Rockies’ clutch hitting fails — again — in another road loss to Cardinals


German Marquez pitched well enough for the Rockies to steal a rare win in St. Louis.

The offense? Well, that tired old storyline continued in a 5-1 loss to the Cardinals on Wednesday night, the Rockies’ 11th consecutive defeat at Busch Stadium.

Colorado had opportunities to score in the second, third, fourth, sixth and ninth innings but managed to plate just one runner. Why? Because the Rockies were 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position.

The disparity between the Rockies’ clutch offense at Coors Field vs. out on the road is always striking, but this season the difference is almost unfathomable.

At Coors, the Rockies have hit .332 with runners in scoring position (186-for-560) with 23 homers and 268 RBIs. On the road, they have hit .207 (99-for-479) with just six home runs and 131 RBIs with runners in scoring position.

When it comes to the Rockies, the numbers don’t lie — they just sting. They have lost four straight games, are 8-18 since the All-Star break, and have tumbled to an 18-38 road record.  The only team with a worse road mark is the woeful Tigers (19-42).

Marquez wasn’t dominant Wednesday night, but he pitched a solid six innings, giving up three runs on seven hits, with four strikeouts and three walks. Over his last six starts, the right-hander has a 3.28 ERA with 31 strikeouts and 12 walks.

A leadoff walk to Lars Nootbaar came back to haunt Marquez in the first when Nolan Arenado scored Nootbaar with a two-out, ground-rule double. Nolan Gorman followed up with his own ground-rule double to score Arenado and give the Cardinals a 2-0 lead.

It turns out that was all they needed to whip the Rockies for the 17th time in the past 19 games at Busch. Here’s a little more salt for the Rockies’ wound: They are 6-34 at Busch in their last 40 games dating back to Sept. 30, 2010.

On a rather bland night at the ballpark, the Cardinal tacked on another run off Marquez in the fifth, on singles by Brendan Donovan and Paul Goldschmidt and a groundout to first by Gorman.

Rockies rookie reliever Jake Bird had a shaky seventh inning, hitting Nootbaar to open the frame, issuing a one-out walk to Goldschmidt and giving up an RBI single to Gorman. In the eighth, Donovan roped an RBI double off Justin Lawrence.

St. Louis lefty Jordan Montgomery, facing the Rockies for the first time, stymied them for 5 2/3 innings, striking out eight, walking none, scattering six hits, and yielding just one run.

That run came in the third when Colorado strung together singles by Elehuris Montero, Brian Serven and Charlie Blackmon, who scored Montero with an opposite-field hit.

The Rockies struck out 11 times with Ryan McMahon wearing the Golden Sombrero (four strikeouts) and Connor Joe whiffing three times.

The Cardinals, winners of 12 of their last 13 at home, will attempt to finish off the three-game sweep on Thursday afternoon at Busch.

On Deck
Rockies RHP Antonio Senzatela (3-6, 4.67 ERA) at RHP Adam Wainwright (8-8, 3.27)
11:15 a.m. Thursday, Busch Stadium
Radio: 850 AM/94.1 FM

The bad news for the Rockies: Senzatela has never won at Busch Stadium, going 0-2 in three starts with an ugly 8.49 ERA. He is 2-3 (Rockies 3-4) with a 5.11 ERA in seven career starts against St. Louis. The good news: Senzatela is coming off back-to-back strong starts against Arizona, the first at Chase Field, the second last Friday at Coors Field. The Rockies won both games and have won three of Senzatela’s last four outings, during which he posted a 3.86 ERA.

The ageless Wainwright is coming off a terrific start against the Brewers when he took a no-hitter into the seventh inning before Andrew McCutchen hit a two-out single. The right-hander finished with a no-decision when the Brewers tied the game, 1-1, on Luis Urias’ homer in the eighth. Against the Rockies, be it at Coors Field or Busch Stadium, Wainwright has been excellent. He owns a 1.48 ERA vs. Colorado and has the lowest career ERA and highest winning percentage (.917, 11-1) of any pitcher against the Rockies with at least 75 innings pitched. His only career loss against the Rockies was on June 5, 2009, at Busch Stadium. The Cardinals are 14-3 in the 17 career games Wainwright has appeared vs. Colorado.

Trending: Outfielder Randal Grichuk has really turned it on lately. He entered Wednesday night’s game hitting .421 (16-for-38) over his last 10 games and .333 (36-for-108) over his last 30 games since July 11.

At issue: First baseman C.J. Cron’s home-road splits remain extreme. Entering Wednesday night’s game, Cron was hitting .313 with 17 home runs at Coors Field vs. .227 with six homers on the road.

Pitching probables
Friday: Giants LHP Alex Wood (8-9, 4.18) at Rockies RHP Jose Urena (1-4, 4.80), 6:40 p.m., ATTRM
Saturday: Giants RHP Alex Cobb (4-6, 3.99) at Rockies RHP Ryan Feltner (2-4, 6.39), 6:10 p.m., ATTRM
Sunday: Giants RHP Jacob Junis (4-3, 3.53) at Rockies LHP Kyle Freeland (7-8, 4.82), 1:10 p.m., ATTRM


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