HOUSTON — Alex Bregman came to the plate in the first inning Wednesday night and promptly lashed a double off Rockies starter Tyler Anderson.
Marwin Gonzalez followed with a walk, and so did Yuli Gurriel, loading the bases for Carlos Correa, who smashed a three-run double. The tone of the evening was set.
Then things got bad really for Anderson and the Rockies.
By the time “Deep in the Heart of Texas” blared through the speakers during the seventh-inning stretch at Minute Maid Park, the Rockies trailed the Astros 10-1. The final score: 12-1 — an abrupt end to Colorado’s four-game winning streak.
Colorado slipped a notch in the National League West and now sits 1½ games behind Arizona. The Diamondbacks were off Wednesday.
The Astros, who snapped a five-game losing streak, as well as a nine-game losing skid at home, slammed five home runs. Three of them came off Anderson — a two-run shot by Gurriel in the second, a solo shot by Evan Gattis in the third and a two-run bomb to right-center by Tyler White in the fifth.
Left-hander Harrison Musgrave gave up three runs on four hits in his two innings of mop-up duty, including solo home runs to Gattis, in the fifth, and White, in the seventh.
Wednesday marked the second time in his last three starts that Anderson was tagged for three home runs.
When it comes to a non-power pitcher like Anderson, location, as in real estate, is everything. Wednesday night, his location was on the wrong side of the tracks, next to the pawn shop and gas-n-sip. Anderson up gave up nine runs on seven hits over 4⅓ innings. All seven of the Astros’ hits off Anderson went for extra bases.
Texas right-hander Gerrit Cole had no such problems, dominating Colorado for the second time this season. The former Pirates ace has six career starts vs. the Rockies, and five of them are quality starts.
Cole gave up one run on five hits in six innings, striking out 12, including fanning struggling Rockies leadoff hitter Charlie Blackmon three times. All told, Colorado struck out 17 times.
Colorado’s lone run came in the fourth inning on consecutive singles by Carlos Gonzalez, Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story. Story’s RBI single extended his hitting streak to 12 games.
The Rockies begin a four-game series at Atlanta on Thursday.