Todd Helton may not be riding a lengthy hitting streak any longer, but he’s still one of the hottest hitters in baseball.
Helton drove in four runs with a single, triple and homer as Colorado overcame another grand slam in Saturday’s 9-8.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been with a team where the other team hits grand slams in the first two games and we win both games,” Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said.
Needing a double to complete the cycle, Helton struck out against Shane Nance in the eighth inning.
The hot-hitting first baseman had his career-best 17-game hitting streak snapped in Thursday’s 8-4 loss to Arizona. However, he has five hits in two games since, and is batting .386 (32-for-83) over his last 20 games with nine doubles, three triples, three homers and 11 RBIs.
“Grand slams are nice, but we’ve been playing catch-up for most of the game,” Brewers manager Ned Yost said. “That gets us back in it, but we’ve got to nail it down. We can’t be giving up any more runs.
“We’ve got to just find a way to keep the ball in the park. The home runs are killing us right now.”
STANDINGS (through July 4): Rockies - 4th place, 8 1/2 GB, NL West. Brewers - 6th place, 10 1/2 GB, NL Central.
ROCKIES PROBABLE STARTER: Denny Stark (0-0, 7.71 ERA). Stark made his season debut Tuesday after being sidelined three months with a torn muscle in his pitching shoulder. The right-hander allowed four runs and seven hits over 4 2-3 innings of Colorado’s 7-4 win over Arizona. Stark is 1-1 with an 8.71 ERA in two career starts against Milwaukee.
BREWERS PROBABLE STARTER: Ben Sheets (6-6, 4.23 ERA). Sheets is 0-2 with a 3.55 ERA over his last five starts and hasn’t celebrated a victory since a 5-3 win over the New York Mets on June 5. The 24-year-old right-hander allowed two runs and six hits over six innings Tuesday, but didn’t receive a decision in Milwaukee’s 6-5 loss to Houston. Sheets is 1-1 with a 6.35 ERA in two career starts against Colorado.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Rockies - Helton, .338 avg. and 75 runs; Preston Wilson, 19 HRs, 76 RBIs and 6 SBs. Brewers - Scott Podsednik, .321 avg.; Richie Sexson, 23 HRs and 56 runs; Jenkins, 65 RBIs; Eric Young, 19 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Rockies, 2-0.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Rockies - 1B Helton is batting .308 (49-for-159) with 15 doubles, two triples, seven homers and 37 RBIs in his career against Milwaukee. … Colorado leads the NL with 370 walks, second in the majors to the New York Yankees’ 387. … RF Larry Walker went 1-for-5 Saturday and is one hit shy of tying Dante Bichette’s club record of 1,278. Brewers - RHP Sheets has served up a major league-leading 24 homers this season. … 3B Helms is hitting .315 (45-for-143) with 12 homers and 34 RBIs at Miller Park this season. … The Brewers are 21-23 since May 16 after opening the season 13-28.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Rockies - 15-28 on the road; Brewers - 15-29 at home.
INJURIES: Rockies - RHP Shawn Chacon (elbow), 15-day DL; OF Chris Richard (hamstring), 60-day DL. Brewers - RHP Jayson Durocher (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Nick Neugebauer (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Ruben Quevedo (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Todd Ritchie (shoulder), 15-day DL.