ST. LOUIS — The Rockies have gone from road warriors to road kill.
They lost 10-5 to St. Louis on Wednesday night at steamy Busch Stadium, suffering a three-game sweep as the National League wild-card race continues to tighten up. Colorado lost for the 16th time in its last 19 road games.
A major reinforcement, however, is on the way. The Rockies, knowing they must bolster their sagging bullpen if they want to stay in the wild-card playoff hunt, announced during the game that they had acquired all-star right-handed reliever Pat Neshek in a trade with Philadelphia. In exchange, the Rockies gave the Phillies three minor leaguers: infielder Jose Gomez, right-handed pitcher J.D. Hammer and right-handed pitcher Alejandro Requena.
The club could certainly use bullpen help, as evidenced by Wednesday’s loss. Right-hander Jordan Lyles gave up two runs on five hits in two innings, his ERA climbing to 6.94. Usual starter Tyler Chatwood, making his first relief appearance since July 5, 2012 at St. Louis, gave up a run on one hit with two walks and two wild pitches in his inning of work.
Entering Wednesday’s game, Colorado’s bullpen ranked 13th in the National League with a 4.53 ERA.
Overall, it was another frustrating night at Busch Stadium for the Rockies, who have lost 22 of their last 27 games here.
Colorado starter Jeff Hoffman was undoubtedly squeezed by home plate umpire Mark Carlson early on and it seemed to affect his performance. He failed to get a strikeout call on a checked swing in the first inning on Tommy Pham and ended up walking him. That set up Paul DeJong’s two-run homer to deep center.
The Cardinals’ five-run fourth inning was a messy affair. Yadier Molina and Randal Grichuck opened with back-to-back singles and then Hoffman walked Harrison Bader on a 3-2 pitch. According to the gamecast graphics, Hoffman should have logged a strikeout, but instead, he faced a no-out, bases-loaded nightmare. Four batters later — including a slicing RBI single to right by pitcher Carlos Martinez and a monster RBI double to right-center by Matt Carpenter — the Rockies trailed 7-4.
Nolan Arenado, meanwhile, continued to play like an MVP candidate. With a 2-for-3 evening, he’s batting .313 with 23 homers and a major-league best 89 RBIs.
The third baseman put the Rockies on the board in the first with a two-run homer to left off Martinez. Arenado walked and scored a run in a two-run third inning that gave the Rockies a short-lived 4-2. Gerardo Parra provided the juice with a two-run double.
Arenado trimmed St. Louis’ lead to 7-5 in the fifth with a single to right, scoring Charlie Blackmon.