Rockies 6, Orioles 3
The Colorado Rockies used the Orioles’ favorite weapon to hand
Baltimore another painful defeat.
Colorado hit four home runs, including a tiebreaking, two-run
shot by Wilin Rosario in the seventh inning, and stretched
Baltimore’s losing streak to four with a 6-3 victory Friday
Charlie Culberson, Charlie Blackmon and Todd Helton also homered
for the Rockies, who have won six of seven. It was Culberson’s
first major league home run in 55 at-bats.
The Orioles got homers from Nate McLouth and Matt Wieters in
extending their big league lead to 163. But Baltimore also has
given up 156, most in the majors.
After ending a 14-year run of losing seasons last year, the
Orioles are seeking a return trip to the playoffs. Their current
skid is not helping.
”I think this is honestly something that we needed, kind of a
kick in the pants to wake us up,” center fielder Adam Jones said.
”We’re in a unique position, in back-to-back years trying to do
something special. Last year, everybody said we couldn’t. This
year, we created the expectation. This is something you’ve got to
go through to get to it.”
Blackmon’s drive was the 73rd in the history of Camden Yards to
land on Eutaw Street beyond the right-field wall. Since Colorado
hasn’t played in Baltimore since 2007, the significance of the
homer was lost on Blackmon.
”I don’t really know anything about it. They were telling me
after the game that it’s cool if you can do it,” he said.
”They’ll give you a plaque out there with your name on it, and
there’s not a whole lot of plaques with my name on it going up
Juan Nicasio (7-6) allowed two runs, four hits and four walks
over six innings to earn his first win in five starts since July
20. The right-hander yielded 15 runs over 14 innings in his
previous three outings and was 0-3 with a 7.79 ERA in four
interleague starts this season.
Wei-Yin Chen (6-6) retired 12 of his first 13 batters but
couldn’t get out of the seventh inning. He gave up four runs and
five hits in 6 1-3 innings in losing his third straight start. It
was only the second time in 15 starts this season that Chen allowed
more than three runs.
”Early innings I felt really good, but had some trouble in the
late innings,” Chen said through a translator. ”I feel bad
because it’s my fault. I couldn’t keep the guys in the ballgame.
But tomorrow is another day and we still have 41 games to go.”
The Orioles were coming off three straight one-run defeats in
Arizona and hoping to get back on track at home against a sub-.500
team. But the Rockies bounced back from a 2-0 deficit by scoring in
the fifth through ninth innings.
”It’s a cozy park, but you’ve still got to hit it,” manager
Walt Weiss said. ”We put some good swings on it.”
With the score tied at 2 in the seventh, Chen walked leadoff
hitter Michael Cuddyer and Rosario hit the left-hander’s next pitch
over the 25-foot scoreboard in right field.
Blackmon made it 5-2 in the eighth with a pinch-hit homer off
Helton connected in the ninth off struggling reliever Jim
Johnson. The drive lifted him past Joe DiMaggio into sole
possession of 76th place on the career home run list with 362.
Wieters homered in the bottom half against Rex Brothers.
The game started well for the Orioles. McLouth hit Nicasio’s
third pitch into the bleachers, his 12th career leadoff homer and
second this year.
Baltimore went up 2-0 in the third when Jones singled in a run
to break an 0-for-15 skid. Nicasio then retired Nick Markakis and
Wieters with the bases loaded.
Chen was in complete control early. After Troy Tulowitzki hit a
one-out double in the first, the left-hander retired 10 straight
batters before Rosario doubled leading off the fifth. One batter
later, Nolan Arenado delivered an RBI single.
Culberson connected in the sixth to tie it at 2.
NOTES: After the game, the Orioles optioned OF Henry Urrutia to
Triple-A Norfolk. They are expected to recall a reliever on
Saturday. … Rodriguez left in the eighth inning with a strained
right groin. … Blackmon is 5 for 13 as a pinch hitter. …
Baltimore pitching coach Rick Adair went on a leave of absence to
resolve some personal issues and was replaced by bullpen coach Bill
Castro. … Bud Norris takes the mound for the Orioles on Saturday
night in the second game of the series. Chad Bettis makes his
fourth big league start for the Rockies. … J.J. Hardy’s 11-game
hitting streak ended, as did teammate Brian Roberts’ run of three
straight multihit games for Baltimore.