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“Momentum is the next day’s starting pitcher” — Hall of Fame manager Earl Weaver.
The Rockies can only wish that Weaver’s baseball adage applied to them.
Wednesday afternoon, in a 5-1 loss at Houston, they received a quality start from Antonio Senzatela. In fact, the Rockies have 53 quality starts this season, tied with Milwaukee for the third-most in the majors.
And yet the losses on the road continue to mount because Colorado’s offense remains AWOL away from Coors Field. And so, after an encouraging 5-1 homestand, the Rockies were swept by the Astros in a two-game series at Minute Maid Park, getting outscored 10-1.
The Rockies slid to 13-42 on the road, and they begin a daunting four-game series at San Francisco. The Giants own the best record in the majors.
The Rockies certainly had their chances Wednesday, but they hit 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position, continuing a season-long road drought. At home, the Rockies are hitting .295 in the clutch. On the road, they are hitting .193.
C.J. Cron drove in Colorado’s only run, hitting an RBI single to right to score Connor Joe, who led off the game with a single off lefty Framber Valdez and moved to third on Trevor Story’s single. But after the first inning, Colorado managed just two hits the rest of the way.
Valdez struck out eight in six innings, but he also allowed four hits and hit a batter, but the Rockies could never cash in. In the fifth, Cron came to the plate with Joe on second and Story on first — both of them walked — but Cron grounded out to the shortstop.
Cron leads the Rockies with 60 RBIs, but his home-road splits are dramatic, as well as emblematic of the Rockies’ dilemma. At Coors Field, he’s hitting a remarkable .444 with runners in scoring position (20-for 45). On the road, he’s hitting .166 (4-for-24).
Senzatela pitched six innings, allowing three runs on nine hits, one walk and three strikeouts.
Yonathan Daza almost erased one of those runs with a great throw from right field. With Jake Meyers on third, Martin Maldonado hit a fly to right field where Daza caught it, loaded up and threw a strike to catcher Elias Diaz. Meyers was originally called out, but after a replay review, the call was reversed and Houston had a 3-1 lead on the sacrifice.
Houston padded its lead in the seventh, scoring two runs off Jhoulys Chacin, who was tagged for run-scoring doubles by Carlos Correa and Aledmys Diaz.