If the Colorado Rockies are going to turn things around, they know they need to play better against NL West opponents.
The Rockies try to improve their poor record against their division when they open a three-game home series against the San Francisco Giants on Monday night.
Colorado (17-27) won 90 games to capture the wild card en route to its first World Series appearance in 2007, and its play against its NL West rivals was a big key. The Rockies had the best mark among West teams within the division last year at 43-30.
It’s been a different story this year, as Colorado is 6-18 against its division - the worst such mark in the NL and only slightly better than Detroit’s 4-15 record against the AL Central. The Rockies have lost seven of their first eight series against NL West foes.
They dropped their only series against San Francisco (17-28) this season, losing two of three on the road April 28-30. Colorado was shut down in the three games, managing only five runs while batting .219.
After losing six in a row, however, the Rockies have won their last two games. Colorado beat Minnesota 6-2 on Sunday, as Todd Helton homered and drove in three runs and Clint Barmes also hit a home run for the Rockies.
Barmes went 6-for-12 in the three-game series with the Twins, and is 20-for-40 during an 11-game hitting streak. The second baseman, however, is a .191 hitter in 12 career games at San Francisco.
Helton, meanwhile, was 2-for 4 with a two-run single Sunday after going 8-for-34 (.235) in his previous nine games.
“I’ve swung the bat so bad lately, I figured I was going to let it go, and was glad I got a good result,” Helton said.
San Francisco is starting a nine-game road trip after losing the final five games of a 3-7 homestand. The Giants were swept over the weekend by the Chicago White Sox, losing 13-8 on Sunday.
“These are tough times around here and we have to keep grinding,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “This was a tough homestand. Nothing matters until we go out there and play winning baseball.”
Both teams will send left-handers to the mound Monday.
Jorge De La Rosa (1-2, 9.42) has pitched past the fifth inning in just one of his first three starts this season for Colorado. He allowed four runs over 4 2-3 innings Wednesday in a 4-3 loss at Arizona.
De La Rosa has never started versus the Giants, but has a 21.60 ERA in three relief appearances against them.
Patrick Misch (0-0, 5.32) makes his fourth start of the season for the Giants, who have lost the previous three. Misch allowed three runs over six innings Wednesday in a 6-3 defeat to Houston.
Misch will make his first career start versus the Rockies after allowing one run over 4 1-3 innings in two appearances against them.