PHOENIX (AP)– The Colorado Rockies opened a three-game series against Arizona with a shutout, their seventh win in eight games.
They left desert with a whimper, cast aside in two lopsided games thanks to shoddy starting pitching and a slew of strikeouts.
Josh Outman gave up five runs the first three innings and the Rockies never recovered in a 6-1 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday night.
“One run in the last two days with a number of strikeouts, not forcing the defense having to field the ball, was not a good night for us offensively and defensively,” Rockies manager Jim Tracy said.
Colorado won the opener 4-0, but was outscored 16-1 the final two games of the series while piling up 23 strikeouts.
Jeremy Guthrie struggled in the middle game and Outman wasn’t any better in the finale, putting his team in a hole it couldn’t dig out of.
“You name it, I pretty much did it wrong tonight,” Outman said. “I got up in the zone with off-speed stuff, I didn’t use off-speed stuff when I should have, I didn’t pitch in when I need to and a lot of elevated fastballs when I was ahead of the count.”
The Diamondbacks beat up the Rockies in the middle game of the series, getting a season-high 17 hits Tuesday night. They kept swinging and connecting in the finale, collecting 11 more hits.
Paul Goldschmidt did most of the damage, hitting a pair of run-scoring doubles off Outman (0-2) and a leadoff homer to right in the seventh inning off Adam Ottavino for his seventh of the season. He finished 3 for 4 and is hitting .431 during his 14-game hitting streak.
That was more than enough for Wade Miley (7-2), who had the Rockies guessing all night in the longest outing of his big league career.
With the two convincing wins, the NL West champion Diamondbacks now have won four of five. They’re still nine games back in the division race, but they made a big run about this time last season and could be on the verge of breaking out of their early funk.
“Obviously, it’s nice to get a little momentum, but we’ve got to continue to play well,” Goldschmidt said. “We’ve had a few stretches where we’ve played well like we have these past two days, but as a whole we haven’t been able to put it together for an extended amount of time. If we can do that now, it’s a great couple of wins.”
Miley entered Wednesday’s game leading all rookies with six wins, an ERA of 2.72 and a .238 batting average against. He also led all NL pitchers with a .429 average and had an eight-game hitting streak, longest by a pitcher in Diamondbacks history.
Miley certainly was good on the mound, retiring his first 13 hitters before Jason Giambi‘s double in the fifth inning. Wilin Rosario followed with an RBI single, but that only cut Arizona’s lead to 5-1.
Miley was lifted for a pinch hitter in the eighth inning after allowing a run and three hits, with five strikeouts and no walks.
“He was outstanding,” Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said. “He was really efficient. Same we’ve seen, he just went a little deeper today.”
Miley didn’t get a hit, but didn’t need one the way the Diamondbacks knocked Outman around.
The left-hander opened the season in the bullpen, making his first eight appearances in relief before moving into the rotation after 49-year-old Jamie Moyer was released. He was effective in his first start, holding the Dodgers to two hits in 3 1-3 scoreless innings with five strikeouts before reaching his limited pitch count.
Outman’s second start also was short. It just didn’t go quite as well.
Goldschmidt extended his career-high hitting streak with an RBI double in the first inning.
A.J. Pollock, called up before the game to replace new father Lyle Overbay, fouled off three pitches from Outman before lining a run-scoring single to right in the second.
And with that, Outman was out.
“I didn’t execute the game plan,” Outman said. “When I got ahead I didn’t keep the ball down.”
NOTES: The Diamondbacks selected Gibson’s son, Cam, in the 38th round of the draft, but he will play baseball at Michigan State instead of joining his father’s organization. … Rosario’s run-scoring single in the fifth ended Colorado’s scoreless streak at 18 innings. … The Diamondbacks have Thursday off before RHP Daniel Hudson pitches against Oakland LHP Tommy Milone on Friday night at Chase Field. … The Rockies also have a day off before RHP Alex White faces Angels LHP C.J. Wilson at Coors Field on Friday.
By JOHN MARSHALL, AP Sports Writer
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