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A’s beat Rockies again as Chris Flexen is rocked in Colorado debut

It was a perfect night for baseball in LoDo.

Nice sunset, a gentle breeze that cooled temperatures to the upper-70s by the sixth inning, and a lively Star Wars night crowd of 45,085 at Coors Field.

The only thing missing was quality baseball from the home team.

The Rockies were pounded, 11-3, by Oakland, owners of the worst record in the majors. The Rockies, owners of the worst record in the National League, have lost four straight, including an 8-5 loss to the A’s on Friday night.

In what’s become a common theme this season, lack of quality starting pitching — due to injuries and poor organizational depth — gave the Rockies little chance to succeed.

Saturday night, they turned to veteran right-hander Chris Flexen, who entered the game 0-4 with a 7.71 ERA. He was designated for assignment by Seattle earlier this season, then traded to the Mets, who released him July 6. Colorado signed him to a minor league deal July 13.

Flexen was called up from Triple-A for Saturday’s start, but his Rockies debut was such a disaster that Coors Field fans, usually a mild-mannered sort, serenaded him with boos. He gave up six runs (five earned) on four hits in 3 2/3 innings.

But that wasn’t the truly ugly part. Flexen also walked six, hit a batter and threw a wild pitch that scored a run. In addition, Flexen served up two home runs in Oakland’s five-run second inning. Zack Gelof hit a 406-foot solo shot to left and Brent Rooker blasted a two-run, 462-foot homer to left-center.

Meanwhile, Oakland right-hander Paul Blackburn pitched the kind of game that leads to success at Coors. True, he gave up nine hits over his six innings, but he struck out seven, didn’t walk anyone and was charged with two runs. In other words, he rolled with the punches.

Colorado Rockies mascot Dinger the dinosaur dons a costume to mark a promotion for “Star Wars” before the Rockies’ baseball game against the Oakland Athletics on Saturday, July 29, 2023, in Denver.(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

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