With the combination of stellar hitting and pitching, the Colorado Rockies own the majors’ longest winning streak.
The Rockies look to win seven straight games for the first time in nearly nine years on Tuesday when they continue their four-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals at Coors Field.
Colorado (24-27) defeated the Cardinals 6-2 on Monday to win six in a row for the first time since 2002.
The Rockies have outscored their opponents 28-11 during their winning streak, as both the offense and pitching have delivered in tandem. Colorado is batting .281 during the win streak, and its staff ERA of 1.80 is the best in the majors over that span.
“Since I’ve been here, the biggest problem has been putting it together for a stretch,” Monday’s winning pitcher Jeff Francis said. “It’s what we’ve expected. We’re not satisfied at six.”
Colorado hasn’t won seven games in a row since Sept. 6-12, 1998.
Matt Holliday had a solo homer in the series opener, and is 9-for-26 (.346) with eight RBIs during the winning streak.
The Rockies hope to get another dominating pitching performance on Tuesday after activating Rodrigo Lopez (1-0, 1.59) from the 15-day disabled list.
Lopez was placed on the DL one day after his April 18 start against Los Angeles. The right-hander pitched four innings, allowing one run and four hits before leaving with inflammation of the right elbow.
He allowed one earned run in each of his three starts in April, and went 1-0 with a 2.38 ERA in two rehabilitation starts for Triple-A Colorado Springs.
“It feels like it’s been a long time. I love to pitch and can’t wait,” the right-hander said.
In his only career start against St. Louis, Lopez yielded six runs and 12 hits in five innings of an 8-3 loss for San Diego on June 13, 2000.
The Cardinals (20-28) have lost six straight road games, and 11 of their last 13 away from Busch Stadium. St. Louis dropped seven in a row on the road last June 20-July 3.
Albert Pujols went 0-for-3 on Monday after batting .489 (22-for-45) during an 11-game hitting streak.
Looper yielded just one run and three hits in six innings of a 3-1 win over Pittsburgh on Thursday, bouncing back from his worst start of the season. He had given up a season-high seven runs on May 18, but the converted reliever was able to hold an opponent to one run or less for the sixth time in 10 starts.
“That fifth day comes around a little faster than I thought it would,” Looper said. “For the most part you try to forget about it, go to work and get everything done.
“I felt real good and hopefully I feel as good next time.”
Looper is 3-2 with a 3.90 ERA in five road starts, pitching either brilliantly or horribly in those games. In his wins, he’s allowed one run in 21 innings, but in his losses, he’s been tagged for 13 runs in nine innings.
This will be Looper’s first career start against the Rockies, against whom he’s 0-1 with a 4.66 ERA in nine relief appearances.