Washington (58-72) at Colorado (66-63)

Light Rain Currently: Denver, CO
Temp: 50° F
  • Game info: 3:05 pm EDT Sun Aug 26, 2007
  • TV: MASN2, FSRM
Preview | Box Score | Recap

If the Colorado Rockies reach the playoffs for the first time since 1995, they can likely point to Troy Tulowitzki and Matt Holliday as two reasons why.

The duo look to extend their hitting streaks and lead the Rockies to their seventh straight home win over the Washington Nationals as the teams wrap up their season series on Sunday.

After rallying with five runs in the bottom of the ninth inning for a 6-5 win on Friday, Colorado (66-63) continued that momentum with Tulowitzki’s solo homer in the bottom of the first Saturday to tie the score at 1. Holliday later singled home his team-leading 100th RBI as the Rockies recorded an easy 5-1 victory.

“Anytime you get a dramatic win like that, the next day you come to the field, guys are a little happier and ready to go,” Tulowitzki, who’s hitting .419 (18-for-43) during a 10-game hitting streak, told the Rockies’ official Web site. “And really, winning that game tonight like we did, it’s kind of a downer for them to lose a game late and then lose another game. It’s huge for us. Hopefully we can get a series sweep tomorrow.”

Tulowitzki has hit 16 of his 18 homers since June 6, tying him with Josh Fields of the Chicago White Sox for the third-most homers by a rookie in that span. Only Arizona’s Chris B. Young (19) and Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun (21) have hit more.

Holliday, meanwhile, has hit safely in 15 straight games, batting .308 (20-for-65) in that stretch. Overall, he’s tied with Brad Hawpe for the team lead with 23 homers and is batting a team-best .335.

Despite Tulowitzki’s and Holliday’s efforts, the Rockies are tied with the Los Angeles Dodgers for third in the NL West, 6 1/2 games behind division-leading Arizona. Colorado and Los Angeles also are 4 1/2 games in back of San Diego for the NL wild card.

Elmer Dessens (1-1, 6.66 ERA) will make his third start for the Rockies since his recall from Triple-A Colorado Springs on Aug. 16.

The right-hander, signed as a free agent shortly after being released by Milwaukee on Aug. 8, has given up seven runs and 12 hits in 9 1-3 innings with his new club, but has yet to record a decision.

Dessens was effective Tuesday against Pittsburgh, allowing two runs and six hits with three walks in 4 2-3 innings of Colorado’s 9-2 win. He’s yet to face Washington this season, and is 3-1 with a 3.80 ERA in 19 appearances, including five starts, against the Nationals franchise.

In five career starts at hitter-friendly Coors Field, Dessens is 2-1 with a 7.31 ERA

Austin Kearns had two of Washington’s four hits on Saturday. The Nationals have been outscored 54-33 during their six-game skid at Colorado—despite outhitting the Rockies 61-60.

John Hanrahan (3-1, 3.42) will try to stay unbeaten on the road for Washington as he makes his first career start in Denver. Pitching away from spacious RFK Stadium, the right-hander is 2-0 with a 3.86 ERA in three starts and has lasted at least five innings each time.

On Tuesday at Houston, Hanrahan gave up three runs and seven hits, including a homer to Craig Biggio on the first pitch, and three walks through five innings of the Nationals’ 11-6 win.

“Obviously it could have been better. It’s not fun starting out behind 1-0 after your first pitch,” Hanrahan said.

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Starting Pitchers

J. Hanrahan Det vs. E. Dessens NYM
5-3 Record 2-2
6.00 ERA 7.15
43 K 22
38 BB 12
1.90 WHIP 1.68

Scoreboard

Sunday, Aug 26