If the Colorado Rockies hope to avoid their longest losing streak of the season, they might have to do it without their leading hitter.
Holliday left Friday’s 4-2 series-opening loss in the fifth inning after suffering a head contusion in the dugout, and the Rockies (25-30) indicated he is day-to-day. He was replaced in left field by Ryan Spilborghs.
“Well, he bumped his head in the dugout. Hard enough where we had to bring him out of the game,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “That’s all I got.”
Holliday leads the Rockies, who are in the basement of the NL West, with a .347 batting average, 10 homers and 43 RBIs. Before leaving the game, he singled to extend his hitting streak to 10 games.
“I saw him right afterwards, and it looked pretty painful,” first baseman Todd Helton told the Rockies’ team Web site. “It was on the top of his head. It was a cantaloupe, grapefruit, I don’t know.”
The freak injury comes at a bad time for the Rockies, who have dropped three straight after a seven-game winning streak - their best run since 1998.
Colorado will have its hottest pitcher on the mound Saturday in Jeff Francis (4-4, 3.93 ERA), who went 3-1 with a 2.23 ERA in six outings in May after taking a shutout into the eighth inning and allowing two runs in 7 2-3 innings of Monday’s 6-2 win over St. Louis.
“I’ve always felt like I could go out here and win a ball game,” Francis said. “Even if I’m in a slump, I have confidence I’m going to come out of it. When I’m pitching well, like now, it’s easy to roll with it.”
Francis is 2-1 with a 3.75 ERA in four career starts against the Reds, with the wins coming in his two starts against them at Coors Field.
Third baseman Garrett Atkins, who hit just .188 in May, did not start Friday. Hurdle said he plans to keep him out of the lineup for a few games to give him a chance to regroup.
Cincinnati (22-34) is in last place in the NL Central, but has won four of five since a six-game losing streak. Ken Griffey Jr. hit his second homer in three days, Alex Gonzalez added a two-run drive and Bobby Livingston threw 6 2-3 strong innings for his first major league win Friday.
“I was fortunate to get a ball I could hit and I hit it,” said Griffey, who has 575 career homers.
The Reds will hand the ball to Kyle Lohse (2-6, 4.59), who threw a six-hitter in Monday’s 4-0 win over Pittsburgh to avoid becoming the first Reds pitcher since Fred Norman in 1977 to lose seven consecutive starts. Lohse, who had not won since April 15 against the Chicago Cubs, had allowed 20 runs in just 10 total innings in his previous three starts.
The right-hander made his only other start against the Rockies on June 11, 2003, allowing one run in six innings of a 7-4 home win while with Minnesota.