After snapping a five-game losing streak, the Colorado Rockies look to win consecutive games for the first time in nearly two weeks as they continue a three-game series with the Florida Marlins at Coors Field.
The Rockies, swept in a four-game weekend series by the New York Mets, returned home and beat the surging Marlins 10-2 in the series opener on Tuesday. Jay Payton had four hits and three RBIs, while Denny Stark pitched seven solid innings for the Rockies.
Payton matched his career high with his 17th homer and Larry Walker hit his 12th for Colorado, which scored just 27 runs while losing eight of nine following a three-game winning streak from Aug. 6-8.
The Marlins lost for just the second time in seven games, and remained a half-game behind Philadelphia in the NL wild-card race. The Phillies lost 6-4 at Milwaukee on Tuesday.
Florida lost catcher Ivan Rodriguez in the fourth inning when he sprained his left wrist after making contact with Payton on a play at the plate.
“He should be OK,” Marlins manager Jack McKeon said. “The runner hit him in the left wrist and jammed it. The doctor looked at him. They didn’t X-ray him. The trainer says there’s a good possibility he could play (Wednesday). Of course, if it stiffens up overnight …”
Colorado turns to veteran left-hander Darren Oliver in the middle game of this series. Oliver has lost consecutive starts after going 7-1 in his previous nine outings, but didn’t pitch too poorly against the Mets on Friday. He gave up three runs and five hits in 5 1-3 innings of the Rockies’ 5-0 loss.
He will be opposed by the Marlins’ Mark Redman, loser of two of his last three starts. The left-hander has given up more than four earned runs just twice this season. He gave up four runs and seven hits in five innings of a 6-4 loss to Los Angeles last Thursday.
STANDINGS: Marlins - 2nd place (tied), 12 GB, NL East. Rockies - 4th place, 14 GB, NL West.
MARLINS PROBABLE STARTER: Redman (10-6, 2.97 ERA). Redman is making his first career appearance against Colorado.
ROCKIES PROBABLE STARTER: Oliver (10-8, 5.16 ERA). Oliver gave up eight earned runs and 10 hits in 5 1-3 innings of a 10-4 loss to Pittsburgh on Aug. 9, ending his nine-start run during which he had a 4.28 ERA. He is making his second start of the season against the Marlins, after limiting them to three runs and five hits in six innings on May 9. He is 1-1 with a 3.60 ERA in four career starts against Florida.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Marlins - Luis Castillo, .322 avg.; Mike Lowell, 32 HRs and 103 RBIs; Juan Pierre, 82 runs and 57 SBs. Rockies - Todd Helton, .357 avg. and 112 runs; Preston Wilson, 30 HRs, 117 RBIs and 8 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Tied, 2-2.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Marlins - OF Pierre, acquired from Colorado in the offseason, is hitting .391 (9-for-23) in his last five games. He is batting .301 for the season, and his 57 steals lead the majors. … 2B Castillo is 0-for-11 against LHP Oliver. … SS Alex Gonzalez is 0-for-7 with two strikeouts against Oliver. Rockies - RHP Shawn Chacon was placed on the 15-day DL due to right elbow inflammation. LHP Cory Vance was recalled from Triple-A Colorado Springs to take his place on the roster. … RHP Jose Jimenez, who had 20 saves this season before being removed as the Rockies’ closer, will take Chacon’s spot in the starting rotation and will make his first start since 1999 on Thursday. … INF Pablo Ozuna was recalled from Colorado Springs to replace Womack. Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said Ozuna will play the same positions Womack played, including third base and the outfield.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Marlins - 29-31 on the road; Rockies - 42-19 at home.
INJURIES: Marlins - RHP Kevin Olsen (concussion), 15-day DL; LHP Tommy Phelps (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Tim Spooneybarger (arm), 15-day DL; RHP Toby Borland (appendix), 60-day DL; RHP A.J. Burnett (elbow), 60-day DL. Rockies - C Bobby Estalella (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Chacon (elbow), 15-day DL; 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.