Rockies blanked by Padres, drop back below .500 after losing four-game series

A cold rain descended on Coors Field Monday night. Perfect mood weather for a Rockies team that has lost its way.

For the third time in four games, San Diego, a budding National League West powerhouse, took it to the Rockies, winning 6-0. Colorado dipped below .500 at 17-18. The Padres, winners of eight of their last 11 games, improved to 22-15.

Rockies starter German Marquez’s performance was as dreary as the weather. The Padres tagged him for five runs on eight hits over six innings, including a home run by Wil Myers and triples by Fernando Tatis Jr. and Jake Cronenworth.

“His stuff is fine, he’s just not hitting spots,” manager Bud Black said of Marquez. “I’m not worried about the arm. Right now it’s about location. He’s not making enough good pitches at the most critical times.”

After a 2-1 start, Marquez has lost a career-high four consecutive decisions. Colorado’s opening day starter is 0-4 with a 6.83 ERA over his five starts since his last win on July 29 at Oakland.

“My fastball location wasn’t good today,” said Marquez, 2-5 with a 4.88 overall ERA. “I missed with a couple of pitches but I have to hang in there and keep working.”

The Rockies have lost each of their last four series at home, in large part because their offense remains AWOL. It managed just seven hits Monday, all of them singles, save for a double by Daniel Murphy.

Star third baseman Nolan Arenado, who went 1-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to seven games, admitted that the Rockies are frustrated, but said the team remains in the playoff hunt and thinks the offense can snap out of its current funk.

“I believe so,” he said. “We just haven’t been consistent at all. That’s kind of our thing this year. We just haven’t been consistent throughout the lineup, and you see the Padres over there and they’re on fire — all the hitters over there.

“It’s tough. We have to clean it up and be better. And I see myself and I’ve just gotta be better.”

Over the four-game series, Padres pitchers posted a 1.00 ERA, allowing only one home run, and allowed 10 runs overall — just 3.2 runs per game, counting unearned runs. Previous to this four-game set, the lowest ERA the Padres had ever posted in a four-game series vs. Colorado was a 1.95 ERA in September 2016. And that series was played at pitcher-friendly Petco Park in San Diego.

San Diego hitters, meanwhile, battered Colorado pitching, hitting .368 in the four games, with 11 doubles, three triples and six home runs. They outscored the Rockies 32-10.

Marquez actually appeared sharp in the first two innings, striking out four and allowing only one hit, a leadoff single by Eric Hosmer in the second. But in the third, Tatis’ triple raced by the diving Sam Hilliard in center field and plated two runs. Manny Machado’s sacrifice fly drove in Tatis to make it 3-0.

Perennial Rockies killer Myers teed off on Marquez’s 85 mph slider for a leadoff homer in the fourth. Myers’ line-drive homer to dead center traveled 445 feet. It was Myers’ 11th home run at Coors Field, where he is now batting .357 (65-for-182) in his career.

Cronenworth’s triple, a walk by newly-acquired catcher Austin Nola and an infield nubber by Jurickson Profar added another run to make it 5-0.