The Rockies look to make up some ground in the NL wild card race as they open a three-game series against the Giants on Monday at AT&T Park.
Colorado (67-63) is coming off a three-game sweep of the Washington Nationals over the weekend, concluding with a 10-5 win on Sunday. Elmer Dessens allowed one run over six innings, while Matt Holliday homered, doubled and drove in three runs.
“Right now we’re playing pretty well,” Holliday said. “If our pitching continues to give us a chance, our offense is going to be strong down the stretch.”
Holliday carries a career-high 16-game hitting streak into this contest, and is batting .333 (23-for-69) with three homers and 11 RBIs in that span. He is 10-for-27 (.370) with 11 RBIs in six games at AT&T Park this season.
The Rockies, who haven’t made the playoffs since 1995, are in third place for the NL wild card, 3 1/2 games behind the San Diego Padres. They are also 6 1/2 games behind the NL West-leading Arizona Diamondbacks, whom Colorado will face in a three-game series beginning Friday.
“We’re just trying to find a way to be one run better than the other from here on out,” Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said.
While Colorado is facing a San Francisco team that is in last lace in the NL West, the Giants (59-72) just came off a sweep against the playoff-contending Milwaukee Brewers, who are fighting the Chicago Cubs for first place in the NL Central.
San Francisco completed the sweep with a 5-4 win on Sunday. Pedro Feliz scored the go-ahead run from first on Rich Aurilia’s single in the eighth inning after Guillermo Rodriguez hit a two-run homer, his first career homer, in the fourth to tie the game.
“It’s amazing. My first home run ties the game,” said Rodriguez, whose last five hits have all been for extra bases. “I’ve hit home runs in the minors but I think this was the right moment. It was kind of cool—the ball just kept going.”
The Giants, who have won four straight and nine of their last 11 overall, outscored the Brewers 22-12 in the series.
Barry Zito (9-11, 4.74 ERA) will open the series for San Francisco after allowing two runs and five hits in eight innings Wednesday against the Cubs in a 4-2, 10-inning loss. He is 3-6 in his last 14 starts, and just 0-2 in his last six home starts since beating the Houston Astros on May 23.
“I’m not in the business of talking about frustration or negative things,” Zito said. “You just have to keep working and anticipate positive results.”
He is 1-1 with a 3.12 ERA in four career starts against the Rockies, whom he will be facing for the fourth time this season. Zito is trying to win at least 10 games in a season for the seventh consecutive year. The last time he failed to reach the mark was in his 2000 rookie season when he went 7-4.
Jason Fogg (7-9, 5.27) counters for the Rockies trying to avoid losing his third straight start. Fogg gave up eight runs and 11 hits—including four homers—in three innings of an 11-2 loss the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday.
“The ball came out of my hand and ended up in the middle of the plate,” Fogg said. “When you do that 75 percent of the time it will be a bad night.”
Fogg is 3-3 with a 3.36 ERA in nine starts and one relief appearance against the Giants, but 0-2 in two starts this season.