DENVER The Colorado Rockies slumbering bats finally showed some life with Troy Tulowitzki, Carlos Gonzalez and Seth Smith all going deep off right-hander Mike Pelfrey.
Only trouble was, the bases were empty each time, and they lost to the New York Mets 4-3 on Pelfreys two-run double off Jason Hammel on Tuesday night.
Pelfreys a good pitcher, Tulowitzki said. We put some good swings on him. That was encouraging. But the double by him, really, I think is one of those plays where momentum really swings the other direction. Youre not expecting the pitcher to put a double in the gap, let alone two RBIs in a big situation.
Its like a great defensive play, something that puts momentum in the other dugout, and I think as a team we went downhill right from there.
Hammel said he wanted to throw a fastball right down the middle and get ahead in the count with two outs and two men on in the fourth inning, and Pelfrey said he went up to the plate intent on hacking away at the first pitch.
Fastball down the middle just to get ahead, and he ambushed me, said Hammel, who had just been hit in his left calf by Ronny Paulinos infield single that preceded a walk to Jason Pridie.
He said it was impossible to put the injury out of his mind because it was to his landing leg. He said the pain didnt really intensify, however, until he left the game and his adrenaline wore off.
What really bothered him was giving up the double to Pelfrey.
Its got to be a better pitch than that, Hammel said.
Im terrible at the plate, Pelfrey said. I went up there and I thought, Hey, Im going to swing at the first pitch. I thought I might pull the ball (foul), but it was up, and I couldnt get around in time, and luckily it found a gap.
And the Rockies know they have to do a better job at the plate if they want to maintain their lead atop the NL West, which theyve held by themselves since April 6.
As a team, theyre hitting .232, and four players arent even hitting .200. One of them, Ian Stewart, is batting .064 as hes off to a 3-for-47 start that might soon spell the end of the line for him in Denver.
Dexter Fowler took solace in the three long balls: I mean, its a start, I guess.
Despite the trio of long balls he served up, Pelfrey (3-3), who allowed six hits over 6 2/3 innings, improved to 6-2 lifetime against the Rockies, who have lost seven of nine. Pelfreys outing was cut short by a nearly hour-long rain delay in the seventh inning.
Hammel (3-2) entered the game with a 13-inning scoreless streak, and the Mets promptly ended that, scoring two runs in the first inning on Ike Davis two-run single.
The Rockies tied it in the second when Tulowitzki and Smith hit homers to right field.
Hammel was cruising along until Paulinos comebacker richocheted off his left calf for a two-out single in the fourth inning.
It was all calf, Im lucky Im such a muscular guy, I was able to absorb the blow, the rain-thin right-hander cracked. But once I came out of the game and the adrenaline wore off, it hurts. It hurts a lot.
What hurt more, however, was the belt-high fastball he threw to Pelfrey, who laced it to right-center for a two-run double that gave the Mets the lead for good.
Hammel allowed four earned runs on seven hits in seven innings.
He said he didnt think his bruised calf was a big deal.
Im not looking forward to waking up (today), but if Im able to go back out after it happened, Im pretty sure Im not going to miss a start, he said.
Gonzalez made it 4-3 in the sixth when he sent Pelfreys fastball into the rock pile in straightaway center for his third homer of the year and first at home.
I have the best seat in the house, and this is the first time Ive seen glimpses of CarGo from last year, so thats encouraging, Tulowitzki said.
Isringhausen and Tim Byrdak combined for a 1-2-3 eighth inning, and Francisco Rodriguez pitched a perfect ninth for his 10th save in 11 chances.
Good to finally get a win against these guys and hopefully win the series (today), Wright said. Its a very good team, and when Tulo and Gonzalez get going, theyre going to be that much more dangerous.