Pittsburgh (52-61) at Colorado (60-58)

Cloudy Currently: Denver, CO, US
Temp: 33° F
  • Game info: 8:05 pm EDT Sat Aug 9, 2003
  • TV: FSPI, KTVD
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Darren Oliver looks to remain unbeaten at Coors Field as he leads the Colorado Rockies against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the middle game of a weekend series.

Oliver has won three straight starts and seven of his last eight decisions to up his record to 10-6. The veteran left-hander has reached double-digits in wins four times during his 11-year career, including a career best 14-5 mark with Texas in 1996.

A big reason for Oliver’s resurgence this season is his success at home.

The 32-year-old southpaw has rejuvenated his career at the hitter-friendly park, going 5-0 with a 3.18 ERA in eight starts.

“There really is no explanation,” Oliver said. “I wish I knew the secret, but I just go out there and pitch.”

Oliver has not pitched at Coors Field since earning an 11-3 win over San Francisco on July 10. He hit his first career home run in that game, a 445-foot shot to centerfield.

Oliver is 3-1 with a 5.48 ERA in four starts since.

The Rockies have won three straight and four of their last five to move within 4 1/2 games of the NL wild card spot.

Preston Wilson homered and drove in three runs to give him a major league-leading 111 RBIs as Colorado beat the Pirates 13-6 on Friday.

Randall Simon hit his ninth homer and drove in four runs for the Pirates, who lost for the fourth time in six games.

Right-hander Jeff D’Amico will try to get Pittsburgh back on track when he takes the mound Saturday. D’Amico is 0-3 with a 5.28 ERA over his last five starts.

The veteran right-hander was roughed up for eight runs and 12 hits in five innings of a 16-4 loss to the Rockies on Sunday.

STANDINGS: Pirates - 4th place, 9 GB, NL Central. Rockies - 4th place, 13 1/2 GB, NL West.

PIRATES PROBABLE STARTER: D’Amico (6-11, 4.21 ERA). D’Amico is 2-3 with a 6.43 ERA lifetime against Colorado.

ROCKIES PROBABLE STARTER: Oliver (10-6, 4.81 ERA). Oliver allowed three runs and seven hits over five innings to pick up the 16-4 win at Pittsburgh on Sunday.

OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Pirates - Brian Giles, .305 avg. and 62 RBIs; Reggie Sanders, 21 HRs and 9 SBs; Jason Kendall, 64 runs. Rockies - Todd Helton, .359 avg. and 106 runs; Wilson, 29 HRs and 113 RBIs; Tony Womack, 11 SBs.

SEASON SERIES: Pirates, 4-3.

STREAKS AND NOTES: Pirates - C Kendall is batting .207 (6-for-29) in his last eight games. … OF Giles is batting .300 (24-for-80) with three home runs and 17 RBIs since the All-Star break. … RHP Kris Benson was transferred to the 60-day DL on Friday. Benson has been on the 15-day DL with irritation in his right shoulder. Rockies - The Rockies lead the majors with 41 home wins. … 1B Helton leads the NL with 106 runs. … OF Larry Walker has 500 career RBIs at Coors Field.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Pirates - 27-29 on the road; Rockies - 41-17 at home.

INJURIES: Pirates - RHP Salomon Torres (hamstring), 15-day DL; RHP Benson (shoulder), 60-day DL; LHP Dave Williams (shoulder), 60-day DL; INF Pat Meares (hand), 60-day DL; INF Pokey Reese (thumb), 60-day DL. Rockies - INF Mark Bellhorn (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Nelson Cruz (shoulder), 15-day DL; LHP Denny Neagle (elbow), 15-day DL; OF Chris Richard (shoulder), 60-day DL.

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Starting Pitchers

J. D'Amico CLE vs. D. Oliver TOR
9-16 Record 13-11
4.77 ERA 5.04
100 K 88
42 BB 61
1.40 WHIP 1.45