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Offence wakes up, but Colorado bullpen falters in 7-6 defeat to Cleveland

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CLEVELAND - The Colorado Rockies' offence got back on track Saturday. Their road woes continued to pile up.

Rex Brothers gave up a go-ahead RBI single to Mike Aviles in the bottom of the eighth inning, allowing the Cleveland Indians to escape with a 7-6 victory.

The Rockies tied the score with four runs in the seventh on a three-run homer by Charlie Blackmon and a solo shot by Corey Dickerson, but wound up falling to 2-6 on their nine-game, 10-day trip.

"We've got a good group of guys who have the ability to turn the page, but that hasn't been easy because this has been a tough trip," Colorado manager Walt Weiss said. "All the guys continued to fight today — and watching them tie the game was great — but in the end, we still didn't get it done."

The Rockies averaged 2.3 runs over their first seven games on the trip before erupting for six against the Indians, including Blackmon's game-tying homer in the seventh on the only pitch thrown by reliever Josh Outman.

Earlier in the inning, Dickerson went deep against Scott Atchison to cut Cleveland's lead to 6-3.

Blackmon went 2 for 4 with four RBIs, including his 10th homer of the season, which set a franchise record for a leadoff hitter. Second baseman DJ LeMahieu added three hits and scored twice on an afternoon when two-time All-Star left fielder Carlos Gonzalez struck out in each of his four plate appearances.

"A lot of guys came through for us at the plate, even though they weren't necessarily the guys you might expect to," Weiss said. "They showed a lot of heart."

Things went downhill in the eighth when Brothers (2-3) entered and issued a leadoff walk to pinch-hitter Jason Kipnis. After a sacrifice bunt moved Kipnis to second base, Aviles followed with a sharp single to right field to restore the Indians' advantage.

"Anytime you give up leadoff walks, you're in trouble," Brothers said tersely. "It's on me. I didn't execute my pitches. Nothing more, nothing less."

Weiss didn't disagree.

"Rex hasn't had his great command like he did last year, and has had some traffic out there," Weiss said. "He had the leadoff walk, then he left the ball out there for Aviles, who hit it the other way."

Bryan Shaw (2-1) retired all five batters he faced to pick up the win, while Cody Allen tossed a scoreless ninth for his third save.

Rockies left-hander Franklin Morales started and allowed a season-high tying six runs in 5 1-3 innings. Aviles and Lonnie Chisenhall — the bottom two hitters in the Indians' order — both homered as he exited trailing 6-2.

"I felt good and I made good pitches, but they hit them," said Morales, who ranks second in the National League with 13 homers allowed. "I know what I have to do. I have to make good pitches and stay in control the whole time. I just tried to keep fighting for my team because we've got a great team."

Colorado scored twice in the first six innings against Cleveland right-hander Trevor Bauer, who matched his career high with eight strikeouts. Rockies batters have whiffed an NL-low 390 times on the season after being struck out 11 times by the Indians' five pitchers.

"We knew Bauer had good stuff and he would throw it all at us today," Weiss said.

Rockies third baseman Michael Cuddyer made his first start at the position since 2010, going 1 for 4 with a stolen base. He appeared in 171 games at third base over six years with the Twins.

"This gave us an opportunity to get another outfielder in the lineup," Weiss said. "In this case, we wanted to get Drew Stubbs in."

Stubbs, who played for the Indians last season, was hitless in four at-bats.

NOTES: The Rockies started all four right-handed hitters on their roster against Bauer. They combined to go 1 for 11. ... Colorado acquired Stubbs for Outman on Dec. 18, 2013. Outman spent the previous two years with the Rockies. ... The Rockies are 12-20 on the road. ... Indians RHP Josh Tomlin (3-2) takes on Rockies RHP Jhoulys Chacin (0-4) in the three-game series finale Sunday.

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