The St. Louis Cardinals have one of the worst home records in the majors, but are starting to get things turned around at Busch Stadium.
The Colorado Rockies, meanwhile, have been struggling away from Coors Field all season, but are coming off their best road series of the season.
The Cardinals and Rockies both look to carry the momentum from their latest series on Monday night when they open a three-game set in St. Louis.
St. Louis (12-17) defeated Houston 3-1 on Sunday to take two of three over the Astros and win its second straight home series. The defending World Series champions—who had the NL’s second-best home record last season at 49-31— have the second-worst home record in the majors at 5-10 this season.
St. Louis dominated the Rockies at Busch last season, winning five of six.
Colorado (13-18) has the second-worst road record in the NL at 7-11, but took two of three at Cincinnati over the weekend for its first road series win of 2007.
“I’m extremely happy to win the series,” Rockies manager Clint Hurdle despite a 9-3 loss on Sunday.
Colorado’s Matt Holliday is looking forward to returning to St. Louis, where he batted .500 (11-for-22) with four homers and six RBIs in six games last season. Holliday is in a 4-for-18 slump over his last four games, dropping his batting average 24 points to .371.
Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols is hitless in his last eight at-bats but has hit safely in all 19 career home games against Colorado, batting .403 (27-for-67) with eight homers and 19 RBIs over that stretch. He was 7-for-18 with three homers and six RBIs in five games against the Rockies last season.
Anthony Reyes (0-5, 5.46 ERA) again looks for his first win of 2007 for St. Louis. The right-hander has been saddled with a loss in each of his starts this year and has lost seven straight decisions since beating Pittsburgh on Sept. 3.
He’s coming off his best outing of the year, though. Reyes gave up four runs, three hits with a season-high eight strikeouts in six innings of a 4-0 loss to Milwaukee on Wednesday.
“I feel like I’m getting better,” Reyes told the Cardinals’ official Web site. “I’ve got to do a little bit better job of trying not to lose focus and change my approach during the game.”
Reyes allowed six runs and nine hits in 5 1-3 innings of a 7-0 loss on July 24 in his only career start against the Rockies.
Jeff Francis (1-4, 6.19 ERA), also mired in a lengthy losing streak, starts for Colorado. The left-hander has lost a career-high four straight starts, posting a 7.99 ERA in those games.
Francis gave up four runs and seven hits - including home run No. 743 by Barry Bonds - in 7 1-3 innings of a 5-3 loss to San Francisco on Wednesday.
Francis looks to snap his skid against a team he has pitched well against in his career. In his last start against the Cardinals, Francis opposed Reyes in July and tossed a two-hitter for his first complete game.
He is 3-1 with a 2.20 ERA lifetime in four starts against St. Louis, allowing one run or less in three of those starts.