St. Louis responded with four in the bottom of the fifth, the big shot coming on a two-run home run from Paul Goldschmidt.
Down 9-5, the Rockies rallied again. Raimel Tapia doubled home Alan Trejo and Charlie Blackmon’s single plated Tapia and Trevor Story. But St. Louis closer Alex Reyes helped his team escape the eighth and he pitched a perfect ninth inning for his 10th save.
Nolan Arenado, playing his second game against Colorado since the Rockies dealt him earlier in 2021, went 1 for 4 with a double, a walk and a run scored. He has two doubles and is 3 for 8 so far in the three-game series, which wraps Sunday.
The Cardinals scored seven runs off Gonzalez, who gave up eight hits and a walk. They scored three runs in the first with three singles and a stolen base, then added two in the third on a pair of singles and a walk.
Goldschmidt’s home run was the first extra-base hit Gonzalez surrendered.
“I'm upset I didn't really give the team a chance from the get go,” he said.