DENVER (AP) – Troy Tulowitzki provided the offense and starter Tyler Chatwood had a career night. It still wasn’t enough against the lowly Houston Astros.
Tulowitzki homered twice and drove in three runs, Chatwood struck out a career-high 10 but the Colorado Rockies couldn’t come up with key hits and fell to the Astros 6-3 on Wednesday night.
Colorado left 12 runners on and went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position, a trend that has contributed to losing two of three to the Astros this week. They were 6-for-28 with runners in scoring position in Houston, where the teams split a pair of games.
“We’ve been good with runners in scoring position on the year. Lately, we’ve struggled, but as whole we’ve been good in those situations,” manager Walt Weiss said. “It’s just been one of those cases lately where we’ve struggled.”
Tulowitzki was the only one to come through. He finished with three hits and notched his first multihomer game since 2011. He hit solo shots in the fourth and ninth and added an RBI double in the fifth that gave Colorado a 2-1 lead.
The Rockies couldn’t take advantage of a solid start from Chatwood, who allowed two runs on four hits in six innings. His 10 strikeouts were the most in a game by a Rockies starter this season.
The Astros didn’t hit him hard but managed two sacrifice flies against the right-hander.
“It just felt like I was making pitches when I needed to,” he said. “I left two pitches up over the middle of the plate and they ended up getting sac flies, but other than that I thought I made some good pitches.”
He left with the game tied, and the Astros went ahead to stay against the bullpen.
Marwin Gonzalez led off the eighth with a single off reliever Edgmer Escalona (1-2). Jose Altuve was intentionally walked and Rex Brothers relieved Escalona. Brothers struck out Jason Castro but J.D. Martinez hit a two-out single up the middle, scoring Gonzalez to put the Astros in front by a run.
Colorado had runners on first and second with two outs in the bottom of the eighth but first baseman Carlos Pena made a diving catch of Jordan Pacheco’s liner to end the threat.
“Obviously you want to come through in those situations,” Pacheco said. “Anything that’s positive, you get a broken bat blooper and you can get the job done, but sometimes you hit the ball right at somebody.”
Pena then started the ninth by homering off reliever Rob Scahill, called up from the minors prior to the game. The Astros added two more runs on Gonzalez’s run-scoring safety squeeze and Brandon Barnes’ RBI single.
Tulowitzki homered in the ninth off reliever Jose Veras and off starter Erik Bedard in the fourth for his seventh career multihomer game. The last was Aug. 27, 2011, against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Bedard also pitched well and did not get a decision. He went six innings and allowed two runs on seven hits. It was the third consecutive outing in which he has allowed only two runs.
“Tyler did a great job,” Weiss said. “We didn’t get the big hit to get the big inning, but Tyler certainly did his part.”
Houston struck first, getting a run in the second inning on Matt Dominguez’s sacrifice fly.
Tulowitzki answered leading off the fourth, when he drove the first offering from Bedard the opposite way into the right field seats. It was his 11th home run of the season and also produced the 500th run scored of his career.
Tulowitzki’s two-out double in the fifth drove in Pacheco. But the Astros tied it up at 2-all in the sixth when Barnes scored on a sacrifice fly by Castro.
Chatwood escaped further damage in the inning when he fanned Martinez and Pena for his ninth and 10th strikeouts of the game. His previous high for strikeouts was six.
“It’s frustrating,” Chatwood said. “You always want to win games. We had the lead going into the sixth and I gave it up and kind of put us in that situation. You’ve just got to try to forget it and battle back tomorrow.”
NOTES: Colorado OF Michael Cuddyer was 3-for-5 for his second consecutive three-hit game. He is 10-for-21 since being activated from the 15-day DL on May 24. … The Rockies recalled Scahill from Triple A Colorado Springs and made room for him by optioning OF Charlie Blackmon. … The Rockies are six games into a stretch in which they play 17 games in 17 days. … The Rockies acquired Chatwood two years ago from the Angels in exchange for catcher Chris Iannetta.
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