DENVER (AP) - Carlos Gonzalez and Coors Field proved to be too much for Bud Norris and the rest of the Houston pitching staff.
Norris was knocked out in the second inning and the Astros lost 11-5 to the Colorado Rockies on Thursday night.
``Trying to get comfortable in these elements is definitely different. I wasn't very good,' Norris said. ``It's a tough ballpark but you've got to go out there and get comfortable and get in your groove. They were attacking from the get-go. Tough place to pitch, tough place to play.'
Gonzalez, who homered in his last three at_bats Wednesday, hit a three-run shot in the first inning against Norris. He was intentionally walked in the second, doubled in the fourth and singled in the eighth.
Gonzalez's 14th homer made him the first Rockies player to go deep in four consecutive at_bats. It was the 22nd time a major league player has homered in four consecutive plate appearances and the 38th time for four straight official at_bats.
``He's been swinging the bat extremely well. He's been an absolute terror,' Norris said. ``Unfortunately I didn't give myself much of an opportunity to pitch around him. He put a good swing on it. Good luck trying to cool him off.'
Michael Cuddyer and Jordan Pacheco had three hits apiece and Marco Scutaro also homered for the Rockies, who had 15 hits overall and pounded Houston pitchers in the four-game sweep. Colorado finished the series with 40 runs and 56 hits after scoring 20 runs in its previous five home games.
Every position player had at least one hit Thursday.
``(Dexter) Fowler's swinging the bat well, Pacheco's swinging the bat well,' Houston manager Brad Mills said. ``Up and down the lineup they were able to square up some balls. More than just one guy.'
J.D. Martinez homered for the Astros, who have lost six straight.
Houston had 55 hits and scored 23 runs in the four-game series with Colorado. It just wasn't enough against the Rockies' hot bats.
Colorado led 5-0 after one and added four more in the second before Norris was replaced by Rhiner Cruz. Norris allowed seven hits in 1 2-3 innings and his ERA jumped from 3.34 to 4.52.
``We just happened to get more balls over the plate than we would've liked,' Mills said. ``They happened to not miss them. They were able to get the big blows with guys on.'
Martinez homered in the second to get Houston on the board. Juan Castro had an RBI triple, pinch-hitter Justin Maxwell doubled in a run and Jose Altuve added an RBI single in the Astros' three-run fourth.
Cuddyer had an RBI single in the fourth and Scutaro connected in the sixth, helping Jeremy Guthrie (3-3) earn his first win since April 22.
``Tough start. They've scored 15 runs in the first inning these four games,' Mills said. ``That'll put you behind the 8-ball pretty early. That was troublesome.'
NOTES: Altuve and Jed Lowrie had three hits apiece for the Astros. ... The nine runs allowed were a career high for Norris. ... Houston sent pitcher J.A. Happ home early Thursday in anticipation of his start against Cincinnati on Friday. ... The Rockies will start LHP Josh Outman (0-1) in Friday's series opener against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Associated Press News Service
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