It would be unfair to cite a costly error by Troy Tulowitzki as the sole reason why the Colorado Rockies lost to the Baltimore Orioles.
Although Tulowitzki's misplay led to six unearned runs, the Rockies had plenty of other lapses in an 8-4 defeat Saturday night.
Colorado stranded 11 runners and went 2 for 12 with runners in scoring position. Not only that, but the Rockies were far from fundamentally sound when Baltimore broke open the game with a seven-run third.
Adam Jones had two hits in Baltimore's highest-scoring inning of the season, which featured an error by Tulowitzki, two walks, a passed ball and a wild pitch. Six of the seven runs were unearned.
"If a couple of things happen differently," manager Walt Weiss said, "and that inning changes. The Orioles came out and found ways to score."
Most of the damage came against Colorado rookie Chad Bettis (0-2), who allowed seven hits, four walks and eight runs in 2 2-3 innings.
"He struggled with some command tonight," Weiss said. "He walked some guys. It's tough to keep them from scoring when you do that. Chad battled. He just struggled, threw a lot of pitches, got some bad counts and really had to work hard. And we didn't help him much in that third inning."
The inning began with a double by Chris Davis and an infield hit by Jones. Nick Markakis followed with an RBI single, and one out later Colorado brought the infield in with runners on second and third. Steve Pearce hit a grounder to shortstop that got past Tulowitzki, allowing Jones to score.
"I think Tul probably looked up to see if the runner was taking off from third," Weiss said. "But, he's been as good as you can possibly be at shortstop. He's not going to make every play for six months."
Following the second out, Brian Roberts doubled in two runs, Nate McLouth walked and Manny Machado hit his major league-leading 43rd double to bring home Roberts and McLouth.
"It was really embarrassing," Bettis said. "I've got a lot to learn."
Adam Ottavino replaced Bettis and walked Davis before Jones delivered an RBI single for an 8-1 lead.
Bud Norris (9-10) gave up four runs and nine hits over 5 2-3 innings to improve to 3-1 since coming to the Orioles in a trade with Houston on July 31.
The victory enabled Baltimore to end a four-game skid that included a loss to Colorado on Friday night.
"It was huge," Norris said. "Just to be back in the win column was huge. To have a seven-run third inning is definitely a help to any starting pitcher going out there. I just wanted to keep putting up zeroes and the bullpen really came in and picked me up, too."
After Norris left, Baltimore relievers allowed three hits over the final 3 1-3 innings.
Dexter Fowler hit RBI singles in the fourth and sixth innings for the Rockies, who lost for only the second time in eight games.
Jones had three hits and Davis picked up his 113th RBI to help the Orioles secure their first victory since beating San Francisco last Sunday.
Colorado got two hits and two walks in the first inning but scored only once, when Tulowitzki bounced into a double play.
In the bottom half, McLouth drew a leadoff walk, advanced on a single by Machado and came home on a fly ball by Davis.
Although the Orioles left the bases loaded in the second, they made up for it in the third.
NOTES: Colorado activated closer Rafael Betancourt (appendicitis) from the 15-day disabled list and optioned RHP Manuel Corpas to Triple-A Colorado Springs. Betancourt worked a perfect eighth, striking out two. ... Baltimore's Scott Feldman faces 11-game winner Jhoulys Chacin in the series finale. ... Tulowitzki's error was only the fifth in 15 games this month by the Rockies.