Colorado (38-34) at Toronto (34-37)

  • Game info: 7:07 pm EDT Fri Jun 22, 2007
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Colorado Rockies are the hottest team in the majors, thanks partly to their play against the AL East.

After an impressive sweep of the New York Yankees in Colorado, the Rockies begin a 10-game road trip Friday night with a matchup against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Colorado (38-34) completed the sweep of New York Thursday, winning 4-3 to improve to 9-3 against AL East teams.

The Rockies now begin their fifth straight series against clubs from that division, opening a three-game set with the Blue Jays (34-37). Colorado has won seven of eight and is a major league-best 20-7 since May 22, drawing within 3 1/2 games of NL West leaders San Diego and Arizona.

“It’s June,” Matt Holliday told the team’s official Web site. “I think we’re playing well. If we continue to play like this come September, we’ll be playing important games.”

Colorado outscored New York 13-5 to win its sixth straight series. The Yankees had won 14 of 17, but were shut down by Rockies pitchers. Colorado has given up three runs or less in nine of its last 11 games.

“It all starts with the pitching,” said Holliday, who is batting an NL-best .366.

Jason Hirsh (3-6, 4.78 ERA) will take the mound next for Colorado. The right-hander, though, struggled in his last start, giving up five runs and six hits in 4 1-3 innings as the Rockies beat Tampa Bay 10-5 on Saturday night.

Hirsch went 1-1 with a 1.80 ERA in his previous two starts. This will be his first appearance against the Blue Jays.

Toronto will counter with Josh Towers (2-5, 5.29 ERA), who is 0-2 with a 5.73 ERA in his last two outings. The right-hander gave up four runs and seven hits in seven innings as the Blue Jays lost 4-2 to Washington on Sunday.

In his only career appearance against Colorado, Towers allowed five runs and eight hits in five innings as Toronto lost 8-3 on May 19, 2006.

The Blue Jays have lost three of four following a three-game winning streak. They fell 8-4 to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday night, dropping two of three games in that series.

Toronto’s Vernon Wells, who signed a seven-year, $126 million contract in the offseason, continues to struggle. He was held hitless in five at-bats Thursday and is in an 0-for-17 slump.

Wells, two hits away from 1,000 for his career, is batting .249 with six home runs and 34 RBIs.

Matt Stairs, meanwhile, went 5-for-8 with a home run against the Dodgers.

Stairs, who has 139 at-bats this season, hit his 10th home run Wednesday. He hit 13 home runs in 117 at-bats last season while playing for Detroit, Kansas City, and Texas.

“He hasn’t lost anything,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. “He’s still got a lightning-quick bat.”

Stairs is batting .387 with eight home runs and 26 RBIs in 30 games against Colorado.

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Starting Pitchers

J. Hirsh NYY vs. J. Towers LAD
5-7 Record 5-10
4.81 ERA 5.38
75 K 76
48 BB 22
1.34 WHIP 1.41


Friday, Jun 22