Colorado (39-54) at New York (48-44)

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  • Game info: 7:10 pm EDT Fri Jul 11, 2008
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Given the sources of speed and power throughout their lineup, it’s not surprising that the New York Mets’ offense has taken off so far in July.

New York is getting some of its production, however, from an unlikely source.

The red-hot Fernando Tatis and the Mets look to extend their season-high winning streak to seven on Friday when they open a three-game series with the visiting Colorado Rockies.

New York (48-44) has scored 69 runs in 10 games this month, more than every team but Colorado (39-54), which has the same total thus far in July.

Tatis has been a surprising part of that success. He played in 28 games for Baltimore in 2006, his only time in the majors since 2003, before New York called him up on May 13.

The 33-year-old journeyman was only hitting .258 on July 4, but he’s heated up and so has the Mets’ offense. Tatis is 10-for-20 with three homers and seven RBIs in helping New York win six straight, its longest streak since winning seven in a row from Aug. 17-24, 2006.

He seems to have found a regular spot as the Mets deal with injuries to outfielders Ryan Church and Moises Alou, who is likely out for the season with a torn hamstring.

“I don’t want to think about taking anyone’s job,” Tatis said. “Whenever they put me out there, I’ll play hard.”

Tatis homered and drove in four runs on Thursday as the Mets completed a three-game sweep of San Francisco with a 7-3 win.

“It’s an inspiration to the whole team,” manager Jerry Manuel said of Tatis’ play.

New York’s pitching has been as good as its hitting lately. The Mets gave up just three hits in each game of their sweep of the Giants and didn’t allow a run until the series finale.

Oliver Perez will try to continue New York’s streak of solid pitching. Perez (6-5, 4.62 ERA) has been one of baseball’s least consistent pitchers this season, but he’s been very good lately.

Perez threw seven shutout innings on Sunday at Philadelphia in a 4-2, 12-inning win. He’s struck out 14 in 14 innings in his last two starts, and has walked just two despite being among the league leaders in free passes.

The left-hander allowed four runs in five innings at Colorado on May 23, walking a career-high eight in a 6-5, 13-inning loss.

The Rockies still have one of the worst records in the NL, but they’re playing better after suffering through their second eight-game losing streak of the season.

They won five straight before a loss to Florida on Sunday, then split four games in Milwaukee. Colorado had a chance to win its fifth road series of the season on Thursday, but the Brewers scored six times in the fourth inning on their way to an 11-1 victory.

The Rockies will have an All-Star on the mound on Friday, but Aaron Cook looked like anything but one of the league’s best pitchers in his latest outing.

Cook gave up seven runs and 11 hits over 7 1-3 innings in a 10-5 loss to Florida on Sunday—the day he was named to the All-Star team.

“It’s kind of bittersweet,” Cook said after his third loss in his last four starts. “I wish I could have thrown a little better, but it’s pretty special, the first time I’ve been selected.”

He’s faced the Mets twice this year—pitching a complete game in a 4-1 win on May 25, then allowing six runs in seven innings in a 7-2 loss on June 20.

Colorado has lost 15 of its last 17 games at Shea Stadium.

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Starting Pitchers

A. Cook COL vs. O. PĂ©rez WAS
16-9 Record 10-7
3.96 ERA 4.22
96 K 180
48 BB 105
1.34 WHIP 1.40


Friday, Jul 11