DENVER — Coors Field has been the ultimate home-field advantage for the Colorado Rockies. This year it has turned into another footnote in a disappointing season.
Carlos Gonzalez homered and starter David Hale struck out nine in five innings, but it wasn't enough as the Rockies fell 8-4 to the Houston Astros on Thursday.
It was Colorado's third straight home loss and dropped its record at Coors Field to 13-20.
"That's unacceptable," Gonzalez said. "We have a home-field advantage and the offense is not showing, at home especially. We have to dominate at home. That's how it's been in Rockies history."
The 2015 Rockies are rewriting history, and it is frustrating both players and the manager. Walt Weiss was economic with his answers after his team went 2 for 13 with runners in scoring position.
"We had some opportunities," he said. "We've been real good with runners in scoring position most of the year, one of the best in baseball, but didn't get the big hit today."
The Astros did and it helped them win their fifth straight. Preston Tucker homered and drove in three runs and pinch-hitter Domingo Santana got his first major league home run in the victory.
Carlos Correa stole three bases, and George Springer extended his hitting streak to 11 games as the Astros swept the four-game, home-and-home series with the reeling Rockies. The Astros hit six homers in two games at Coors Field, raising their AL-leading total to 97.
Rockies pitchers struck out 17 batters Thursday, a Colorado record for a nine-inning game, but allowed 13 hits for the second straight game.
"That club's a bit of an enigma," Weiss said. "They have a lot of power, a lot of athleticism, a lot of swing and miss. They have a real good bullpen and starting pitching, that's why they win games."
Collin McHugh (7-3) got the win despite allowing three runs, four hits and a season-high five walks in six innings. McHugh settled down after surrendering a three-run homer to Gonzalez in the first.
The Rockies managed just five hits after the first inning. It added to the frustration of a poor home record.
"If we play decent on the road and you dominate at home you have a chance to go to the postseason," Gonzalez said. "If you don't, you don't have a chance."
Santana lined a hanging slider from Scott Oberg into the bullpen for a three-run homer in the eighth, giving the Astros an 8-3 lead.
After a rocky first, McHugh allowed only two hits before handing things over to the bullpen. McHugh spent the 2013 season with the Rockies, going 0-3 with a 9.95 ERA before being waived and claimed by Houston on Dec. 18, 2013. He is 14-3 since August.
"We had him on the ropes early but he put up zeros after that first inning," Troy Tulowitzki said. "We couldn't get that big hit. His ERA is not the most impressive but he wins games."
Third-base umpire Bob Davidson left in the third inning due to dehydration. The 62-year-old Davidson lives in Colorado.
ROCKIES SIGN TWO
Colorado signed RHP Mike Nikorak and 3B Tyler Nevin before Thursday's games. Nikorak, selected 27th overall in last week's draft, agreed to a $2.3 million bonus. The value assigned to his slot was $2,004,600. Nevin, Colorado's competitive balance pick, was taken 38th overall.
Rockies: RHP Brooks Brown was placed on the DL for a second time this season with shoulder inflammation. ... Weiss said surgery wasn't an option for OF Corey Dickerson (left plantar fasciitis) at this time. ... Weiss had a chat Thursday with 1B Justin Morneau, who's been out since mid-May with concussion symptoms. "I came away from our conversation feeling better about him and his circumstances," Weiss said. There's still no timetable for Morneau's return.
Rockies: Fresh off becoming the Rockies' all-time wins leader, LHP Jorge De La Rosa (4-2, 4.91) takes the mound Friday against Milwaukee. He is 4-0 with a 2.56 ERA in his last five starts.