August 20, 2014 at 1:00 am

Royals fall to Rockies; AL Central lead over Tigers down to a game

Matt McBride of the Colorado Rockies celebrates his sixth-inning grand slam with Wilin Rosario #20 as catcher Erik Kratz of the Kansas City Royals looks on Wednesda. The Rockies defeated the Royals 5-2. (Justin Edmonds / Getty Images)

Denver — Danny Duffy chose to find fault with his fastball rather than his fielder.

Duffy was cruising along until a throwing error opened the door for a grand slam by Matt McBride that sent the Colorado Rockies to a 5-2 win over the rolling Kansas City Royals on Wednesday night.

“I feel terrible for the mistake I made,” Duffy said.

With one swing, McBride derailed the Royals’ roll, snapping their three-game winning streak. Kansas City saw its lead in the AL Central shrink to one over Detroit.

Duffy was in command most of the night as he allowed five hits and five runs, one earned, in seven innings. After getting two quick outs in the sixth, third baseman Christian Colon fielded a grounder by Nolan Arenado and threw a one-hopper that first baseman Billy Butler couldn’t scoop. Wilin Rosario singled and Corey Dickerson drew a walk to set the stage for McBride.

Another hard-luck loss for Duffy (8-11), who’s the only AL starter with a losing record and an ERA under three runs.

“I can’t lose focus like I did on that one pitch,” said Duffy, whose team finished 15-5 in interleague play. “He knew it was coming. If I locate that better then it’s probably a ground ball.”

Colon shouldered the blame, too.

“I wish I could take it back and make the play,” he said. “I should have made the play.”

It was McBride’s first homer since Sept. 25, 2012, and third of his career. He was called up from Triple-A Colorado Springs the day before after what’s been a tumultuous past two seasons. He missed a big chunk of 2013 after undergoing neck surgery and was out earlier this year with a broken foot.

“Another guy with a great story, who’s been through a lot,” Rockies manager Walt Weiss said.

That was more than enough for Jorge De La Rosa (13-8), who allowed five hits and two run against his former team. He also got the Royals to hit into four double plays, tying a franchise record for most by a single pitcher in a game.

Even more, he improved to 9-2 at Coors Field — a place that’s haunted many a pitcher, but not the hard-throwing lefty.

“I like to pitch here,” De La Rosa said. “It’s a challenge for me every time I pitch here.”

GORDON GOES YARD

Usually, when Alex Gordon homers, the Royals win this season. They’re 11-2 when he goes deep in a game.

Gordon’s solo shot in the second was his 14th homer of the season.

CHALLENGING CHANGEUP

This was just the second time De La Rosa faced his old team. He spent two seasons with the Royals before being dealt to Colorado in 2008 for cash considerations.

He was cashing in on his changeup to get out of one jam after another.

“His changeup, that’s his moneymaker,” Weiss said. “It’s a great pitch.”

Royals manager Ned Yost seconded that opinion.

“His changeup is a killer,” said Yost, whose team has won 22 of their last 28 games. “It’s a hard pitch to pick up.”