The Colorado Rockies are hoping this road trip goes better than their last one.
The National League-worst Rockies start a 10-game trip when they meet the Pittsburgh Pirates in the opener of a three-game series at PNC Park.
Colorado went 1-8 on its last trip from April 29-May 8. The Rockies struggled with their bats away from hitter-friendly Coors Field on the trip, scoring an average of three runs per game.
“These guys show up thinking they’re going to win every game,” Colorado manager Clint Hurdle said. “That’s the beauty of it. The reality of it is we know we’ve got some issues to overcome.”
Colorado has received consistent play from rookie shortstop Clint Barmes, who is hitting .377 with team highs of seven homers and 26 RBIs. Barmes had a streak of 23 straight starts snapped in a 3-1 win over San Francisco on Thursday.
“In order for him to stay strong throughout the year, we’re going to need to sit him down,” Hurdle said.
Barmes is batting .333 (21-for-63) in 17 games on the road.
Pittsburgh is trying to shake off a pair of difficult losses to the Chicago Cubs. Pirates closer Jose Mesa blew one-run leads in the top of the ninth inning in each of the last two games, including a 3-2 defeat on Wednesday.
Mesa had converted his first 13 save chances. The Pirates insist they will turn to him again if they get a lead in the ninth inning Friday.
“That’s the beauty of having a guy like Mesa,” Pittsburgh manager Lloyd McClendon said. “He’s going to come back the next night full of confidence.”
Pittsburgh and Colorado are meeting for the first time since the Pirates posted a 3-0 victory on Aug. 15, 2004, a game that featured a fight which led to the ejections of former Pirate Jason Kendall and Colorado starter Joe Kennedy.