Getting away from its hitter-friendly home park has seemed to give Colorado’s offense a boost.
The Rockies try for their first five-game winning streak in nearly two years when they continue their three-game series with the Arizona Diamondbacks Wednesday at Chase Field.
Colorado opened its season at Coors Field, and scored just 10 runs while dropping two of three games against Arizona. Since then, they have scored 38 runs in four road games, including Tuesday’s 6-5 win over the Diamondbacks
The Rockies have won their first four road games for the first time in franchise history and are in first place in the NL West.
They won four in a row three times last season, but have not won five straight since July 2-6, 2004.
Colorado lost 15 of its first 16 games away from Coors last season and its 27-54 record on the road was the worst in the NL.
“We’ve got to play and win games. That’s the best answer to all the baggage that any group will carry here that plays in Colorado from the previous records,” Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. “This group has an opportunity to define itself and separate themselves from some of that baggage.”
Brad Hawpe fell a single shy of hitting for the cycle and drove in four runs Tuesday, one game after falling a double short in a 10-4 win Sunday at San Diego.
“He’s strung together probably two of the best games in the big leagues,” Hurdle said.
Todd Helton added a two-run homer and has hit safely in the Rockies’ first seven games. Helton averaged 36 homers a season from 1999-2004, but slumped to a career-low 20 last season.
Arizona’s Shawn Green snapped a 2-for-19 slump with a two-run homer off closer Brian Fuentes in the ninth, but Fuentes held on to break the club record with his 18th consecutive save and first this season.
Diamondbacks starter Miguel Batista will look to hold Colorado’s offense in check for the second time this season. He matched a career high with 11 strikeouts against the Rockies in his season debut on Thursday, allowing two earned runs and four hits in seven innings of a 12-5 win.
Batista, who earned 31 saves as Toronto’s closer last season before being acquired by Arizona in a December trade, was converted into a reliever by the Blue Jays after a Sept. 16, 2004 start against Baltimore.
He had not won as a starter since Aug. 29, 2004.
“We felt coming over he’s a guy that can pitch in any role,” manager Bob Melvin said. “But we always looked at him as a starter.”
Batista improved to 5-1 with a 5.74 ERA in 19 career appearances, including 10 starts, against the Rockies. He beat Jeff Francis, who will square off against him again on Wednesday.
Francis allowed five earned runs and five hits in 4 1-3 innings Thursday and was charged with the loss. The 25-year-old left-hander, who fell to 5-1 with a 4.30 ERA in eight career starts against the Rockies, walked a career high-tying six batters.
“Never have I had an outing where I missed by so much so often,” said Francis, who has been working on his mechanics. “I couldn’t find my release point.”
Francis led Colorado with 14 wins and 128 strikeouts last season.