Charlie Blackmon’s five-hit performance wasn’t enough to prevent the Colorado Rockies’ 9-3 loss Saturday to the Minnesota Twins. It still was reason for encouragement in the eyes of manager Walt Weiss.
It marked Blackmon’s 29th multihit game of the season, including a career-best six-hit game against Arizona on April 4. It also was his fourth consecutive multihit game since dealing with a little bit of a lull after a hot start to his season.
“Charlie got off to a phenomenal start and leveled out a little bit like everybody does – good to see Charlie rolling again,” Weiss said.
Blackmon’s five singles was the 11th time he had knocked out three or more hits in a game. Only teammate Troy Tulowitzki (14) and Starlin Castro and Dee Gordon with 12 games each have done it more often in the National League this year.
Still, the Rockies struggled to string together hits or deliver the big hit against Minnesota starter Kevin Correia (5-11), who pitched six innings of one run-ball.
“He was cutting the ball on us really good, going away from the righties and in on the lefties,” Weiss said.
Meanwhile, Colorado starter Tyler Matzek struggled out of the gate.
Matzek took a drive off his left knee by leadoff hitter Brian Dozier. After misfiring on an attempted pickoff play to get Dozier at second base, Eduardo Escobar reached on a fielder’s choice.
“I lollipopped it over,” Matzek said. “I should have chased him down and made a better throw.”
Matzek (1-4) allowed four runs and seven hits in six innings in the loss.
Up 4-1, the Twins secured the win with a three-run eighth inning. Pinch-hitter Chris Parmelee hit a bases-loaded single to drive in a pair, and the third run scored on Dozier’s sacrifice fly.
Minnesota tacked on two more runs in the ninth on an RBI single by Kurt Suzuki and an obstruction call on Rockies’ third baseman Nolan Arenado.
Correia worked out of trouble in the fifth. After giving up consecutive one-out singles, including a run-scoring base hit by Blackmon, Correia induced Tulowitzki to ground into an inning-ending double play.
“You want to come through in those situations,” Tulowitzki said. “Sometimes, it doesn’t happen. We didn’t take very good swings. He got out of trouble making some pitches and got some double plays.”
Matzek was in trouble from the outset, falling behind 2-0 three batters into the game. Dozier led off with a double, Escobar reached on a fielder’s choice, and Kendrys Morales followed with a double to score them both.
Escobar put the Twins up 3-0 when he started the third with a homer, his third of the season, and Correia, whose run support is lowest among Twins starters, helped himself with a two-out RBI double in the fourth that he drove down the third-base line.
Matzek walked one and struck out two.
Rockies LHP Brett Anderson (0-2) is set to come off the 60-day disabled list to start Sunday’s series finale against the Twins in his first appearance since April 12 at San Francisco, when he broke his left index finger during an at bat. He’ll be opposed by RHP Phil Hughes (9-5). ... Kevin Correia last had an RBI on July 28, 2011, at Atlanta while with Pittsburgh. ... Scott Baker was the last Twins pitcher to double in a game May 21, 2011, at Arizona. ... The Twins improved to 5-9 in interleague play. Colorado fell to 6-8. ... Colorado got two ninth-inning runs on Carlos Gonzalez’s RBI double and Troy Tulowitzki’s run-scoring groundout.