It isn’t a good sign that the defending NL champions celebrated their first road win in nearly a month in their last game, but that’s the way things are going for the Colorado Rockies these days.
The injury-plagued Rockies look to win their first road series in more than six weeks when they wrap up their three-game set against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday.
After reaching the World Series just seven months ago, Colorado (21-38) is tied with Seattle for the worst record in the majors. The Rockies have been decimated by injuries, as reigning NL batting champ Matt Holliday, Troy Tulowitzki, Brad Hawpe and Clint Barmes are all on the disabled list.
After getting outscored 69-32 during a season-high eight-game losing streak, Colorado got back in the win column with a 3-0 victory over the Dodgers on Tuesday.
“Losing eight in a row is never fun, obviously,” said Colorado’s Jeff Francis, Tuesday’s winning pitcher. “I feel like this lifts a little pressure off our shoulders and we can come out and have some fun (Wednesday).”
Tuesday’s victory also was the Rockies’ first on the road since May 9 at San Diego, ending a franchise-record 13-game losing streak away from Coors Field. Colorado has the majors’ third-worst road record at 9-24, and has lost six straight road series since taking two of three at Houston April 18-20.
Todd Helton drove in a run Tuesday, and is batting .419 (13-for-31) with two home runs and seven RBIs during a 10-game hitting streak. He is hitting .440 (11-for-25) with a homer and four RBIs in eight games versus the Dodgers this season.
While Colorado has won just six of its last 23 games, Los Angeles (28-30) hasn’t been doing much better.
The Dodgers have dropped nine of their last 12, scoring two runs or less in eight of those defeats. That slump has prevented Los Angeles from putting any pressure on struggling NL West-leading Arizona, which owns a 3 1/2-game lead.
Cook was on his way to an easy victory over the Chicago Cubs on Friday before falling apart. He gave up one run and four hits through five innings as the Rockies led 9-1, but was then tagged for six runs and six hits over his final 1 1-3 innings. The Cubs would go on to win 10-9, but Cook did not factor in the decision.
The right-hander is 1-2 with a 5.60 ERA in his last four starts after going 6-1 with a 2.26 ERA in his first eight outings.
Cook gave up two runs and nine hits in 7 2-3 innings of a 7-2 victory over the Dodgers on May 4. The sinkerballer is 4-5 with a 4.33 ERA in 11 career starts versus Los Angeles.
The Dodgers counter with rookie Clayton Kershaw (0-0, 5.59), who hopes to bounce back from a very ineffective outing.
The top pitching prospect lasted 3 2-3 innings against the New York Mets on Friday, allowing four runs, five hits and four walks in the Dodgers’ 9-5 victory, but was not a factor in the decision.
“Instead of trying too hard, I have to back off a little,” Kershaw told his team’s official Web site.
Kershaw’s shaky outing came after an impressive major league debut. The 20-year-old left-hander allowed two runs, five hits and struck out seven in six innings of a 4-3, 10-inning win over St. Louis on May 25.