Marquis, Rox hit hard in loss to Astros
Starter yields nine runs; Rusch allows six at Coors Field
DENVER -- Rockies right-hander Jason Marquis has struggled against the Astros' Lance Berkman, Carlos Lee and Hunter Pence. Add Miguel Tejada to that list.
The quartet pummeled Marquis in Wednesday night's 15-11 loss, which snapped the Rockies' two-game winning streak, in front of 19,226 at Coors Field.
Berkman, Lee, Tejada and Pence -- the Astros' Nos. 3-6 hitters -- combined to go 9-for-10, reached base 11 times, scored nine runs and drove in four against Marquis. Overall, they amassed 13 hits, scored 10 runs and had seven RBIs.
"I just didn't make pitches tonight," Marquis said. "Mistakes, good pitches, it just felt like everything found a hole. It was one of those nights."
Manager Clint Hurdle wasn't pleased as the Rockies dropped to 3-4 in the eight-game homestand, which ends Thursday afternoon with the rubber match of the three-game series against the Astros.
"There is no doubt about that," Hurdle said. "They know we have work to do. They know there are areas to shore up. They were working uphill all game. We didn't get the start we needed, and we didn't get the relief we needed."
Colorado entered with the best ERA (2.65) in the National League in May. However, Marquis (4-3) gave up nine earned runs on 10 hits in 3 2/3 innings. Reliever Glendon Rusch gave up six earned runs and 12 hits in 2 2/3 frames. The Astros had 24 hits, the most in the NL this season.
"It was just one of those nights, I think," catcher Chris Iannetta said, "where no matter who we threw out there, no matter what the situation was, we were going to give up some runs."
With a runner on first, two outs and the game still relatively close at 6-3 in the fourth, Marquis loaded the bases with a single to Tejada and a walk to Pence. Hurdle brought in the left-hander Rusch to face switch-hitter Geoff Blum. Blum sent Rusch's first pitch, a fastball, off the left-field wall for a bases-clearing double.
The Rockies got a scare in the seventh when shortstop Troy Tulowitzki exited after being hit on the elbow with a 91-mph fastball from Astros reliever Alberto Arias. Tulowitzki said the fastball hit a nerve, and he lost feeling from his elbow to the pinky. The injury didn't require X-rays, and he's listed as day to day.
There were a few bright spots for the Rockies, such as Ian Stewart, Brad Hawpe and Iannetta.
Stewart, who had been in a 3-for-38 slump before the Astros arrived, hit his third home run in two nights -- a two-run shot off Astros starter Mike Hampton (2-3) in the second to tie the game at 3.
Hawpe drove in two runs to raise his team-leading RBI total to 27. Iannetta had three hits and five RBIs, including a ninth-inning grand slam, his second of the season.
Cheng Sio is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.