Jason Jennings’ last start was shortened by rain. So manager Clint Hurdle decided to give his staff ace another chance.
On Friday, Jennings gave up four earned runs and three hits in the first inning of Colorado’s 13-6 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates. However, the game was delayed for two hours and six minutes after the opening frame, and Jennings did not return.
The right-hander, who threw the equivalent of three innings in the indoor batting cage during the delay, feels confident he can return on short rest.
“I’m basically just going to treat (Friday) as a bullpen session,” Jennings said. “It was a long one, but I’ve got two days to recover. I think I’ll be fine. After all, I threw on three days’ rest a lot of times in the minors. It’s not like it’s something new.”
Jennings, the reigning NL Rookie of the Year, has had an up-and-down follow-up season. He has lost three of his last four decisions after winning six of his previous seven games.
“We want to get him hot,” said Hurdle, whose squad has a dismal .317 winning percentage away from Coors Field. “We want to get him on a roll. He had a bad inning (Friday), but the game before that he pitched pretty well, so run him back out.”
The Rockies are tied with the Expos in the NL wild card standings, 5 1/2 games behind Florida and Philadelphia.
Colorado comes in off Sunday’s 5-3 loss to Pittsburgh—its second straight setback after a three-game winning streak. Rene Reyes hit his first career home run, and Ronnie Belliard and Charles Johnson also went deep for the Rockies.
The Expos lost 8-2 to the Houston Astros on Sunday, their fifth setback in six games.
STANDINGS (through Aug. 9): Rockies - 4th place, 13 1/2 GB, NL West. Expos - 4th place, 17 1/2 GB, NL East.
ROCKIES PROBABLE STARTER: Jennings (10-9, 4.75 ERA). Jennings is 0-0 with a 7.56 ERA in two career starts against the Expos.
EXPOS PROBABLE STARTER: Zach Day (5-4, 3.86 ERA). On Wednesday, Day gave up two earned runs and nine hits in six innings of Montreal’s 3-2 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks. He did not receive a decision. In two career appearances, including one start, against the Rockies, Day is 0-0 with a 4.50 ERA.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Rockies - Todd Helton, .356 avg. and 106 runs; Preston Wilson, 29 HRs and 112 RBIs; Tony Womack, 11 SBs. Expos - Jose Vidro, .318 avg.; Cabrera, 17 HRs, 66 RBIs, 77 runs and 20 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Tied, 2-2.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Rockies - C Bobby Estalella has struck out 55 times in 142 at-bats. … Hurdle was ejected for the fourth time this season Sunday for arguing a play at the plate. … Entering Sunday, Colorado relievers had posted a 2.48 ERA since the All-Star break. Expos - C Michael Barrett, on the disabled list with a right hip flexor strain, injured his left index finger on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Edmonton on Saturday. He will remain on the DL. … Manager Frank Robinson benched left-handed hitting OF Brad Wilkerson against Astros LHP Ron Villone on Sunday. Robinson said that Wilkerson, who has gone 26-for-129 (.201) with just four home runs, 12 RBIs and 39 strikeouts since July 1, might sit out a few more games. … SS Cabrera has stolen 41 bases in 42 attempts dating to last season.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Rockies - 19-41 on the road; Expos - 36-22 at home.
INJURIES: 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. Expos - C Barrett (hip), 15-day DL; 3B Fernando Tatis (chest), 15-day DL; RHP Orlando Hernandez (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Dan Smith (shoulder), 15-day DL; LHP Scott Stewart (appendicitis), 15-day DL; RHP Claudio Vargas (rotator cuff), 15-day DL; RHP Tony Armas Jr. (shoulder), 60-day DL.