Todd Helton will start for the National League in the All-Star Game. During the past several weeks, he’s been showing why he’s so deserving of that honor.
During his nine-game string, the veteran first baseman is batting .485 (16-for-33) with six homers and 13 RBIs. This streak began a day after his 17-game streak ended.
“It’s just one of those stretches where things seem to be going well,” Helton said.
On Saturday, Helton went 2-for-4 and hit his third homer in two games, helping the Rockies to a 5-3 win.
Helton now has 123 hits, one shy of Dante Bichette’s team record for most by the All-Star break. He also became the third player in team history with 700 RBIs.
Preston Wilson, who will join Helton in Chicago on Tuesday, also went 2-for-4 with two RBIs. In the seventh, he stole a potential game-tying home run from Los Angeles’ David Ross. He then added a solo shot, his 23rd homer of the season, in the eighth.
“Dramatic? Very dramatic,” Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. “The ball’s out of the yard, he brings it back in, then he hits a home run in the bottom of the eighth. There’s a three-run swing individually right there.”
Colorado has won four straight to pull into a third-place tie with the Dodgers in the National League West.
The Dodgers have lost five of their last seven.
STANDINGS: Dodgers - 3rd place (tied), 8 1/2 GB, NL West. Rockies - 3rd place (tied), 8 1/2 GB, NL West.
DODGERS PROBABLE STARTER: Wilson Alvarez (0-1, 3.86 ERA). Alvarez will be making just his second start of the season. On Tuesday, he lasted only four innings, allowing six runs and eight hits in an 8-5 loss to the San Diego Padres. The 33-year-old lefty has also made five relief appearances this season.
ROCKIES PROBABLE STARTER: Denny Neagle (2-2, 6.26 ERA). Neagle has struggled in his two most recent outings, going 0-1 with a 10.00 ERA. On Tuesday, he allowed three runs and four hits in six innings, but he did not get a decision in the Rockies’ 9-3 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks. The 34-year-old lefty is 9-9 with a 3.82 ERA in 26 career games against the Dodgers.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Dodgers - Paul Lo Duca, .315 avg.; Fred McGriff and Shawn Green, 10 HRs; Green, 43 RBIs and 45 runs; Dave Roberts, 24 SBs. Rockies - Helton, .345 avg. and 82 runs; Wilson, 23 HRs and 91 RBIs; Wilson and Larry Walker, 6 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Rockies, 5-3.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Dodgers - C Lo Duca is batting .348 (8-for-23) in his career against LHP Neagle. … RHP Paul Quantrill made his 664th career appearance on Saturday, tying Ferguson Jenkins for most by a Canadian pitcher. … RHP Guillermo Mota has not allowed a run in 17 consecutive innings, the longest stretch by a Dodgers pitcher this year. Rockies - OF Greg Vaughn has declined an assignment to the minor leagues and has become a free agent. … 3B Adrian Beltre is batting .370 (50-for-135) in his career at Coors. … RHP Eric Gagne is holding opponents to a .149 batting average, the lowest mark in the majors.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Dodgers - 23-23 on the road; Rockies - 35-15 at home.
INJURIES: Dodgers - C Todd Hundley (back), 15-day DL; INF Ron Coomer (head), 15-day DL; 1B Fred McGriff (groin), 15-day DL; OF Brian Jordan (knee), 15-day DL; OF Roberts (hamstring), 15-day DL; LHP Troy Brohawn (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Kevin Brown (abdomen), 15-day DL; RHP Darren Dreifort (knee), 60-day DL; LHP Derek Thompson (elbow), 60-day DL. Rockies - RHP Shawn Chacon (elbow), 15-day DL; OF Chris Richard (hamstring), 60-day DL.