Colorado (56-69) at Washington (44-80)

Partly Cloudy/Windy Currently: Washington, DC
Temp: 30° F
  • Game info: 1:35 pm EDT Sun Aug 17, 2008
Preview | Box Score | Recap

A doubleheader sweep by the Washington Nationals at Coors Field earlier this month was a major blow to the Colorado Rockies’ slim chances of winning the NL West.

The Rockies don’t seem to be passing up their chance for revenge.

Colorado will look to complete a three-game sweep on Sunday, trying to hand the Nationals franchise its first 10-game losing streak in more than 17 years.

The Rockies (56-69) were coming off a 6-4 road trip and seeking to gain momentum when the Nationals arrived in Denver on Aug. 4, but Washington took three of four games, including two 6-3 victories in a doubleheader on Aug. 7.

Colorado went on to drop seven of 10 on its homestand, and remains nine games back in the West. That deficit hasn’t shrunk even as the Rockies have beaten Washington (44-80) in consecutive games to start a six-game road trip, including Saturday’s 13-6 victory.

“We were real good in situational-hitting opportunities tonight - two-out RBIs, cutting the barrel on a lot of balls,” Colorado manager Clint Hurdle said. “… A real good night for us offensively. We needed to have one of those.”

They had only two extra-base hits - both doubles - in the offensive outburst, as Troy Tulowitzki led the way with three hits and three RBIs. Tulowitzki is hitting .366 in 25 games since coming off the disabled list on July 21 after a hand injury.

Aaron Cook (14-8, 3.87 ERA) hasn’t been as successful recently, and he hasn’t pitched in eight days due to a back problem. Despite facing two of the meekest offenses in the majors in his last two starts, the right-hander failed to make it out of the sixth inning either time.

The Nationals, who rank last in the majors with 460 runs, totaled seven runs (five earned) and 11 hits off Cook in 5 2-3 innings of a 9-4 win on Aug. 4. San Diego, 28th in baseball in scoring, tallied six runs and 10 hits against Cook in 5 2-3 innings of its 8-3 win last Saturday.

He’ll try to join 18-game winner Brandon Webb as the only NL pitchers with at least 15 victories this season. Cincinnati’s Edinson Volquez, who has 14 wins, is also scheduled to pitch against St. Louis on Sunday.

Washington counters with Odalis Perez, who is 2-0 with a 2.79 ERA in three August starts. That stretch includes a victory during the doubleheader against Colorado, when he tossed six innings and allowed two runs.

Perez (5-8, 4.12) is 7-7 with a 3.82 ERA in 19 career appearances against the Rockies. He has just one win in 11 home starts this season despite compiling a 2.50 ERA in 57 2-3 innings.

The left-hander will try to help prevent the franchise’s first 10-game skid since the Montreal Expos lost 11 straight from June 23-July 4, 1991. The Nationals, who have four more losses than any other major league club, have already lost nine in a row three times this year, including twice since the All-Star break.

“I think they’re handling it pretty well,” Washington manager Manny Acta said. “They come in every day not thinking about how many they’ve lost in a row. They come in every day (like) it’s a brand-new day.”

The winner of Sunday’s game will capture the season series 4-3.

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Starting Pitchers

A. Cook Col vs. O. Perez Was
16-9 Record 7-12
3.96 ERA 4.34
96 K 119
48 BB 55
1.34 WHIP 1.48


Sunday, Aug 17