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Rockies pounded again by Giants, fall to last place in NL West

Of course, it’s early. May 10 to be exact.

But the Rockies now reside in last place in the tough National West. Unless they start playing baseball better on the road, they’ll have to get used to living in the basement.

Playing poorly in all phases of the game Tuesday night, the Rockies lost 9-2 to the Giants at Oracle Park. The Rockies have lost eight of their last nine games away from Coors Field.

“We didn’t pitch well, too many walks,” manager Bud Black said. “We hit a guy to start an inning. You cannot give free passes to this team. They are tough. They really fight, they walk around, they put the ball in play.”

The Giants have beaten the Rockies nine straight and in the past two seasons they are 17-4 against them.

Colorado, 1-4 on the current road trip, is 16-14. Arizona, which lost 110 games last season but took two or three from the Rockies this weekend, is 17-14. The Diamondbacks beat Miami, 9-3, on Tuesday night.

In order to have a chance of beating the Giants and left-hander Alex Wood, the Rockies needed a strong start from Antonio Senzatela. He couldn’t deliver. The right-hander was gone after 3 2/3 innings after the Giants scored him for five runs on seven hits. His ERA went from 3.75 to 4.88.

Senzatela’s defense didn’t help him, but Black made it clear that Senzatela didn’t help himself.

“He made mistakes too,” Black said. “He can’t walk guys, but like all teams you have to do everything right to win a game. It just didn’t happen tonight.

Wood, meanwhile, pitched 5 1/3 innings, allowing an unearned run on seven hits, walking two and striking out four. He caused eight strikeouts.

The Rockies entered the game averaging .223 in their last eight road games, averaging .217 with runners in scoring position. They had 10 hits on Tuesday night but went 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position.

“On this trip we haven’t scored,” Black said. “We had a few chances to get a shot or two to get us closer, to give us some momentum, but we didn’t have it.”

Senzatela is a low step, low pullback, high pitch pitcher. The mix may work well for him, but it certainly didn’t work Tuesday night.

For all intents and purposes, especially considering Colorado’s anemic traffic offense, the game was decided in the second inning. Senzatela walked Joc Pederson to open the frame, gave up a single to Thairo Estrada and another walk to Brandon Crawford to charge the bases. Senzatela was looking for trouble and he found it.

Luis Gonzalez scored at home Pederson, Curt Casali scored on the right to score Estrada, and when Charlie Blackmon misplayed the ball, Crawford scored. The Giants’ 3-0 lead looked like a three-touchdown margin.

The Giants officially put the game away with a fifth three-pointer to extend their lead from 5-1 to 8-1. They sent eight batters home.

It was a bad run for the Rockies. Reliever Lucas Gilbreath, who was called up and replaced right-hander Justin Lawrence because the Rockies wanted a southpaw in the bullpen, struggled mightily. He hit Darin Ruf to open the inning, gave back-to-back singles to Brandon Crawford and Mauricio Dubon to load the bases, then walked Austin Slater to force a run. Then Gilbreath walked Curt Casali to force another run.

The Rockies’ first point came in the fourth. Ryan McMahon started with a broken-bat left single and came on to score on Daza’s double from Yonathan and an error from left fielder Luis Gonzalez.

Daza, Colorado’s top defensive outfielder, has been hitting exceptionally well lately as he gets more playing time. He went 3-for-4 with a triple in the ninth, leaving him with a home run before the cycle. Sam Hilliard drove Daza with a sacrifice fly for Colorado’s second run. Daza hits .370.

The Rockies will try to avoid getting swept away when the teams play Game 3 of the series Thursday afternoon at Oracle Park.


On the bridge
Rockies RHP Chad Kuhl (3-0, 1.82 ERA) vs. Giants RHP Alex Cobb (1-1, 4.80)
1:45 p.m. Wednesday, Oracle Park
TV: ATTRM
Radio: 850AM/94.1FM

Kuhl was the Rockies’ top starting pitcher. He made four straight quality starts, the second-longest streak of his career. Additionally, the right-hander has allowed a run or less in four of five starts this season. His 1.82 ERA was tied for seventh in the National League heading into Tuesday’s game and his 0.84 WHIP was tied for fourth. He has made three career starts against the Giants, going 0-0 with a 3.63 ERA. The last time he faced the Giants was on July 23, 2021, when he was pitching for the Pirates. He allowed three runs in 5 1/3 innings and allowed two homers.

Making his second start since returning from the disabled list, Cobb got off to a strong start against the Cardinals, allowing two runs on three hits and one walk with eight strikeouts in five innings. Cobb downed the first 10 batters he faced, but his outing ended when Harrison Bader hit a two-run homer. Cobb, 34, hasn’t pitched past the fifth inning in any of his four starts. Until this season, Cobb had spent his entire career in the American League, so he only faced the Rockies once, picking up the win after pitching 6 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on eight hits. (including three home runs), with one walk and six strikeouts.

Tendency : Going into Tuesday night’s game, Jose Iglesias led National League shortstops in average (.329), on-base percentage (.382) and doubles (eight).

A tissue: Going into Tuesday night’s game, the Rockies had lost seven of their last eight road games and were down just .223/.285/.332 while hitting .217 with runners in scoring position.

Cast probabilities
Thursday: Public holiday
Friday: Royals RHP Zack Greinke (0-2, 2.67) vs. Rockies LHP Kyle Freeland (1-3, 3.94), 6:40 p.m., ATTRM