Rockies fall as bullpen, offense again stumble

Starting pitcher Ryan Castellani struggled through 5 1/3 innings Sunday, but somehow allowed only one unearned run and left with the Rockies leading 3-1. Unfortunately Colorado wouldn’t score again, while the Angels rallied for a 5-3 victory at Coors Field.

Castellani allowed just one hit, but walked six and hit a batter over the course of 96 pitches. In all the Rockies walked 10 batters as they lost the three-game series against Los Angeles.

Had the offense managed more than three runs the bullpen’s inability to keep the Angels bats in checked might not have mattered. Instead Colorado is now 21-25 on the season and dropping further behind the Giants (23-24) in the race for the final Wild Card playoff spot.

“We’ve talked about it all season. We need the big hit with runners in scoring position. We’ve got to break through, keep the line moving and string hits together, more than just a couple — and (we) can’t rely on one grand slam.”

Rockies manager Bud Black said of his offense’s inability to come through when it mattered most on Sunday.

Pujols makes history

On the other side of the diamond Sunday was one of the all-time greats adding another achievement to list of accomplishments. Albert Pujols hit his 660th career home run, tying Willie Mays for fifth on the all-time home runs list.

The two-run homer off Colorado’s Carlos Estévez in the eight inning put the Angels ahead for good.

“For it to be the game winner on top of all that, it was kind of like a perfect moment for him. And for us. We’re still not out of this thing, mathematically, and to get a big knock like that, it could help get our spirits (up) for the next couple days.”

Angels manager Joe Maddon said after the game.

Highlights: Angels 5, Rockies 3

Extra bases

  • Colorado’s Nolan Arenado didn’t play Sunday as he continues to deal with soreness in his left shoulder.
    “It’s something that I’ve had for some time, and I’ve tried to play through it,” Arenado said before the game. “It’s flared up sometimes, then gone down. It’s flaring up again. Trainers are helping me through it, but it’s frustrating.”
  • Outfielder Raimel Tapia was replaced by David Dahl in the fifth inning after suffering from dizziness after hitting his head on a diving catch earlier in the game.
  • The Rockies are off today before opening a two-game series against Oakland at Coors Field on Tuesday. Righty Antonio Senzatela (3-2, 3.69 ERA) is scheduled to start the opener for Colorado.
  • The Denver Post’s Patrick Saunders made a to-do list for the Rockies to check off in order to make the playoffs this season.
  • While this weekend’s Nick Groke answered readers questions.
  • In other MLB news on Sunday Cubs right-hander Alex Mills no-hit the Brewers in a 12-0 Chicago win.

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