The Colorado Rockies hope the strong play of rookie shortstop Troy Tulowitzki will lead them to their longest home winning streak this year. The San Francisco Giants, meanwhile, are relying on highly touted rookie pitcher Tim Lincecum to end their current skid.
The two young standouts square off Friday night when the bottom two teams in the NL West continue their four-game series.
Colorado (15-20) improved to .500 at home this season with a 5-3 victory over the Giants (17-17) on Thursday. The Rockies now are going for their season-high third straight win at Coors Field.
Tulowitzki helped spark Thursday’s win, going 2-for-4 including a two-run double. He’s hit safely in 12 of the last 13 games, batting .339 with two homers, three doubles, a triple and 11 RBIs during that stretch.
Tulowitzki, who is batting .417 (10-for-24) against the Giants this season, has high hopes his team can avoid a seventh straight losing season.
“Something I always think about is trying to turn around the whole outlook of this organization,” Tulowitzki told the Rockies’ official Web site. “In the past, it looks like things have gotten out of hand and we couldn’t quite recover, or we couldn’t get over the hump.”
The Giants also are trying to get over the break-even mark as they look to avoid tying a season-high four-game losing streak set April 6-9.
To try and end their slide, the Giants look to Lincecum (0-0, 10.38 ERA) as he makes his first career road start. The rookie right-hander gave up five runs and five hits - including two homers - over 4 1-3 innings on Sunday, but didn’t factor in an 8-5 loss to Philadelphia.
The Giants’ top prospect, selected 10th overall in the 2006 draft, walked five and struck out five in his major-league debut.
“He’s going to be fine,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “I’ll tell you, that stuff’s electric. He made a couple of mistakes but he showed what a great arm he’s got.”
The Rockies will counter with Josh Fogg (1-3, 5.67) as he tries to avoid losing his third straight start. The right-hander gave up five runs and seven hits over five innings in a 9-3 loss to Cincinnati on Sunday. He also walked a season-high five, hit a batter and struck out four.
“It didn’t seem like I was ahead of any hitters at all,” Fogg told the Rockies’ official Web site. “It was just not good.”
That loss followed a 9-5 defeat to San Francisco when Fogg allowed five runs, one earned, and five hits over five innings. He is 3-2 with a 3.12 ERA in nine career games versus the Giants.
Giants slugger Barry Bonds, who needs 10 homers to tie Hank Aaron’s all-time record, went 1-for-3 with a double and two walks Thursday. Bonds is hitting .273 (3-for-11) with no homers or RBIs against Fogg, who’s also walked him seven times - the most by any current Rockies pitcher.
The seven-time NL MVP hasn’t homered in his last nine games in Denver, a span of 24 at-bats.