New York (46-35) at Colorado (40-43)

Fair Currently: Denver, CO
Temp: 5° F
  • Game info: 8:05 pm EDT Tue Jul 3, 2007
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Returning home is exactly what the Colorado Rockies needed.

The Rockies look to continue their success at Coors Field when they meet the New York Mets in the middle contest of their three-game series on Tuesday.

Colorado (40-43) went 1-9 on its recent road trip, the franchise’s worst mark for that many games away from home, but returned to Coors Field Monday to beat the Mets 6-2. The Rockies have won eight of their last nine games at home, outscoring opponents 60-34 and batting .325.

“We need to go re-establish ourselves at home and find a way to get back on a winning track,” manager Clint Hurdle told the Rockies’ official Web site.

Colorado has won its last four home series and got off to a good start Monday. The Rockies scored all of their runs in the third inning, highlighted by Matt Holliday’s three-run homer.

The Rockies’ left fielder, who earned a spot on the NL All-Star team, is batting .347 with 14 homers and 65 RBIs. He is hitting .398 at Coors Field and is 7-for-18 versus the Mets this season.

Holliday has at least one hit in 17 straight meetings with New York.

“He’s an excellent hitter,” Mets manager Willie Randolph said. “You make a mistake like that, the ball middle in, and he’s strong. He’s obviously had a lot of good at-bats this year. He’s leading the (National League) in hitting. An excellent hitter, and you can’t make mistakes on him.”

Rockies starter Jason Hirsh threw six scoreless innings Monday and went 2-for-3 with two RBIs, but left after spraining his right ankle at third base while trying to avoid a pick-off throw.

Aaron Cook (4-5, 4.70 ERA) will try to follow up Hirsh’s performance when he takes the ball for Colorado on Tuesday. The right-hander has dropped his last four decisions, but settled down on Thursday.

He held Houston to one run and seven hits - including Craig Biggio’s 3,000th - over seven innings in Colorado’s 8-5, 11-inning defeat.

Cook is 1-0 with a 2.52 ERA in five career games versus the Mets (46-35), including a no-decision on April 24 when he scattered six hits over seven scoreless innings.

New York is trying to avoid a third straight loss following a stretch of just one defeat in nine games. The Mets’ pitching staff has been riddled with injures and suffered another blow when left-hander Oliver Perez was placed on the 15-day disabled list Monday, retroactive to June 27.

“He has some soreness in his lower back, but nothing wrong with his arm,” Randolph said.

Jason Vargas (0-0, 6.43) will take the mound for the Mets on Tuesday after being recalled from Triple-A New Orleans to replace Perez. The left-hander was 6-4 with a 4.35 ERA in 13 starts at New Orleans, where he struck out 56 and walked 23 in 72 1-3 innings.

He started for the Mets on May 17, giving up five runs over seven innings in a no-decision against the Chicago Cubs.

Vargas faced the Rockies while playing for Florida last season and gave up three earned runs over 2 1-3 innings, but didn’t receive a decision in an 8-7 defeat.

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Starting Pitchers

J. Vargas KC vs. A. Cook Col
0-1 Record 8-7
12.19 ERA 4.12
4 K 61
2 BB 44
1.84 WHIP 1.34

Scoreboard

Tuesday, Jul 3