CINCINNATI (AP) — Despite seeing their offense stymied in a 4-1 loss to the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday, the Colorado Rockies feel as if they did more than just survive a grueling schedule to start the season.
The Rockies finished their stretch of 40 games in 42 days with a 23-17 record, which manager Walt Weiss considers to be even more impressive considering the injuries that have plagued his team.
"I think we competed every day," said Weiss, who has had eight players go on the disabled list, including the five currently sidelined. "With the injuries we've had, we've had to compete — right out of the game. Our guys have fought through a lot of difficult stuff."
Another problem was revealed on Sunday. Left-hander Jorge De La Rosa, who was scheduled to start at Kansas City on Tuesday, was pushed back to Friday after he started experiencing back spasms the day after his last start. Left-hander Franklin Morales, who was Wednesday's scheduled starter, was moved up a day with right-hander Jhoulys Chacin moving into Morales' spot.
"We've got starting pitchers hurt and a lot of position players are banged up because of the rigors of the schedule," said right fielder Charlie Blackmon, who homered for the second time in two games on Sunday. "When we get healthy and get reasonable rest we'll play better."
Cincinnati's pitching was Colorado's main problem Sunday. Aroldis Chapman made his first major league appearance since being hit above the eye by a line drive during spring training, striking out the side in the ninth with his 100 mph fastball to close out the Cincinnati Reds' victory.
Todd Frazier hit his second 400-foot home run in three days to back Homer Bailey's shutdown pitching as Cincinnati won the rubber match of its three-game series with Colorado.
Chapman was greeted by a standing ovation from the crowd of 33,143. He reached 100 mph with his first pitch and topped out at 102 mph in earning the save. Chapman had been out since being hit above the left eye by a line drive during a spring training game on March 19.
Skip Schumaker drove in two runs and the Reds capitalized on two Colorado throwing errors to send the Rockies to their third loss in four games.
Besides contributing two sacrifice bunts, Bailey (3-2) limited a Colorado offense that produced 11 runs and 16 hits on Saturday night to one run — Blackmon's ninth homer of the season — and four hits with two walks and six strikeouts in 7 1-3 innings.
"Where he did a good job on me was he went straight to his slider," Blackmon said. "He didn't mess around with throwing too many fastballs, and he used both sides of the plate. This park has the least foul territory of any park in baseball, and I don't know how I fouled out twice."
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