The Rockies continued their brutal road play on Thursday, dropping both ends of a doubleheader at Atlanta. Outscored 17-8 in the two games, the Rockies have lost 14 of their 19 road games this season.
The sweep dropped Colorado below .500 for the first since April 3, and the Rockies have now dropped four straight and seven of eight overall.
The Rockies’ bullpen has played a large role in the team’s problems, going just 5-6 with a 5.06 ERA.
“I don’t think it’s anything we are too worried about yet,” veteran Steve Reed said. “When you lose games on one pitch, it makes things look a little worse than they really are.”
Florida is coming off a three-game sweep by San Francisco, including a 3-2 defeat in the series finale on Thursday.
The Marlins, who have lost six straight, are six games below .500 for first time this season.
Florida has scored just 28 runs in dropping eight of 10 since its 20-inning loss to St. Louis last week.
“We need to start winning, or we’re going to get ourselves in a hole,” Marlins starter Brad Penny said. “The other guys are pitching just a little bit better right now. We’re in every game. They could just as easily be going the other way.”
STANDINGS: Rockies - 3rd place, 8 1/2 GB, NL West. Marlins - 4th place (tied), 9 GB, NL East.
ROCKIES PROBABLE STARTER: Darren Oliver (1-2, 6.03 ERA). The veteran left-hander did not figure in the decision in his last start, Colorado’s 6-4 win at Chicago on May 3. He allowed four runs and seven hits over five innings, while striking out six and walking five. Oliver has made three career starts against the Marlins, going 1-1 with a 3.32 ERA.
MARLINS PROBABLE STARTER: Dontrelle Willis (no record). The rookie left-hander will be making his major league debut Friday. Willis, 21, had an impressive 4-0 record and 1.49 ERA in six starts with Double-A Carolina prior to his callup.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Rockies - Jay Payton, .328 avg.; Preston Wilson, 7 HRs and 5 SBs.; Todd Helton and Wilson, 30 RBIs; Helton, 33 runs. Marlins - Alex Gonzalez, .336 avg., Gonzalez and Mike Lowell, 8 HRs; Lowell, 25 RBIs; Lowell and Derrek Lee, 20 runs; Juan Pierre, 14 SBs.
2002 SEASON SERIES: Rockies, 4-2.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Rockies - RHP Jose Jimenez has allowed at least two runs on four occasions and left-handers are hitting .500 against him this season. … OF-INF Chris Richard had arthroscopic surgery Wednesday to repair the labrum in his left shoulder. He will be in a sling for five weeks before beginning rehab. Richard has played in 19 games, including three starts, and is hitting .222 with a home run and three RBIs. … OF Larry Walker became the franchise leader in games played with 1,019 by playing the opener of the doubleheader Thursday, surpassing Dante Bichette. Marlins - The father of 1B Lee, Leon, has been named the new manager of the Orix Blue Wave of the Japanese Pacific League. … With the offense slumping, manager Jeff Torborg is moving C Ivan Rodriguez to the cleanup spot for the first time, while 2B Luis Castillo has returned to the leadoff spot, where he started the season. … The Marlins have been swept in consecutive series for the first time since July 2002.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Rockies - 5-14 on the road; Marlins - 9-9 at home.
INJURIES: Rockies - OF Richard (hamstring), 15-day DL; LHP Denny Neagle (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Denny Stark (side), 60-day DL; INF Pablo Ozuna (knee), 60-day DL; INF Juan Uribe (foot), 60-day DL. Marlins - OF Abraham Nunez (hamstring), 15-day DL; LHP Mark Redman (arm), 15-day DL; RHP A.J. Burnett (elbow), 60-day DL.