Nolan Are­nado ejected, bats re­main quiet as Colorado once again loses at Mi­ami, 4-3.

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - By Patrick Saun­ders

MI­AMI» Rock­ies frus­tra­tion reached a fever pitch Sat­ur­day night in a 4-3 loss to Mi­ami at Mar­lins Park.

All-star third base­man Nolan Are­nado was ejected for throw­ing his bat to the ground in anger af­ter strik­ing out on a checked swing in the sev­enth in­ning. First-base um­pire Pat Hoberg gave Are­nado a quick thumb, and Are­nado raced down to first base to plead his case.

No mat­ter. The ejec­tion stood and Are­nado got tossed for only the third time in his ca­reer. He was re­placed by Pat Valaika.

“I was mostly mad at my­self, but I can see why he threw me out,” Are­nado said. “I said some words I prob­a­bly shouldn’t have said to­ward him, so I can see why I got thrown out.

“I was just more up­set at my at-bats tonight, es­pe­cially that last one. I got mad and he threw me out. I’m not sur­prised. I didn’t mean it to­ward him, but then I saw the re­play and I can def­i­nitely see why he threw me out.”

Bench coach Mike Red­mond, fill­ing in for man­ager Bud Black, who was ill Sat­ur­day, thought Hoberg made a mis­take.

“He told me that he’s been in­structed to do that when a guys throws his bat and then looks at him,” Red­mon said. “I ex­plained to him, in the calmest voice that I have, that I thought he was wrong. … But the dam­age had al­ready been done.”

The over­rid­ing themes of the evening were the plight of the Rock­ies’ strug­gling of­fense, the jaw­drop­ping power of Mar­lins slug­ger Gian­carlo Stan­ton and the Rock­ies’ mount­ing road woes. They fell to 30-30 away from home af­ter los­ing for the 20th time in their last 26 road games.

Colorado went 2-for-11 with run­ners in scor­ing po­si­tion and is just 3-for-27 with run­ners in scor­ing po­si­tion four games into a five-game road trip. There was one ray of good news. Car­los Gon­za­lez col­lected his first RBI on the road since May 24 when he grounded out to sec­ond in the eighth, chas­ing home Mark Reynolds to cut Mi­ami’s lead to 4-3.

Rock­ies in­field prospect Ryan Mcma­hon made his big-league de­but in the eighth with two outs and run­ners at first and sec­ond, but he flew out to cen­ter fielder Chris­tian Yelich.

Asked about his team’s re­cent per­for­mance with run­ners in scor­ing po­si­tion, Are­nado said: “Not good. We have to do bet­ter, all of us, in­clud­ing my­self. I had a chance to drive in runs yes­ter­day and again to­day. Ev­ery­one, from top to bot­tom, we need to be bet­ter.”

Stan­ton blasted a three-run, speed-of-light homer off starter Jeff Hoff­man’s hang­ing slider in the fourth, giv­ing the Mar­lins a 4-1 lead. It was Stan­ton’s eighth homer in nine games and his 20th in his last 32 games. The ball came off his bat at 114 mph and Colorado left fielder Ger­ardo Parra barely moved as the ball sailed over his head.

“With him as hot as he is, you can’t af­ford to make a mis­take like that,” Hoff­man said.

Mean­while, the Na­tional League wild-card play­off race con­tin­ues to get mud­dier as Septem­ber nears. Colorado en­tered the night as the NL’S top wild-card team, with a one-game edge over Ari­zona. Streak­ing St. Louis won its eighth con­sec­u­tive game and has en­tered the pic­ture as a chal­lenger for ei­ther the NL Cen­tral ti­tle or a wild-card berth. The Car­di­nals are just 4K games be­hind the Rock­ies.

Hoff­man was gone af­ter five so-so in­nings, hav­ing sur­ren­dered four runs on seven hits, with three walks and only one strike­out. Red­mond praised Hoff­man for the way he “bat­tled,” but ac­knowl­edged that Hoff­man didn’t have his best stuff. Patrick Saun­ders is the pres­i­dent of the Base­ball Writ­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion of Amer­ica: psaun­ders@den­ver­post.com or @psaun­der­sdp

Mark Brown, Getty Im­ages

Rock­ies star Nolan Are­nado pleads his case to first-base um­pire Pat Hoberg in the sev­enth in­ning Sat­ur­day night af­ter strik­ing out on a checked swing and be­ing ejected.

Wilfredo Lee, The As­so­ci­ated Press

Rock­ies catcher Jonathan Lu­croy tags the Mar­lins’ Tyler Moore at the plate for a fourthin­ning out Sat­ur­day night in Mi­ami.

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