These duds keep coming at an alarming rate for the Rockies.
They added another Sunday at Coors Field, falling behind by five runs before they had recorded four outs and fell 13-2 to a Padres team that pounded five home runs.
That makes three times in seven games that Colorado (17-17) has lost by six or more runs. It has lost 13 of 19 overall, with seven of those losses coming by four or more runs.
“You play enough baseball, it’s going to happen to you,” Rockies manager Bud Black said of this particular rough day.
The only challenge mounted by Colorado came in a sixth-inning rally aided by a Padres error. Raimel Tapia and Nolan Arenado singled and scored and Garrett Hampson batted with two outs and two runners on while trailing 6-2. That was the only time after the first inning that a Rockies hitter came to the plate with the tying run in the on-deck circle.
Rookie starter Ryan Castellani hit his first major speed bump of his career, giving up five runs in two innings. Eric Hosmer hit a three-run home run in the first and Trent Grisham (who came a double shy of the cycle) and Fernando Tatis Jr. drove in runs in the second before Castellani departed after throwing 50 pitches.
Castellani had entered with a 3.54 ERA in four career starts, giving up two or fewer runs in three of them. The Hosmer home run and two other hits against Castellani came with two strikes on the batter, while Grisham’s triple came on an 0-1 count.
“I’ve just got to be a little bit finer and extend the zone when I can,” Castellani said.
Chi Chi Gonzalez, back from the injured list, gave up one run in four innings of relief before Jairo Diaz (two runs in one inning), James Pasoz (three runs in two-thirds of an inning) and Phillip Diel (two runs in 1 1/3 innings) limped to the finish line.
It wasn’t always like this. During the team’s 11-3 start, the losses each came by one run. Even in the 2-7 stretch that followed, five of those losses came by two runs or fewer.
It hasn’t helped that the Rockies have played hot teams. Houston, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Padres are a combined 26 games over .500 and comfortably in playoff position at this point. The only other opponent during the past 13 games was last-place Arizona, and Colorado won all three of those.
More strong opponents lie ahead, too. The Padres and Rockies finish a four-game series at Coors Field on Monday night, and will play three more times in September. The Dodgers appear seven more times on the schedule and AL West-leading Oakland will visit Colorado for a pair.