Two big innings bury Rockies in opener

Two big innings bury Rockies

DENVER -- The Rockies' penchant for awful innings reared itself twice on Monday.

They coughed up seven in the fourth inning and eight in the seventh and fell to the Dodgers, 16-6, at Coors Field in front of 37,024 in a game delayed 37 minutes at the outset by rain.

And it's becoming all-too common. They gave up 10 in the seventh inning of an 11-4 loss in Pittsburgh on May 17. They yielded seven in the fourth inning of a 12-4 loss at Atlanta on Wednesday night.

After managing to go 5-5 on their just-completed road trip (despite the two bad innings), the Rockies gave the home crowd a double shot of bad innings. For the second straight game, Jorge De La Rosa (0-5) unraveled after a promising beginning. After a near comeback, relievers Jason Grilli and Alan Embree each gave up four runs in the seventh.

"When you're standing out there on defense for what seems like an hour, it's frustrating," Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki said.

The game was a headache, literally, for Rockies first baseman Todd Helton, who left the game before the fifth inning with migraine symptoms.

De La Rosa struck out six in the first three innings. But in the fourth, he gave up five singles, a walk and Juan Pierre's three-run triple before being yanked. His only out of the inning was a sacrifice fly.

"I threw a lot of pitches right down the middle," said De La Rosa, who issued a four-pitch walk to Dodgers pitcher Eric Stults, even though Stults wanted to sacrifice bunt. "I think I made a lot of mistakes ... I paid for them."

After compiling a 2.42 ERA over six games, De La Rosa has pitched poorly his past two games (6 2/3 innings, 18.00 ERA). Against the Braves in his last start, he gave up seven runs in the fourth. Catcher Yorvit Torrealba said De La Rosa was better Monday than against the Braves.

"Today he did it for the first couple of innings, and that inning he just started overthrowing again," Torrealba said. "When you start overthrowing, it's going to be ball one, ball two. Then you have to come very much right in the middle."

How the Rockies will right De La Rosa is a question.

"We need to regroup as a staff, think what the next step is," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. "I can't come up with any elixir right here or profound statement on what will turn it around."

The Rockies nearly came back in the fifth and sixth.

Stults walked three with one out in the fifth and left the game. Ryan Spilborghs' RBI fielder's choice, Brad Hawpe's two-run double and Garrett Atkins' RBI single off Jeff Weaver cut the difference to 7-5. Matt Murton doubled and scored on Tulowitzki's sacrifice fly in the sixth to make it a one-run game.

But reliever Will Ohman (1-0) fanned pinch-hitter Seth Smith to end the inning with runners at the corners.

Even with the near comeback, the Rockies missed chances. They went 3-for-14 with runners in scoring position and left 10 on base.

In the seventh, Grilli gave up four runs on two hits and two walks and Embree coughed up four more runs on five hits. Grilli and Embree combined for 49 pitches. Hawpe diving for and missing a line drive for a double that let a run score, and second baseman Clint Barmes committing an error in the inning didn't help.

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.