Washington (58-71) at Colorado (65-63)

Light Rain with Thunder Currently: Denver, CO
Temp: 79° F
  • Game info: 8:05 pm EDT Sat Aug 25, 2007
  • TV: MASN2, FSRM
Preview | Box Score | Recap

A lack of clutch hitting had been hurting the Colorado Rockies in recent games, and throughout its season series with the Washington Nationals.

But an emotional late-inning rally by Rockies certainly is something off which they can build as they play the middle game of their series with the Nationals on Saturday night.

Colorado manager Clint Hurdle was troubled by his team’s inability to produce in the clutch entering Friday’s series opener, but the Rockies scored five runs in the bottom of the ninth to win 6-5.

Colorado (65-63) went 5-for-37 with runners in scoring position en route to losing three of four to Pittsburgh in its previous series. The Rockies also were hitless in 28 such at-bats in four previous games against Washington (58-71) this season, losing three.

On Friday, the Rockies went 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position, including Yorvit Torrealba’s two-run single in the ninth that tied the score at 5.

Matt Holliday sparked the comeback with a two-run homer off Nationals closer Chad Cordero. Brad Hawpe scored the winning run when Nationals shortstop D’Angelo Jimenez couldn’t make a play on Kaz Matsui’s soft grounder.

Colorado is 6 1/2 games behind first-place Arizona in the NL West, and remains 4 1/2 games in back of San Diego for the wild card.

“We’ve worked too hard to get to this point in the season, where we’re still playing for something,” Hurdle told the Rockies’ official Web site. “We’ve just got to find a way to fight through it.”

Colorado had scored three runs or less in four of their previous five games. Holliday has remained consistent throughout, however, and is hitting .295 (18-for-61) during a 14-game hitting streak.

But in his last four games, Holliday is batting .353 (6-for-17) with two home runs, a double and three RBIs. He’s just 1-for-6 in his career against Tim Redding (3-3, 2.53 ERA), who will take the mound for the Nationals on Saturday.

Redding has a 0.64 ERA and has not received a decision in two starts and a relief appearance against Colorado. The right-hander faced the Rockies on July 22, yielding five hits in 6 2-3 innings without receiving a decision in the Nationals’ 3-0 win.

In his last start, Redding gave up six hits in seven innings to earn a win as Washington beat Houston 7-0 on Monday. The Nationals have won Redding’s last two starts, but have lost two of their last three games and nine of 14 overall.

Felipe Lopez hasn’t done much at the plate for Washington in recent games, so rookie manager Manny Acta gave him Friday off. The second baseman is in a 4-for-36 slump, with his average dropping 10 points to .241.

“I do need a little bit of rest,” Lopez said. “I have been running a lot lately.”

Lopez has played in 122 of the team’s 129 games, and is expected to be back in the lineup as the Nationals face rookie Ubaldo Jimenez (2-2, 4.54). The right-hander is 1-0 with a 0.69 ERA in his last two starts.

Jimenez gave up one run and five hits in seven innings of a 4-2 loss to Pittsburgh on Monday. His first career appearance against the Nationals was on July 19, allowing two runs and four hits in five innings as the Rockies lost 5-4 in 10 innings.

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Starting Pitchers

T. Redding Phi vs. U. Jiménez Bal
3-6 Record 4-4
3.64 ERA 4.28
47 K 68
38 BB 37
1.45 WHIP 1.30

Scoreboard

Saturday, Aug 25