PHOENIX (AP) – Colorado Rockies manager Jim Tracy was succinct in his appraisal of his team’s performance Tuesday night.
“We didn’t pitch very well tonight and we didn’t hit,” Tracy said after the Rockies’ 6-2 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks. “You get three hits, the first baseman hits two solo home runs and you get a base hit from (a reliever), you are not going to win too many games that way.
“And you’re not going to win too many games leaving balls up in the strike zone the way we did. We didn’t command the ball very well.”
Arizona starter Joe Saunders (5-6) held the Rockies to only a single by reliever Josh Roenicke in the fifth inning and solo home runs to Michael Cuddyer in the fourth and sixth. He struck out nine.
“That is a footnote,” Cuddyer said of his second multihomer game of the season and eighth of his career. “You want to get the win first and foremost.”
Colorado has lost three straight and six of seven.
Rookie left-hander Edwar Cabrera (0-2), who was recalled from Triple-A Colorado Springs earlier on Tuesday, kept the Rockies close in an abbreviated 3 1-3-inning outing.
Cabrera allowed two runs, four hits and four walks but needed 81 pitches to get the 10 outs.
“The learning point for Edwar is you can’t pitch being down in the count in this league,” Tracy said. “In this league here there are situations where guys lay off where at the minor league level you are going to get swings on some of those pitches that are thrown. Then they back you in a corner because they have a good hitter’s count. That is a learning curve.”
In his only other major league start, Cabrera gave up seven runs – five earned – five hits and three walks in 2 1-3 innings on June 27 against Washington.
“This was a lot different because I felt more comfortable today,” Cabrera said. “I tried not to fall behind in the count. I was behind a lot.”
Though he didn’t last long, Cuddyer said Cabrera had the Diamondbacks back on their heels.
“He was still wild but he was effectively wild,” Cuddyer said. “He made big pitches when he had to and every guy who got on first base talked about his Bugs Bunny changeup.”
Chris Young homered, singled, walked twice, stole a base and scored two runs for Arizona, which has won eight straight at home.
Stephen Drew and Willie Bloomquist added RBI doubles and Miguel Montero had a two-run single for the Diamondbacks, who have outscored their opponents 45-18 over the past give games.
Cuddyer’s first homer gave the Rockies a 1-0 lead. He pulled the Rockies 4-2 with his second long ball.
The Diamondbacks answered in the bottom of the fourth when Young walked, stole second and scored on a double by Drew.
Bloomquist followed with a ground-rule double that scored Drew for a 2-1 lead.
Young’s fifth-inning home run just over the Diamondbacks’ left field bullpen made it 4-1.
Montero lined a two-run single to right in the seventh to extend the Diamondbacks’ lead to 6-2.
NOTES: Saunders’ nine strikeouts matched a career-high. . During the game, the Diamondbacks traded 3B Ryan Roberts to Tampa Bay for minor league INF Tyler Bortnick. Roberts, who hit .252 with six homers and 33 RBIs in 82 games this season, had been designated for assignment earlier Tuesday. … The Diamondbacks also activated INF John McDonald from the 15-day DL on Tuesday. … LHP Jeff Francis will take the mound on Wednesday for Colorado against Arizona RHP Trevor Cahill. Francis has lost six straight decisions against the Diamondbacks dating to Sept. 28, 2007.
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