The Red Sox could not keep the ball on the ground when it mattered, mathematically eliminating them from a 100-win season.
Coors Field is notorious for feasting on pitchers who aren’t used to the high altitudes, despite the Rockies’ efforts at humidifying their baseballs. John Lackey didn’t have to wait long to witness the “Coors Effect,” as just three pitches into the ball game, Charlie Blackmon sent a line drive down the right field line that cut right through the thin air and landed just this side of foul for a leadoff homerun. Later in the inning, Michael Cuddyer reached on a double to Shane Victorino and then trotted home on a Todd Helton single.
Lackey managed to escape the second inning unscathed, and after two quick outs in the third, Troy Tulowitzki launched his 25th homerun of the year to put the Rockies up by two. Corey Dickerson hit the Rockies’ third solo shot of the night in the fourth on a fly ball to right that just kept going through the mile high air.
Rockies’ starter Tyler Chatwood, on the other hand, knew exactly how to handle his home stadium. 13 of Chatwood’s total outs stayed on the ground, while only six Red Sox managed to fly out against the 23-year-old righty. Boston could only muster one run against Chatwood and that would come in his last inning of work. After a Will Middlebrooks double, Jackie Bradley Jr lucked out as Chatwood could not make the play at first, allowing Middlebrooks to score.
A bad bottom of the seventh saw Brandon Workman and, to a lesser extent, Drake Britton combine to bury the Sox by seven runs. The Red Sox would plate two more in the ninth, courtesy of a Jarrod Saltalamacchia homerun with Brock Holt running for David Ortiz.
Still despite their best efforts to lose home field advantage, Boston maintained a one game lead for best record, as the Angels somehow managed to shut out the Athletics.