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Rox can’t cash in on late chances vs. Fish

Submitted by Sports on May 23, 2012 – 8:20 amNo Comment

MIAMI — The Rockies had four chances with the potential tying run 90 feet away to end their five-game losing streak.

But for the third day in a row, a late-inning rally fell short, and the Rockies suffered a 7-6 loss to the Marlins on Tuesday in the middle game at Marlins Park.

“We had chances,” Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. “Pick it up tomorrow and try it again, but they play, and they keep playing. They’re playing hard … but it gets a little demoralizing.”

Trailing 7-4 heading into the eighth inning, the Rockies mounted a comeback against the Marlins bullpen. Wilin Rosario made it a two-run game with an RBI single to score Todd Helton from second, and an error by Miami catcher John Buck during the next at-bat allowed Michael Cuddyer to score from third and cut the Marlins’ lead to 7-6.

With Rosario on third and one down, Colorado couldn’t complete the rally, as Eric Young struck out and Marlins left fielder Chris Coghlan, a mid-game substitute for an injured Austin Kearns, ran down Marco Scutaro’s liner heading for the gap.

“You can’t ask Marco Scutaro to do anything more than he did,” Tracy said. “That’s a terrific at-bat and one hell of a play by Coghlan. Off the bat, I thought the ball was going to carry over his head.”

Coghlan made a terrific jump on the ball and made a leaping grab while running to his left to end the inning and temporarily dash Colorado’s hopes of a comeback.

“He hit it to the gap,” Coghlan said. “The way the lights are, they’re all in a line. If it’s hit a certain height, you can’t really see it right way. I saw it, and I ran to a spot, and then it came out of the lights and I was able to make a play.”

The Rockies had another chance with the potential tying run on third with one out in the ninth, but Marlins closer Heath Bell got Troy Tulowitzki to pop up before striking out Helton to end the game.

“You cannot fault tonight’s effort,” Tracy said. “You can’t. But I think where we messed up, once again, was in the early part of the game with the starting pitching.”

For the second time in as many nights, the Rockies jumped out to an early first-inning lead, which proved to be short-lived.

Colorado pushed three across in the first thanks to a pair of RBI singles from Helton and Cuddyer, who finished the game 3-for-3 with two doubles and a walk, and a sacrifice fly from Rosario.

That lead quickly evaporated with righty Juan Nicasio struggling on the mound. Nicasio said he felt tired during the first three innings, but had no lingering effects from the line drive he took off the hip in his last start.

“I don’t know what happened with me,” Nicasio said. “In the first and second innings I was feeling down, I can’t throw my fastball hard, but in the fifth inning I was feeling strong — in the fourth inning, too.”

The Marlins answered with two runs in the first, and then took the lead in the third when a decision to intentionally walk Donnie Murphy, who was hitting .143 on the season at the time, to get to Nolasco backfired. Nolasco helped himself with a two-run double to make it 5-3.

The Marlins right-hander went six innings, allowing four runs on eight hits with one walk and six strikeouts. The win was his 69th overall, making him the organization’s all-time victories leader.

Nicasio retired the final five batters he face, but lasted just five innings and gave up six runs — five earned — on nine hits. It was the second night in a row a Rockies starter allowed six runs.

“The fifth inning looked like Juan Nicasio,” Tracy said. “The first four, he lacked command and pitched behind in the count.”

The Rockies are 4-16 this month and reside in the National League West cellar.

“It’s extremely frustrating for all of us,” Tracy said. “It’s actually very painful to sit here, and knowing the kind of effort they’re putting forth, and to be thwarted and frustrated night after night. It’s painful as hell. … That gets tough to take.”

Tom Green is an associate reporter for

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