DENVER (AP) — The Oakland A’s came to Denver on a roll. They are leaving the Mile High City reeling after playing the hottest team in the NL.
German Marquez continued Colorado’s strong starting pitching, Tom Murphy homered and the Rockies beat the A’s 3-2 on Sunday to sweep the interleague series.
Oakland had played its way into the playoff picture with a 27-7 record since June 16 before losing all three against Colorado.
“Everything was going our way in Texas and in this series guys were lining out,” Stephen Piscotty said.
After going 11-16 in June the Rockies have turned around their season with a 16-5 mark in July. They finished the month 12-2 at Coors Field and have the best record in the NL since June 16 after ending Oakland’s six-game winning streak.
“It was a good challenge at a great time. Two teams that are playing really well,” Carlos Gonzalez said. “Obviously I didn’t want to face those guys in June when we were limping. Those are the type of opportunities when you’re doing well. You want to face good teams to see where you’re at.”
Marquez (9-8) returned from paternity leave to deliver 7 2/3 solid innings and help the Rockies win for the 11th time in 13 games. He allowed two runs on five hits and struck out eight. He left to a standing ovation after fanning Nick Martini.
Marquez was away from the team for the birth of his son, Damian, with his girlfriend, Diluanny. Damian was born earlier this week in Venezuela.
“This one goes out for my son, for my family,” Marquez said. “It’s a big-time dedication to them since they were watching the game. I got to spend some time with them this week.”
Khris Davis and Matt Chapman homered for the A’s, who lost just their first series in their last 12. Oakland averaged more than 10 runs in a four-game sweep at Texas last week but scored just four runs against Colorado.
“We grinded out games in Texas and knew coming into here it was going to be a tough series,” catcher Jonathan Lucroy said. “I played here last year for a couple of months and I knew these guys would come after us every day.”
The Rockies gave Marquez the early lead when Ryan McMahon, recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque before the game, doubled to lead off the second and scored on Murphy’s second home run of the season.
McMahon’s RBI double off Oakland starter Frankie Montas (5-3) made it 3-0. McMahon finished with two doubles in four at-bats.
Chapman led off the fourth with his 13th home run of the season and Davis hit a solo shot in the seventh, his 28th, to make it 3-2.
Wade Davis got the last three outs to nail down his 30th save in 34 chances.
A’s: Placed INF Chad Pinder on the 10-day DL with a left elbow laceration and recalled INF Franklin Barreto from Triple-A Nashville.
Rockies: Manager Bud Black said 2B DJ LeMahieu (left oblique strain) will make the upcoming road trip. LeMahieu was placed on the 10-day DL on July 21. ... RHP Chad Bettis (blister) had no setbacks in his rehab start Saturday, Black said.
Colorado’s July revival has been sparked by the rotation. The Rockies starters have an ERA of 3.43 since June 19, and the team is 23-9 in that span to move 10 games above .500.
The rotation finished July with a 1.71 ERA at Coors Field.
The sharp pitching has allowed Colorado to win when not putting up a lot of runs. The Rockies outscored Oakland 10-4 over the weekend.
“It’s outstanding. The stretch that we’re getting from the starting rotation has been unbelievable,” Gonzalez said. “It’s the best I’ve seen in 10 years. All the starters are doing something I haven’t seen before -- not giving up a lot of runs.”
A’s: RHP Edwin Jackson (1-2, 3.86) opens a three-game home series against Toronto on Monday.
Rockies: LHP Tyler Anderson (6-3, 3.57) will start the opener of a four-game series in St. Louis on Monday.